• books,  letter writing,  politics

    Thoughts about the kid’s book The Stamp Collector

    I borrowed the book The Stamp Collector from the library because I thought it might be another cute book about collections, and in a way it is but its also much darker and more relevant than that. The story starts like a folk tale with the city boy who loves stamps and a country boy who loves words, but the city boy becomes a guard and the country boy a prisoner. The pictures of the book are stunning explorations of contrast, most with one or two dominant colors, and everywhere stamps and postmarks. (The postmarks in themselves look somewhat ominous, like government stamps on every picture certifying something about them. Not necessarily approval.) The stamps…

  • activism,  climate change,  letter writing,  politics

    Social Justice Activism and the pursuit of low-hanging fruit

    An older picture of one of my sons at a political protest. One of the questions that keeps popping up in my life is whether or not we should take the time for the low-hanging fruit or not. This comes up in activist issues. Do we spend time campaigning for something practical and possible like a $14 an hour minimum wage (giving Ontario workers 10% above the poverty line) or do we try to tackle the big problems like reforming capitalism? Do we worry about whether or not people on social assistance can pay their rent or do we try to stop the total transformation of the planet from global…

  • letter writing,  meaning of life,  politics,  the ethical life

    writing letters to politicians

    My days seem a strange mix of tobogganing with the kids, cooking, reading to them, helping them with schoolwork and trying every day to understand the world around me and how I can be an influence in it. I feel very muddled. I haven’t been reading any books the past week or so really, just trying to catch up on the news and understand a bit about the new players in the Ontario Provincial Parliament. I am ever so slightly hopeful that Kathleen Wynne will at least try to live up to what she said she’d like to be: the social justice Premier of Ontario. I’m really hoping her appointing of…