Peter Kavanagh (“Enough with Scandinavia Chic,” December) thinks Lars Mytting, author of Norwegian Wood, falls victim to a uniquely Scandinavian brand of smugness. I heard Mytting interviewed on the radio, and he perfectly understands the humour in his quirky subject. Unlike Kavanagh, he seemed neither smug nor obnoxious. I’ll be burning this story, using wood I chop with Mytting’s tips.
@walrusmagazine your #Scandinavia jokes are lazy like tired old “aboot” and “igloo” Canada stereotypes. At least be interesting about it .
—Carey Toane @Careygrrl
My mom and I are grateful for Saskatchewan’s online records and the Mormon genealogists who helped put them there (“Digitizing the Dead,” December). We’re researching the homestead experiences of her family at the turn of the twentieth century and were thrilled to find a land claim made by her grandfather. I live in Quebec, and she’s in Alberta, so we wouldn’t have found it without the Saskatchewan archives.
How surprising to see online comments allowed under a story condemning them (“Me against the Troll Army,” December). I wish that the author weren’t right and that we could have intelligent conversations online, facilitated by journalists. Instead, vitriol pervades comment boards and social media. Still, I’m determined to allow alternative opinions into my life: it’s dangerous to delete them.
Two changes will eliminate much of the abuse. First, do not allow anonymous comments. Second, use a live moderator. The writer has my sympathy—for several years, I was a web editor at the Winnipeg Free Press and moderating comments was one of my duties—but when you’re in control, the cesspool smells only as bad you let it.
To date on thewalrus.ca, the comments under this story are all supportive. You want to eliminate such positivity in order to avoid negativity? We can’t sacrifice the good. Instead, choose to resist the bad.
North Vancouver, BC
nope . . . keep comments. Comments are an online thermometer, plus getting rid of comments is cowardly.
—Sammy Younan @mypalsammy
Code Blew It
I was disappointed to see The Walrus publish this so-called medical history (“Doctors without Science,” December). This great-men-and-their-scientific-discoveries style of writing is long out of fashion. Modern scientific discoveries are obviously significant, but we cannot forget their roots. The authors would do well to read a bit of history and see how today’s practices stem from the very “dark ages” they disparage.
O little town
Like Richard Kemick, I’ve been enchanted with the idea of a Christmas village for some time (“Playing God,” December). Unlike him, I’ve managed to avoid buying a single piece. I’m restrained by fear—must avoid falling into the rabbit hole.
As a member of the large international community of miniaturists, I completely understand this hysterical line: “My mother has bought me two churches in the past two years, decimating my tax base.” Miniatures are constructed worlds that are alive and tell stories. Wonderful.
Bryn Mawr, PA
Nicholas Hune-Brown’s piece (“Hockey’s Puppy Mill,” December) covering a lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League raises the following question: Are teams interested in seeing each player develop as fully as possible? Teams profit from winning games, not nurturing talent. In European football, alternatively, youth teams are contractually tied to the higher levels of the sport. Coaches in charge of children have a vested interest in the player’s personal growth, as opposed to the team’s success. Future generations of Canadian athletes could be served better.
This appeared in the March 2016 issue.