The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Citizenship” Category

The World We Want

Posted on November 15, 2018

Over lunch with a civil society leader in our community last week, there was concern expressed over how she feels our Canadian cities are becoming increasingly split over ideologies, never-ending opinions, online mischief and a rampant kind of identity politics.  She asked if I could send her any writings that could give her some hope for a future kind of citizenship that can overcome forces seeking to pull us apart through a rededication to community life.  I sent her the following quotes from Mark Kingwell’s book The World We Want, among others.  Written almost 20 years ago, it remains more relevant than ever and I thought I’d pass them along. “We must trust to listen to the other whom we do not yet know,…

The Secret Nook – Now Available

Posted on November 10, 2018

A dream.  A flashback.  A moment in time that might hold out hope for what was becoming an empty life.  But first she must discover what the dream meant and, more importantly, where it had occurred. Meadow Hartley left her gift and passions behind two decades earlier following the loss of her parents in a tragic car crash.  In the rural expanses of Virginia, she begins the long and heartfelt process of putting her life back together with the help of her old art instructor and the desire to recapture what had been lost. But there is a twist: instead of going back into her childhood, she must move into the future and see what she will become. The Secret Nook is a novella…

Is It This or That?

Posted on November 6, 2018

The American midterms today will be just another reminder of democracy’s strong tendency to be overly concerned over what people believe instead of what is true, to be lulled into being persuaded by perception rather than reality. Millennia ago, even Plato warned against the propensity to permit persuasion to overshadow the problem of knowledge. The distinction between blind belief and knowledge has only become more blurred  in the social media era. Take a citizenry, especially of the mass-consumer and tech savvy variety, and the potential is huge for fabrication, half-truths, misnomers, outright lies, and innuendo. While such things remain a temptation in fields like advertising, it is now a reality that politics excels at it. Why? Because such perpetrators know we are vulnerable to…

The Secret Nook – Epilogue

Posted on November 4, 2018

The final step was a big one and he slipped as he descended to the pavement.  Luckily, the bus driver, with a practiced preparedness, caught him on the way down, avoiding the inevitable crunch that would likely have occurred.  The older man bowed in appreciation, then went to the side of the bus to claim his rolling bag. For Duyi Koay, it had been some 15 years since he had been to Williamsburg.  His partial paralysis had made travel complicated and frequently painful, causing him to build his world around his studio outside of Clifton Forge.  A series of taxis waiting in a lengthy line provided a sense of relief as he ventured over to the leading vehicle. “Need a ride, sir?” the driver…

High Speed Hate

Posted on November 1, 2018

It’s no accident that the New York Timespublished a piece by Frank Bruni this week titled, “The Internet Will Be the Death of Us” directly following the murders of the 11 Jewish worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue. In its concluding paragraph, the column noted: “I don’t know exactly how we square free speech and free expression with a better policing of the Internet, but I’m certain that we need to approach that challenge with more urgency than we have mustered so far. Democracy is at stake.  So are lives.” We can no longer ignore the direct line that runs from Internet hatred to the loss of life.  But neither can we claim ignorance anymore that the haters, trolls and agitators with mendacity on their minds and…

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