The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “progressive centre” Category

The Third Place (Chapter 13) – In Depth

Posted on August 15, 2018

The magazine had been a North American staple for thirty years, somehow emerging into the digital era with a colourful and in-depth glossy publication coupled with a highly polished digital facsimile.  With hundreds of similar folksy and craft-oriented competitors, Home Comfort never relinquished its top ranking in publications. It was a delightful day in late-spring when the two of them occupied one of the rounded balconies, outside on the second floor, where Dad was situated at a slight angle to the sun and Alessandra sat off to the side.  It was essentially a video shoot and partial interview, with Alessandra shooting film that would eventually appear on the magazine’s digital version.  While Finn and Daisy handled things downstairs, Mom and I were permitted to sit…

The Third Place (Chapter 12) – Home Comfort

Posted on August 14, 2018

She just appeared one day at lunch, looking professional – coiffed and elegant. Alessandra Acampora was bewitching in her own way that was mildly intoxicating.  She came through the front door wearing a summery short dress and white straw hat, her legs tanned and her hair sun-touched.  For fifty-two years of age she looked amazing. She was likely Home Comfort magazine’s best-known writer – cosmopolitan, well-travelled, but with a keen sense of the practical.  Her taste for those accoutrements that turned a house into an intimate gathering place reflected her Brazilian origins and interest in places that comfortably fit into their environment.  Over her eighteen-year career with the magazine she had featured the homes of movie stars, famous writers and pop stars, even the home of…

The Third Place (Chapter 11) – Chemistry

Posted on August 13, 2018

Values are remarkably tensile things, bringing humanity back to the fore while dispensing to the periphery those things less vital.  The Third Place wasn’t so much a business as it was a sanctuary, a tribute to the best that was in us all.  It summoned all manner of emotions and aspirations and even made the atmosphere somewhat quaintly electric with expectation.  I think that if it hadn’t existed I would never have seen those distinctive dimensions of my father that helped me to view him as someone more than just an adult figure.  It showed me the remarkable fluid partnership between my parents that was so much more than just two guardians watching over their children. I saw my community as an essentially good place,…

The Third Place (Chapter 10) – The Worst of Times

Posted on August 11, 2018

Aware that the rapid movement of wealth around the globe was slowly stripping the fibre of our community from our midst, along with so many other regions that had depended on basic manufacturing for economic survival, an inevitable sense of decline hovered over our city.  Gloom was everywhere.  It began when a couple of large auto parts suppliers shut down for good but inevitably picked up speed as other businesses first cut down on their services and then closed down altogether.  Social services reported record numbers of people seeking help and even our successful local sports teams succumbed to dispiriting losing streaks.  It was like some kind of emotional plague had infested the populace. In such situations,  communities can start coming apart or drawing…

The Third Place (Chapter 9) – Rebuttal

Posted on August 9, 2018

Eventually what was rumbling through Finn’s mind emerged, not in speech but in words. He had kept his anger and channelled it into something more creative.  What resulted was a piece of brilliant writing that seemed to set the universe right again. The local print newspaper responded quickly to Finn’s request to write a column on the need to see the Third Place for the remarkable operation that it really was. He told us nothing about it, but the newspaper had offered him a feature column in its Op-Ed section on a Saturday a few weeks following the online publishing of the university’s piece. It was Daisy that had risen early that morning and collected the paper from the front doorstep.  After sitting down for a…

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