Freaky caterpillars, toxic modern pressures, a reader poll, with a splash of water
July 17, 2022 – our second newsletter and Fran finds her spirit animal
Hello Northern Beaters!
Since it’s summer and there’s hot weather on the horizon, we suggest a little H20 with your reading this week.
So, grab a pan, find a stream, and follow writer-historian Michael Cranny into the Northern Interior as he explores BC’s past and present in placer gold mining, along with his own near-glory days as a wealthy prospector. If only he’d mortgaged his house, there might be a Crannytown near the Jack of Clubs Creek right now
Speaking of historical figures (mark my words), you may want to scroll through our profiles of Sonia Furstenau and Ellis Ross. Before you protest that reading about a politician is neither a light, nor sensible summer pastime, hear me out. On the surface, the leader of the BC Greens and the BC Liberal critic for LNG seem diametric opposites – which, they are politically – but personally, there’s some surprising similarities. Both fought big battles for their communities before entering provincial politics, both score off-the-charts on the integrity index with peers, and neither will flinch from bluntly stating a personal conviction if they think the situation warrants it. For a fun twist, if you lean right on the political continuum, try reading the profile of Sonia. For those tilting left, give Ellis a whirl. And when you find yourself muttering at the screen in disagreement, we hope you’ll treat it as a speed bump, not a roadblock, and hear them out to the end. Along the way, check out the fantastic photography in both profiles by Chad Hipolito. And [pivot] if you think caterpillars can’t be freaky, think again (yes, this is related).
On other fronts, Geoff Russ wrote an interesting column for the National Post about troubling trends in the far left following the re-election of Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Sticking with the extreme behaviours thread, Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen talked to Rob Shaw this week about how toxic public discourse influenced his decision not to run for NDP leader, a sentiment echoed by Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon in his choice not to pursue the leadership. And BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon voiced similar concerns related to his party’s candidate recruitment efforts.
For more on this modern burden of public life, check out Fear, loathing and ‘anti-politics’ in the Toronto Star, along with an earlier piece I wrote about harassment of public figures in BC. MLAs from all sides of the chamber have endured excessive verbal aggression and hyped-up online attacks from the public. If this keeps up, who will run for office? Only those with social media machines powerful enough to crush the competition? And what [shudder] will crushing the competition look like in the future social media universe?
Before we leave the NDP leadership race (which the party officially launched yesterday), a short poll: (it’s anonymous!)
Since we can’t end our ‘light summer reading’ edition with a nerdy political poll, you may want to stop by the Oak Bay Gazette parody twitter account for some eyeroll-harhar-dad-type humour (yes, dad, I mean you).
Or you could double-back on the water theme for a river finish with this Forgotten species piece by Tom Davis. If you’re more in the mood for a saltwater wrap-up, try Tom’s update on the southern resident killer whales. And if you click on only one link in this newsletter, make it this astounding adventure sequence featuring whale song and my new kindred spirit. (I am the penguin)
Oh yes, and pls share our work and consider a paid subscription if you like what we’re doing – either way, thanks for reading!
Until next week…