Writing History, from The Pacific Rim Review of Books.
On April 16, 1968, communications theorist Marshall McLuhan composed a letter from his study in Bronxville, New York, to the new leader of the Canadian Liberal Party, Pierre Trudeau. He claimed Canada’s status as a “backwater” presented an historical advantage, allowing the flexibility to embrace a rapidly shifting worldview. Conversely, he pointed out, “The men of the press,” and they were typically men in those days, “can work only with people who have fixed points of view.”
Somalia: Free Market Wasteland, from Shared Vision magazine.
After the 2004 Tsunami had swept 3000 kilometers across the Indian Ocean, Somali fisherman Hassan Abdi discovered a large metal container in the surf north of Mogadishu. The dirt-poor people of Somalia recycle any material resource. Police, traditional leaders, and a local aid agency, Daryeel Bulsho Guud, launched warnings over the radio and in print media. In spite of the public warnings, on May 19, fishermen in Kismayo beach, 500 kilometers South of Mogadishu, attempted to open a container with axes.”
Holy Blood, with Fries, from The Solstice Sun.
Poor Mary Magdalene, turned into a prostitute by Pope Gregory, blamed for the excesses of French aristocrats by Nazi henchmen, and now dragged into the plot of a popular thriller. In 1953, Frenchman Noel Corbu, inherited an estate, opened a restaurant, and concocted a rumor of secret parchments discovered in a hollow pillar. Corbu met Nazi sympathizer Pierre Plantard, who spent time in prison for fraud and promoted himself as a descendent of Merovingian kings, thus a pretender to the French throne. The story of the hidden parchments is a restaurant promotion gone terribly wrong.”
A girl, always there, and I recall no more about meeting her than I recall breathing air for the first time, although I remember noticing her, like breath, for the first time.
Positively Genius: Bob Hunter 1941 – 2005, from The Vancouver Sun.
Many people helped create Greenpeace, but Bob Hunter served as the trickster visionary at its early core. When he saw the Zodiac inflatable boats that French commandos used to board a Greenpeace ship, he borrowed their tools. “That’s what we need,” he said, as he envisioned putting protesters in front of whaling ships. Hunter guided the first Greenpeace whale campaign and made history. The wise guy cracked performance jokes over the global airwaves and changed the world.
Tell Laura I Love Her, from Dragonfly Media and The Tyee.
“During the 2000 presidential election, pundits claimed there had been a cover-up, that dark forces had protected Laura after her accident, but this was partisan rumour.”
Freedom: Baba Olatunji from Shared Vision magazine and the Solstice Sun.
“He played for presidents and kings, figured into Bob Dylan lyrics, and still resonates in the angelic children who danced in the corners of his workshops and grew up to fulfill their own dreams.”
The No-Conspiracy Theory from Dragonfly Media.
“Just because Nixon told Helms he wanted “a major effort … to prevent Allende’s accession to power,” doesn’t mean any of these guys actually had anything to do with killing Allende or Letelier, much less with the thousands of people that General Pinochet’s secret police killed thereafter, even the ones pushed out of American helicopters.”
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