Wednesday Night #1556

Wednesday Night is, of course, open for business between Christmas and New Year’s – which seems now to have been baptized Boxing Week.
As we await the predicted end-of-the year snows in our cocoon, we turn contemplative. First, with a sense of gratitude for the holiday season and the visit of our Singapore flock – it has been a wonderful visit, which some of you have shared with us, and in some way has meant that our apartment is now truly ‘home’.  Yes, we know that many of you have already enthusiastically – and supportively – adopted the new surroundings, but having family here has given a new sense of permanence to our cozy nest.
We hope that you have all been surrounded by warmth and love, whether from family or close friends, finding peace of mind, heart and soul, respite from the turbulent times of 2011, and recharging of spiritual/mental batteries for the challenges of 2012 – and challenges there will surely be.
Some of us have faced sad, difficult and/or disappointing events, and aggravations at a personal level – failing health (we prefer to think positively of health hiccups), loss of treasured friends and family members, including The Voice of Wednesday Nights Past, Lady (Karen) Hamilton, worries about family and friends in the parlous economic times, betrayals of hopes and dreams. Let us hope that with the love and support of those dearest to us, time will heal the wounds (and, we hope, wound the heels).
We celebrate others who have achieved something special during the year.
Michel Choquette without doubt deserves the highest praise for his long-in-preparation The Someday Funnies; he proteststhat it was not 40 years in the making, “although four decades elapsed between the time I undertook the project and the time the book finally saw the light of day.”
Terry and David Jones, on the other hand, have just published Forever Tandem, subtitled A love story with an ancillary passion for the Foreign Service – definitely 30 years in the making.
A few of our younger Wednesday Nighters have newly minted Ph.D.s under their belts – or more appropriately, on their résumés (Kyle Hill, Joumane Chahine, among others);
John Curtin (Chasing The Royals ) and Paul Carvalho (Montreal, mon amour, mon histoire) have produced great new documentaries and have more forthcoming.
Kimon Valaskakis is to be credited with the success of the success of The Montreal Dialogues
There’s much more among our talented group – these are only highlights.  We should also add that despite a squeaker, Marc Garneau was re-elected and is now the Liberal House Leader. Of all achievements of Wednesday Nighters, we should pay special tribute to the late Jack Layton for his central role in the incredible success of the NDP in the 2011 Federal election.

Inevitably, these last days before the New Year are given over to contemplating the events of the past one. It seems to us that 2011 has been particularly turbulent, although there are surely other years that were viewed as such by those who lived through them. We need only mention the (broken) promise of the Arab Spring, the seemingly increasing number of natural disasters, led by Japan’s tsunami, the continuing economic turmoil in the eurozone, Occupy Wall Street and all of the ancillary movements, prolonged political dysfunction in the U.S. ; Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel and Palestine, DSK, Durban – we could go on, but The Economist has already produced a pretty complete list  Canada continues to garner praise for good fiscal management, but there are those of us who are less than happy with the direction in which the Harper majority government is taking us, especially in terms of the country’s international stature.
We hope and pray that our leaders have learned from their (and to be fair, our) mistakes and will emerge somewhat better equipped to deal with what awaits us in 2012. It might be a good thing to pray for a new crop of leaders as the current ones may not be capable of self-correction.
Looking forward (more next week) – the Iowa Caucus on January 3rd and what will be an interminable U.S. presidential election – we still wonder at the paucity of real talent in the Republican party. But there will be many other presidential elections in 2012, including Finland, France, Mexico and Russia, not to mention that Mr. Mugabe has promised elections in Zimbabwe
As part of the collective reading assignment, we offer the following suggestions of news and non-news items worthy of consideration:
From the NYT Room for debate:  The Whole Family Under One Roof?
From Foreign Policy, Louise Arbour: Next Year’s Wars
For sheer delight: The Christmas Story from New Zealand
And for no particular reason: This Clever App Shows You Who You Emailed Most In 2011, And What Percent Of People Ignored Your Emails
Enjoy. We look forward to welcoming those of you who are not in exotic, warmer climates, or coping with (sorry, we meant enjoying) visitors and other social engagements. We wish you a happy end to 2011 – doubtless you are as glad to see the end of it as we are.

One Comment on "Wednesday Night #1556"

  1. David & Terry Jones December 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm ·

    We thank you profoundly for the generous boost that you’ve given Forever Tandem on the Wednesday Night site. It was fun to write and we hope that the more interesting “girl from Novosibirsk” will be thoroughly appreciated by our readers.
    More seriously, while I would agree about the lack of enthusiasm among observers of the Rep presidential candidates, it has not been for lack of searching. Several, starting with Mitt Romney, have substantial credentials (governor of a difficult state, heading U.S. olympics committee). Other governors (Perry, Texas; Pawlenty, MN) have dealt with complicated problems. Gingrich is widely known for energetic intelligence (balance and baggage are other stories). Recall the nonexperience of Senator Obama (two years into a first senatorial mandate vs Santorum who at least completed six years as senator).

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