The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “citizenship

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 Third Place (Chapter 14) – Humanity”

Posted on August 16, 2018

Dad had to take care of some financial tasks at the bank down the street, but when he returned we journeyed back upstairs to the balcony, which because it was afternoon was no longer bathed in light.  A comfortable coolness fell over us.  Instead of lemonade, the preferred beverage was now coffee. “Alright,” Alessandra began, “I want to talk about politics and democracy, if you’re up to it that is.  I think I get why the Third Place is so important to you, but I’d like to know what you think of our modern era and why we’re having so much trouble keeping ourselves together.  I travel that U.S. more than any other place and I see it everywhere.  Do you think that’s what’s…

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 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…

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