The Sunday Edition for January 19, 2020
Listen to this week's episode with host Michael Enright:
The war on pedestrians — Michael's Essay: "The carnage of pedestrian deaths in our major cities and towns continues unabated. Last year, Toronto saw 40 deaths. Pedestrians are struck by cars at a rate of three a day. In one four-and-a-half hour period in 2018, 17 pedestrians were hit by cars. Last year set a record of pedestrian deaths in Montreal — 24. In BC, there were 49 pedestrian deaths. What is especially galling about these numbers is the fact that these terrible deaths were preventable."
Privatization impoverishing the public: With her latest book, Linda McQuaig writes that Canada was built by massive public investment in things like railways, energy, medicare and public spaces. But in the last 25 years, governments have been on a privatization spree — a boon for business at the expense of the public sphere. In The Sport and Prey of Capitalists; How the Rich Are Stealing Canada's Public Wealth, McQuaig argues for bucking prevailing political and economic opinion and expanding — not shrinking — publicly funded projects.
A friendship forged through Dostoevsky and Leonard Cohen: Mikhail Rukhov is a computer engineer who grew up in the Soviet Union, playing banned cassettes and his guitar. After the Soviet Union collapsed, he made his way to Canada and eventually to Jerry Golland's ESL classroom in Ottawa. The two men found a "secret chord" that still connects them. David Gutnick's documentary is called "All of Us Are Sputniks."
A "professional human": Daniel MacIvor is one of Canada's best and most original actors and playwrights. He's won pretty much every theatrical award it's possible to win in this country. He pours just about everything into his work, especially a lot of himself: his fears, his needs and his ambitions — befitting someone who describes his work as being a "professional human". With his latest one-man play, Let's Run Away, opening in Calgary next week, MacIvor talks about writing, acting and growing up gay in Cape Breton.
Iraqis are fed up with violence, instability, corruption and now the U.S.-Iran conflict: Seventeen years after the US-led invasion that ended Saddam Hussein's regime, peace, prosperity, stability or good government still have yet to come to the Iraqi people. And now they find themselves in the middle of the US-Iran conflict. Yanar Mohammed is an Iraqi-Canadian feminist who was in the thick of anti-government protests that filled Baghdad's streets last year, and she knows well the fears, frustrations and hopes of Iraqis as they nervously await Iran's and the US's next moves.
Remembering Roger Scruton: Conservative philosophy might strike some as a bit hidebound, stodgy or dull. Sir Roger Scruton might have been infuriating to his detractors, but he was anything but boring. He was Britain's most influential and perhaps most entertaining philosopher — one who delighted in tweaking liberal sensibilities, and one whose knowledge of philosophy and wide-ranging intellect was indisputable. Sir Roger died last Sunday at the age of 75, and we'll revisit Michael's 2017 interview with him. (Repeat)
Mail: Gene-edited food, audiobooks
Music this week by: Mozart, Leonard Cohen, Hossein Behroozinia, The Bob Mintzer Big Band, Guido Basso, Benny Goodman and Neil Peart