Natural Selections

I am sitting in a studio apartment overlooking the Mira River, that broad stripe of blue that loops about the soul of every native-born Cape Bretoner, crooning like a homing beacon whenever they’re Away. The sun is going down, adding a subtle swath of lavender above the treeline. I don’t go out for vistas very…

Transforming Progress

In A Short History of Progress, Ronald Wright estimates that human beings as we know ourselves have existed for about 100,000 generations, or 2.5 million years – a mind-bogglingly long time by subjective standards, but a mere blink of the eye of the Earth (4.5 billion years old). Yet, says Wright, we didn’t understand progress,…

Primordial Politics

I am trying, mostly failing, to find the socio-political seabed. I keep diving deeper into murk and cold, straining to see familiar signs of life. Mostly, the creatures I encounter on these deep dives are alien, primordial. I don’t see myself reflected in their eyes. Once in a while, I think maybe I feel a…

Transforming Jericho

I’ve been reading Ronald Wright’s A Short History of Progress, which he delivered at the 2004 Massey Lectures. It’s a thoughtful, often chilling account of civilizations’ tendencies to fall into catastrophic “progress traps” – paths and patterns that seem beneficial for everyone, but which collapse in on their own weight, decimating or even eradicating cultures…

Star Wars: The Lost Jediration

WARNING! SPOILERS! I have a lot of thoughts about Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, but not that many feelings. Some fans are convinced that, since their favourite Skywalker didn’t turn out the way they’d always imagined in their headcanons, the world is ending. Having spent the last month researching and writing about climate…