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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

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Roy MacGregor and a party for the Canadian Flag Had coffee with Roy MacGregor.the poor guy is writing five 800 word columns a week for the Globe and Mail. Even while on tour for his new books. The Diva set up coffee and, to her horror, the books didn't arrive. Rather than fake it I just told Roy and we had a great chat about the very idea of the "bush" and the need for escape. He is the sort of person I could see going for a two week canoe trip with. Just as puzzled by the world as the rest of us.

He has the distinction of being one of the best selling Canadian kids authors. The exploits of the Screetch Owls have kept my elder son up late. Roy signed a card for Simon - we couldn't find any of the books amidst the jumble of his closet - and Simon was genuinely thrilled to get it. It is not easy to thrill 12 year old boys.

Worked for the afternoon and then to the launch of I Stand for Canada which is a beautifully produced book on the creation of the Canadian Flag. Patrick Reid, who was there at the creation, spoke for just exactly the right length of time. He told the story of the then Prime Minister Pearson getting fed up with the delays in getting Canada her own flag. Appartently he told the folks working on it, headed by Reid, that he wanted the flag flying at 24 Sussex by the next morning. They got the job done; but the first flag was a silkscreened bedsheet hemmed by a Miss O'Mally.

MacGregor was at the launch so I expect the story will be in the G&M.

It was good to go to a launch after not doing any for a couple of years. And nice as well to see Linda and David from January Magazine . One of the better kept secrets on the web is that JanMag is actually based in Vancouver.

The diva managed to ensure everyone had a great time and, amazingly, books were being sold in droves. Good for SAD.


DEBKAfile - Straight line links Bali, Moscow, Karkur, Ariel, Amman What we are actually looking at "The death toll would have been horrendous were it not for the heroic action taken by the late Maj. Tamir Massad, who ran forward and held the terrorist down to stop him igniting his bomb. Shahar Keshet, who happened to stop by for petrol, hearing the shout: “I see an explosives belt”, ran up and shot the Palestinian in the head. At that moment the belt exploded killing the major and two other officers."

The reality which Israel lives with is exactly what the actual war is about stopping. It is not at all a far fetched notion to imagine this at Macy's or the corner of Granville and Georgia.

Ripping our the roots of Islamofascist terror is a beginning. But creating the conditions in which the urge to die for faith is reduced and then eliminated is more critical.

Nord-Ost, Bali, day to day in Israel, are the fruits of a profound argument between the 21st century and the 13th. Until we manage to bring the 13th through 8 centuries of serious thought and a deep anti-violent commitment the bombs will keep marching across the planet.


BBC NEWS | Europe | Soviet methods for a Russian crisisNot all Chechen? "Chechen women do not tend to wear Islamic clothing or head covering, yet the women who appeared in a video recording made before the theatre was taken, but released immediately afterwards, were so dressed. "

If not Chechen then who? Along with the many other questions the Nord-Ost outrage raises, the orgins of the terrorists is critical. If it was a purely Chechen operation then the issues for the rest of the world are relatively minor; but if there was outside involvement then the next question - organized by who? - has to be asked.


Guardian Unlimited Observer | Review | Gore Vidal claims 'Bush junta' complicit in 9/11 I reviewed Vidal's "The Last Empire" last year. For a long time I have thought Vidal was one of the truly great essayists in English, but his politics have gradually shifted beyond the outraged fringe of the loony Left.

I ended that review as follows:

"Which brings us back to Timothy McVeigh. In his essay Vidal says, "The bombing...was not unlike Pearl Harbour, a great shock to an entire nation and, one hopes, a sort of wake up call to the American people that all is not well with us." I suspect, but could not confirm, Vidal will say much the same about the WTC.

The line between insightful radical and grumpy old man is dangerously thin. Vidal's amusement at the foibles of the great and the good, his meticulous research, his exasperated affection for the Old Republic and his sheer style keep his political essays within the American radical tradition. Barely."

With his Observer piece the grumpy, bitter old man has gained the upper hand. Too bad.