OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Prodded by the rising tide of intolerance for those who profess pro-life convictions – most pointedly and menacingly expressed by no one less than Prime Minister Happy Socks himself (with his exclusion of pro-life MPs from the Liberal Party; his endlessly repeated falsehood that unrestricted abortion is a Charter-enshrined right; his ugly stipulation that any organization looking for taxpayer funds to assist in hiring students for summer jobs must first attest that they are not pro-life) my wife and I decided it was time to walk the walk and made our way up to Ottawa for the 20th annual National March for Life on Thursday, May 10th; the traditional Feast of the Ascension.
LONDON, ONTARIO - One year shy of its 30th birthday, publisher N. Breton Downe has unwittingly invoked one of George Herbert Walker Bush’s favourite phrases and announced that “it would not be prudent” to continue publishing SCENE magazine any longer. The prudence which Downe is now heeding is of the business/fiscal kind. From that moment when he was visiting his sister in Toronto in the mid ‘80s, picked up a NOW magazine and wondered if something along similar lines might not be doable in London, profitability has always been his lodestar. And indeed, that’s as it should be if you’re going to venture into a line of enterprise such as publishing where it’s so treacherously easy to take a blowtorch to your life savings.
LONDON, ONTARIO – Ex-980 talk radio host and London Yodeller columnist, Andrew Lawton, is reaping a perfect whirlwind of hysterical abuse since tossing his trademark ten gallon hat into the ring as the Progressive Conservative candidate for London West in next month’s provincial election.
Hatred of the Wynne and McGuinty Liberals is so widespread and so pronounced right now as they try to hang on and extend their 15-year reign at the top of the greasy pole that we could well see a PC sweep that will carry Lawton into the office he seeks. But even if he should get elected, it’s all but guaranteed that there will be no post-election honeymoon for Lawton.
LONDON, ONTARIO - Well, here’s a seriously fabulous novel I’d never even heard of until I pulled out a slightly battered but otherwise gorgeous 1969 Folio Society edition from the new arrivals cart at Attic Books a couple years ago. First published in 1827, then refined and reworked into a definitive edition in 1842, The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi is the Italian title) is the only novel written by Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873). In Italy, this grand historical novel is revered to this day. No Italian gets through high school without reading it and schools, streets and cinemas are named after its author. Manzoni received a full state funeral at the time of his death and one year later Verdi premiered his decidedly operatic Requiem in commemoration of Manzoni at St. Mark’s Church in the author’s hometown of Milan.
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