Michael's Essays

For the Love of Radio - Michael's Essay

You probably missed it; I know I did. Last February 13 was World Radio Day....

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FIFA Football Frenzy, Unmasked

Last year in the Brazilian town of Centro de Meio, two amateur teams were playing...

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The Pursuit of Poetry

Poetry can come at you at just the wrong time. Like when you are fifteen...

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The Folly of Commemorating War: D-Day 70th Anniversary

On Friday, world leaders, veterans, school children, television networks and royalty will mark the 70th...

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How Police Record Checks Can Harm the Innocent: Michael's essay

A law enforcement agency, any law enforcement agency, is, by its very nature, a blunt...

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Harper v. McLachlin is a Supreme spat

If you want to learn about the last time a political leader openly fought a...

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Annie Get Your Gun: Michael's Essay

It is awfully hard to say something positive about the National Rifle Association, every mass...

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The Shop That Ties Built

An old man died in Hamilton last month. He would have turned 100 had he...

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A New Cold War? Michael's essay

On Jan. 29th, 1964, at the height of the Cold War, Stanley Kubrick released his...

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Is the NHL complicit in hockey violence? Michael's essay

The most important season of the year in this country is underway: the hockey playoffs....

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All Fuddle-Duddled Up Over Profanity

On February 16th, 1971, the leading editorial managers of The Globe and Mail faced a...

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Can playgrounds be too safe?

My eldest son got a haircut last week, a close cut which revealed a two-inch...

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Michael's Essay: Fire Safety is Out of Bounds in First Nations

Iesha Rabbitskin was 10 years old when she died. She had a huge smile with...

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The Hitler analogy

For the past couple of weeks, we have been subjected in our media to a...

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Rogue mayors who are not Rob Ford

Last Sunday, the august New York Times rhapsodized at great length about the cultural and...

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Innocent until Proven Guilty - Except on Remand

When we put someone in jail, deprive them of their liberty, the incarceration usually follows...

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Michael's Essay: Paying for Organs

Sometimes it seems as though newspapers and electronic media exist mainly to report the results...

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Michael's essay: My cell phone addiction

Earlier this week, I lost my cell phone. Which, of course, prompts that most annoying...

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Remembering Pete Seeger: Michael's essay

Inscribed around the rim of his banjo are these words: "This machine surrounds hate and...

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Michael's Essay: Why I decided to give up my car

The American essayist E.B. White, of sainted memory, said this about cars: "Everything in life...

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Michael's Essay: Exploding the myth that second-hand smoke causes cancer

There are a number of 50th anniversaries to mark in 2014. Some are good, like...

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Michael's essay: Obamacare's disastrous debut

A couple of summers ago, a friend from Maryland was vacationing in his favourite Nova...

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9 Things We Learned from the Christmas Ice Storm: Michael's essay

Nine things we learned from the great Christmas ice storm and tree fall:    1) No...

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They Sure Don't Make Nostalgia Like They Used To ...

The other day at breakfast, my friend Jack was bemoaning the loss of something which...

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The Agony and The Ecstasy of the School Christmas Concert

Note: This essay was first written and broadcast some years ago, when Michael's son was...

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Michael's Essay: In Praise of Translator Sheila Fischman

Cervantes called translation "the other side of the tapestry." According to the late, cranky British...

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Michael's Essay: The Moral Force Field of Nelson Mandela

How can it be said of a man who spent nearly 30 years in a jail...

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Michael's Essay: Canada's prisons are crowded, violent, and do not rehabilitate

If you've read the Auditor General's Report this week, you can get some idea...

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Michael's Essay: No media conspiracy here, folks.

The literal meaning of the word conspire is to "breathe together." People focusing on a...

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Michael's Essay: Why it's "totally" o.k. for teenagers to say "like" so much

I was explaining an aspect of Emersonian universalism to a testy teenager of close acquaintance...

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Michael's Essay: Rob Ford and other populist mayors from the 'burbs

Everybody knew, from the day of his inauguration, that the mayor was combustible material. He...

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Michael's Essay: Zombies 'R Us

    I never caught on to the whole zombie thing.    Zombies are so in and...

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Michael's Essay: Gun culture after the Newtown school shooting

This coming December 14, it will be one year since the massacre of the children ...

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Burying Jimmy Corrigan

They took Jimmy Corrigan back to Red Island for burial last month. They took him...

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Michael's Essay: W. Cleon Skousen, Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and the U.S. government shutdown

The Tea Party, the political organization formerly known as the Republican Party, shut down the...

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Michael's Essay: Could Atheists please stop complaining?

If the atheists of the world could ever organize themselves into a non-religious church, their...

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Michael's Essay: Policing the Police

No segment of civilian society has been more mythologized than our police forces. Most of...

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Michael's Essay: Seamus Heaney's last words to his wife

They buried Seamus Heaney in his Londonderry village the other day, after a Dublin funeral...

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Michael's Essay: On Summer

Time doesn't merely pass. It runs. It flees like a thief in the night.And in...

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George Orwell, meet Dr. Strangelove: Michael's Essay

The comic irony in the whole Prism/NSA spy surveillance disclosures is Barack Obama's call this...

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