The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Chris Turner’s “Calgary Reconsidered” (June) is generally insightful and well grounded. That said, a rumination on his adopted hometown that does not once mention a political culture that has been instrumental in spawning egregiously dysfunctional social, environmental, and cultural policies misses an important point.
As a native Calgarian who moved to Montreal over ten years ago, I can appreciate the insight of the outsider who decides to stay. Having spent the first three decades of my life in Calgary, perhaps I understand (or understood) the city in a way a newcomer might not — just as many aspects of Montreal will be forever lost on me. However, choosing your hometown also lends a different perspective the native may be missing.
That was beautiful. You nailed many of the feelings I have about Calgary and why, somehow, I came back after moving away and fell in love with the city again.
I was surprised how closely Turner’s article depicts many of my own sentiments of the city I have called home for the past thirteen years.
Chris Turner’s cover story paints conservatism as a deviant political point of view. People from eastern Canada love to look down their noses at the Stampede and our politicians, but despite their high-society standards they keep moving here for jobs. Why so hypocritical?
Chris Turner erroneously states that Calgary had Canada’s first LRT system, completed in 1981. Proud Edmontonians know that theirs was the first city in North America with a metropolitan population under one million to have a light rail system. It opened on April 22, 1978, in time for the Commonwealth Games.
This otherwise excellent article makes an error: Calgary is not “the only large municipality in the country that encompasses not just the inner city, but all of its suburbs.” In 2001, by provincial legislation, eleven municipalities and the Region of Ottawa-Carleton were amalgamated into the City of Ottawa, which now extends, as Ottawa Citizen journalist David Reevely recently put it, “from the tattoo parlours of Rideau Street to the dairy farms of Osgoode.”
#Calgary reconsidered: overall tone of article is overwhelmingly condescending & irritating, but interesting read still.
John Lorinc’s article on state repression (“The New Cold War,” June) unfortunately uses the name Myanmar. That name is an invention of the brutal dictatorship that seized power in 1989, and its use tacitly endorses that regime. Burma is the preferred usage by NGOs, human rights advocates, and anyone wishing to respect the history of the Burmese people (including, it should be noted, the Canadian government).
Great essay from this month’s @walrusmagazine: cyber espionage and censorship is alive and well.
Maybe Joseph Heath saw Nadir Mohamed at his yearly checkup (“Nadir and Me,” June)? If I were a Canadian, I would use my health care for this, too. But what would you bet, if he had to have major surgery or cancer treatment, he would cross the border, as many other Canadians do? The truth is, Americans subsidize their system.
New York, NY
Great anecdote about the “perils” of socialized health care.
John Macfarlane’s Editor’s Note (June) was spot-on. Rarely does a serious publication question the morality of attack ads. During the last federal election, commentators regularly expressed their disgust about the latest attack ad, before adding the mantra “But they work.” The only thing more disgusting than the ads was that Canadians were not absolutely outraged by their use. Unless that changes, Harper will keep using them, and we will all lose.
It is unfortunate that John Macfarlane used the Trayvon Martin shooting as a starting point to discuss the divisive nature of attack ads. In using this incident, you have trivialized it to make a far less important point. Are Canadians so insecure that we take solace in thinking this could not have happened here?
A Line in the Oil Sand
I am not surprised that The Walrus came away with gold at the thirty-fifth National Magazine Awards. But lately I’ve been a little perturbed by the two-page Enbridge ad inside the cover.
I realize that advertising is the lifeblood of a magazine, and that lucrative ad dollars are tempting, but The Walrus should look more carefully at the environmental impact of Enbridge’s operations before committing its pages to the company’s attempts to appear environmentally responsible.
“Ringmasters” (June) contains a mistake in geography. Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, is located downstream from Montreal on the St. Lawrence River. “The New Cold War” (June) miscalculated information from a 2002 study of global Internet access. The piece should have stated that up to 20 percent of URL categories were unavailable in China at the time. The Walrus regrets the errors.
This appeared in the September 2012 issue.