Ottawa

OttawaBeechwood

Friends in Ottawa, I hope you can make it. Other events upcoming in Montreal and Toronto.

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The Panda Game is not the drunken mess it used to be

They played the 47th Panda Game last weekend. It was, as it has always been, a chance for the respective schools’ supporters to show enthusiasm for their educational institutions, cheering on the football teams as costumed proxies. These are not, by and large, big football fans. They are young people in search of something about which to scream. They are looking for a party. They are looking for a drink.

“The Panda Game: When Canadian College Football is a Big Deal,” for VICE Sports Canada

Prose in the Park

I’ll be in Ottawa to take part in Prose in the Park on June 6. I’ll be reading from What You Need at 5:00, but there’s plenty to take in all day long, and the weather looks promising. The Carleton Tavern is right next door, too, so there’s a fair-to-good chance you’ll find me there immediately before and/or after I read. Oh, and Invisible Publishing will be among the vendors on hand. Come, hear readings, watch panel discussions, buy books, say hello.

Like They Used To

When I say that games from twenty-five or twenty-nine years ago seem somehow better to me — simpler, or cleaner, or more exciting, or whatever — I am, in effect, listening to Springsteen. I’m conjuring a moment Before The Fall, a time predating life’s hinge, the point where The Past drops off into The Present and things cease making sense, or exist in stubbornly unresolved form. They are yet changeable, and mutability can make difficult a lazy comfort of the sort offered by nostalgia. That’s why the best heroes are dead ones.

“Like They Used To,” on the Kansas City Royals, and Bruce Springsteen, and Ottawa, and nostalgia, and other things, for The Classical

Our sense of safety

The primary target of any such attack is, of course, our sense of safety, which is to say our trust in the world around us, its people and spaces. The aim is to disrupt our sense of belonging and familiarity and to replace it with paranoia and dread; to challenge our ability to confidently navigate a world we once knew, but which has been defaced in an instant. For inasmuch as we live most of our lives believing ourselves somehow exempt from sudden violence, trust is what’s lost when an horrific event forces it to vacate our hearts, and allows fear to nest in its place.

— written, some time ago, in response to the Boston Marathon bombings, but just as true today, unfortunately. Be well, Ottawa.