Charlie Lewis, R.I.P.

This makes me sad. I used to work with a Charles Lewis at the Ottawa Citizen. He was a wonderful, thoughtful guy. There was no bigger supporter than him for the work I was doing exposing the religious right and the far right.  No one.

That’s why I’m sad to read tripe like the linked column – the hackneyed, clichéd, anti-CBC and anti-secularism/pro-Harper and pro-religious right claptrap that the Post churns out, endlessly, while completely indifferent to the effect it has on its circulation and/or credibility.  When I wrote for them, they – the great free-speechers! – refused to let me print a goddamned word that was positive about the CBC, the Star or related subjects.  When they also refused to let me say what I wanted to say about protecting human rights, I quit.  Now, I only read them online, and sporadically at best.

Anyway.  The Charles Lewis I knew isn’t the Charles Lewis I see in the Post this morning.  He’s left the building, and I sure miss him.

Frank Frazetta, R.I.P.

When we were nerdling teens (and when we became nerdling adults), he was a big deal to us – brawny sword-swinging brutes, buxom princesses, scary creatures roaming the landscape, all rendered with an unforgettable style – and we vainly tried to copy his art.  And it was art.

R.I.P., Frank. (Some of his work can be seen here.)

Rogers sucks

I don’t want to go all Star Wars bar scene on y’all, but this latest outrage by Rogers is well, an outrage.

When will this company learn? When will they get their corporate heads out of their corporate keesters? It’s amazing how dumb they can be. Does their greed know no bounds?

I’m a bit of an iPad nutcase, so forgive me. But Rogers really, really sets new standards for idiocy, sometimes.

The non-Warren room

The Hill Times’ Harris MacLeod sent me an email this aft, asking about something or the other, but also if I’d be running the LPC war room in the next election.  I told him no.

He asked why.  This is the gist of what I wrote back.

“I wrote to Michael and said I couldn’t run the war room in the next campaign.  I am quite busy with the McGuinty war room, and won’t be able to do both simultaneously.  Michael was very understanding.

I’m still a federal Liberal, and I will be helping out in any way I can.  But I don’t have the ability to be in two places at once.  And my business took a hit last Summer and Fall, when I dropped everything to be on hand for an election that never came. Have I agreed with everything that has been going on in OLO?  No, of course not.  But that’s how it is in a political party – you don’t always agree with every single decision that is made.

I wish Michael and his team the best.  They’ve got some great, great people up there.  I know that the next war room will do an amazing job.  I wish them the very best.”

The Age of Enlightenment meets the iPad. Or, is the iPad.

“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter,” he told the students. “And with iPods and iPads, and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.”

Not sure I agree with the fellow who said that – and that’s significant, because I pretty much agree with him on everything – but he has a point, at least in respect of the blogosweird. When unashamed racists are treated like informed analysts by broadcasters – using your tax dollars, no less – then it is certainly inarguable that “truth” has become so relative that it lacks all meaning.

But Obama is wrong, I think, about the iPad – and plenty of you have written to me to ask me if you should buy one, and I have said yes in every instance – because it isn’t merely about entertainment, or because it’s a diversion.  Since getting it, I am reading way more fiction (via iBook and Kindle) than I have read in years.  I am staying up to all hours, downloading free public-realm classic literature with wild abandon.  I can read newspapers in the way they are supposed to be read, and advertising can be offered thereupon in a way that isn’t irritating (check out the New York Times app to see what I mean).  And my kids are fighting to read on it, all the time, because it is so easy to use and so much fun.  The iPad makes – or will make – learning easier.

Do people download shooting games and stuff like that on it?  Sure, you can do that.  But you can do that on the Presidential Blackberry, too, but I can’t recall seeing him flinging it into the Potomac, either.

When it finally makes its way into The Great White North, you’ll see: the iPad ain’t no Xbox.  It’s amazing, and it’s going to change the way we do a lot of things – good things.