Year-end pot pourri; The fate of reading; Christmas memory; Christmas Music of black America
A miscellany of year-end news, views, gripes and trivia - Michael Enright:
Why do municipalities always cave in to police budget demands? The Trudeau "nanny flap" was the dumbest story of the year. Could people please stop saying "thoughts and prayers"? Count on future job opportunities in tattoo removal and escalator repair. And many more!
Reading on a screen instead of from a page can harm your ability to concentrate: The digital revolution has changed what and how we read. But some say digital's innovations and convenience come with a cost. Naomi S. Baron is the author of Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World, which one reviewer described as "A clear call for common sense and reason that will likely fall on ears covered with headphones."
Listener mail: Reaction to MIchael's interview with William Watson
Documentary - A Song I Remember: More than sixty years ago, a little Dene boy, alone at a mission hospital, far from his home in Fort Resolution NWT, heard a rare Christmas carol that gave him much-needed comfort. A dozen years ago, Alex Tambour heard it sung again. Now - thanks to a choir outside Edmonton - he has his own recording of it. Our documentary is produced by Allison Devereaux.
Listener mail: Barry Lipton of Toronto remembers a mischievous Christmas concert, when he and a group of grade 6 boys decided to sing "Deck us all with Boston Charlie", a "fractured" Christmas carol by "Pogo" cartoonist Walt Kelly.
Robert Harris presents the Christmas music of black America: Our man about music make the case that while many of us are conflicted about Christmas (there's "the war on Christmas"; "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas") there's one community that has always loved Christmas and respected its music. Robert brings us some gospel, blues and jazz from Bessie Smith, the Fairfield Four, Fats Waller, Count Basie, Bill Evans, Tony Bennett and Dave McKenna.