Categories for Musings

We get letters: a Bernier fan writes in

…it’s indecent how much I enjoy their total and complete humiliation in the election.

Remembering my Dad on Remembrance Day

Here he is, age 20, at officer cadet training in the Summer of 1952. Front row centre.

He went on to join the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps but the war ended before he could go over. He always regretted that, but us, not so much.

We miss him every single day – and on this day, even more.

Dead Souls

Listened to Joy Division on the way back into the city yesterday. It was the right soundtrack for a cold and bleak November landscape.

Played Dead Souls three times. What a song! Which, later, led to the rediscovery of this extraordinary bit of film: Joy Division at the Ardwick Apollo almost exactly forty years ago. The band’s manager, Richard Boon, just set up a primitive Beta camera on a tripod and shot this.

It’s incredible, like they were. One of the bands that literally changed my life.

Someone take these dreams away
That point me to another day
A duel of personalities
That stretch all true realities
That keep calling me
They keep calling me
Keep on calling me
They keep calling me


Kristof in the Times:

We humans make a lonely crowd, and it’s killing us.

Social isolation is more lethal than smoking 15 cigarettes a day, or than obesity, according to research published by Julianne Holt-Lunstad of Brigham Young University. Since obesity is associated in the United States with 300,000 to 600,000 deaths a year, the implication is that loneliness is a huge, if silent, killer.

Loneliness increases inflammation, heart disease, dementia and death rates, researchers say — but it also simply makes us heartsick and leaves us inhabiting an Edvard Munch canvas. Public health experts in many countries are debating how to address a “loneliness epidemic” that corrodes modern life, but Britain has taken the lead: Last year it appointed a minister for loneliness.

“It touches almost every one of us at some point,” Baroness Barran, the current minister for loneliness, told me. “It can lead to very serious health consequences for the individual and leads to erosion of our society, where people become isolated and disconnected.”