Pope Francis, The Apology, and the optics of performative penitence

  Gosh, that was some “penitential pilgrimage,” wasn’t it? Now that his visit to Canada is over, Pope Francis must be counting his blessings. After all, the historic and long-awaited papal apology on native land—an act of contrition for the terrible injustices that Indigenous children experienced in Church-run residential schools—went off pretty much as he might have planned it. His Holiness enjoyed saturation media coverage during a slow news week in the host country (even…

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Rapist, your time is up

Book review by Daniel Gawthrop posted on The British Columbia Review on June 26, 2022 Victim: A feminist manifesto from a fierce survivor by Karen Moe (Vigilance Press, 2022) $24.99 / 9781647044701 * For any new author seeking a large audience for a polemical work, the self-declared “manifesto” is a risky undertaking. Driven by the urgency of singular purpose, a manifesto in the wrong hands can result in the most artless of writing: self-righteous, tone-deaf…

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Oh, the good new hockey game

Book review by Daniel Gawthrop posted on The British Columbia Review on April 18, 2022 Overcoming the Neutral Zone Trap: Hockey’s Agents of Change by Cheryl A. MacDonald and Jonathon R.J. Edwards (editors) Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2021 $34.99 / 9781772125795 * To anyone who watches the game with a critical eye, it should not come as news that the mainstream hockey establishment suffers from a hyper-defensive gatekeeper mentality. For too long now, the…

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So, how do you like him now?

  The people knew nothing about Putin. And in three months he became president. Of course, we thought it was cool. We thought we’d saved the country from the Communists, from Primakov and Luzhkov. But now it’s not clear which outcome would have been worse. —Former Kremlin banker Sergei Pugachev, quoted in Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took on The West, by Catherine Belton (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020)  …

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A one-man freedom convoy

Book review by Daniel Gawthrop posted on The British Columbia Review (formerly the Ormsby Review) on February 25, 2022         man@the_airport: How Social Media Saved My Life. One Syrian’s Story by Hassan Al Kontar New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2021 $23.95 / 9781777010188 Given the staggering human toll of the civil war in Syria since 2011 — half a million dead, more than six and a half million internally displaced, another five and…

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