Wednesday Night 1889

Written by  //  May 23, 2018  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Most of the time, we feel as though some evil genius had draped an invisible and impenetrable cloak of bad news over us and the world, but the Royal Wedding, whether or not one is a monarchist, lifted the edges of that cloak for “a brief, shining moment”. A glimpse of Camelot? No, but despite the rampant cynicism – a glimpse of the better nature of the human race including the Royals.

Media everywhere have covered every aspect of the planning and execution of the event with analysis and philosophizing galore and we each have our preferred sources and takes, whether in-depth coverage of the extraordinary young cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the fiery sermon of American Episcopalian bishop Michael Curry., or the somewhat tongue-in-cheek The royal wedding was mainly about hats and fascinators.

Our own favorites are The New Yorker’s thoughtful tribute to the mother of the bride The Profound Presence of Doria Ragland and this delightful fairy tail:
-In 2015 a Beagle was found alone in the woods in Kentucky
-The Beagle was found by a good Samaritan and brought to a shelter
-No one wanted to adopt the Beagle who, fortunately, was about to get some help from a rescue organization, A Dog’s Dream Rescue
-The rescue group was contacted by the shelter and decided to take him in….to Canada.
-Groups of dog lovers took turns driving the Beagle in one hour shifts from Kentucky to Toronto.
-At a normal run of the mill adoption event a woman who was temporarily working in Toronto saw the Beagle and decided he was for her.
-The woman named the Beagle… Guy.
-That woman was an actress named Meghan Markle.
-Meghan Markle ended up marrying Prince Harry.
-Guy was photographed riding in a car the day before the wedding with the Queen of England, his new friend.
-Guy, the stray beagle from Kentucky now lives happily ever after at Kensington Palace.

Escapism? Yes, but surely we deserve some relief from the aforementioned cloak.

The world continues to fret over the will-you-won’t-you dance over the U.S.-North Korea Singapore Summit (Trump’s not sure his North Korea summit will happen: “You never know about deals”). Given the concerns expressed about Trump’s lack of preparedness [“the president has been almost singularly focused on the pageantry of the summit —including the suspenseful roll-out of details. He has not been deeply engaged in briefing materials on North Korea’s nuclear program”]
While the focus of domestic ‘fake news’ stories is on corruption [see There Is Only One Trump Scandal], the rise and fall of political fortunes, e,g. Paul Ryan and some truly vile actions by the administration,  in To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment , constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe and Joshua Matz warn that Impeachment is a very, very dangerous thing. Proceed with caution. For more, see David Frum’s review

The Charlevoix G7 is fast approaching. We highly recommend Jeremy Kinsman’s clear-eyed piece The G7: Hard Talk or a Sleep-Walk? When you have digested Jeremy’s analysis, move on to Zaki Laïdi’s excellent Is Multilateralism Finished?Although Donald Trump certainly deserves blame for disrupting global trade and security arrangements, the roots of today’s crisis of multilateralism run deeper than his presidency. As new powers emerge to rival the United States, the world should prepare for a future in which global cooperation is no longer an option
You might also want to have a look at Who’s winning the trade war? Everyone but Trump.

As much as possible, we will ignore the sham election in Venezuela, noting only that Canada, Latin American group of countries won’t recognize Venezuelan election

Last week it was Tom Wolfe, New York and New Journalism Legend, Dies at 88. This week, another literary giant, Philip Roth is gone

Tired of the slings and arrows of the immigration debate? Here is a heartening story from Australia:
Australia’s Immigration Solution: Small-Town Living — There are similar stories in Canada, but perhaps we should encourage our authorities to focus on this solution.
A very different side of the story is presented in As Population Growth Slows, Populism Surges
“The shift from global population growth toward population decline is emerging as one of the least appreciated forces that is, along with urbanization and digital disruption, upending the political and economic status quo.’

And now for some unrelated items to amuse or provoke you:

Robots fight weeds in challenge to agrochemical giants … the Swiss robot is one of new breed of AI weeders that investors say could disrupt the $100 billion pesticides and seeds industry by reducing the need for universal herbicides and the genetically modified (GM) crops that tolerate them.

The Red Phone Box, a British Icon, Stages a Comeback
Once unwanted relics, the booths are being retooled in imaginative ways, including as cellphone repair shops, tiny cafes and defibrillator sites.

The Curse of an Open Floor Plan
A flowing, connected interior—once a fringe experiment of American architectural modernism—has become ubiquitous, and beloved. But it promises a liberation from housework that remains a fantasy.
Schumacher Homes of Akron, Ohio, has a fresh new design on offer: a house with an open floor plan, with its kitchen, dining area, and living room all flowing into one another. But then, behind the first kitchen, lies another. A “messy” kitchen. There, the preparation for or remainders from a meal or party can be deposited for later cleanup, out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

To take your mind off Montreal’s never-ending cyclist controversy, check out Chez l’Éditeur A Montreal Publisher’s Coffee Shop Becomes a Cultural Gathering Place
“We welcome book clubs, creative writing workshops, and we’re about to launch a monthly storytelling morning for families,” Fortin told us.
And every Wednesday, an academic group called Thèsez-vous? organizes a thesis-writing workshop for graduate students at the café.Chez l’Éditeur has also hosted film shoots, podcast recording sessions, movie screenings, poetry nights, and book launches.

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