The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “words

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…

Shakespeare’s Still Cool

Posted on April 18, 2018

We don’t know the exact date of his birth, but England’s most famous writer was born in the month of April in 1564 – 554 years and half a millennium ago.   Asked about William Shakespeare, author Virginia Woolf noted, “The very stone one kicks with one’s boot will outlast Shakespeare.”  Maybe yes, maybe no.  In a world full of easily accessed information and endless publications, it would be easy to assume that the great English bard has been transcended by our modern penchant for data. Virginia might have jumped the gun.  If we were to take the time to research our own words, we would discover that William Shakespeare adds punch to our own sayings.  British journalist Bernard Levin took on just such an…

Working on Myself

Posted on April 5, 2016

THE ACTION OF PUTTING WORDS ON PAPER or on a screen really isn’t rocket science – millions of people do it everyday. What’s more curious is why they do it, why they choose to take time out of their busy lives to put thoughts together in hopefully legible form? When Helvy Rosa, the Indonesian playwright, observed that, “You are what you write,” she provided a universal truth. Trolls voice their internal venom; lovers pen their sonnets of romance; researchers must unlock by the use of words the mysteries of scientific reasoning; political pundits enjoy dispensing their seasoned observations. People write the fountains bubbling within them, even when the water is poisoned. For some of us who write, the greatest creation in all of civilization…

It All Starts With Words

Posted on March 4, 2015

FORMER SLAVE AND ACTIVIST DURING the Civil War era, Frederick Douglass, spent much of his childhood in very difficult circumstances.  But he wanted to learn, and when he got the chance he jumped at it.  Learning to read introduced him, not only to Abraham Lincoln, but to a whole new world of freedom for himself and others.  He affirmed that very truth when he wrote, “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” I was honoured to be asked to write a guest blog for this This IS Literacy – a terrific London, Ontario organization that promotes and supports literacy for not just children, but entire families.  I wrote about my own children whom we adopted from Sudan and the challenge we faced…

  

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