Dirty Old Town

Rod Stewart:


U2 turning it into a bad drinking song:

Traditional song, as of 1949, written by Ewan MacColl.

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Dion Conversion II

Sometimes (often?) it sticks. As with Dion, speaking With Doug Keck:

Where there is some universal:

As when he explains it in many ways.

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When do we know…

…the egocentric likes to feel part of a team of conspirators against “the others”. This often ends up with one team being pitted against another. It is very difficult for such managers to deal with themselves and for subordinates to deal with them.

According to Paschen and Dihsmaier, people with such personality disorders generally cannot cope with the knowledge they have. They reject any criticism and, most of all, the disorders themselves.

Brian Bloch, “Beware of bosses’ Jekyll & Hyde side”. The Telegraph, September 13, 2007.

So easy to be inconsistent. Little virtue in being unpredictable.

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In March of this year, Loblaws announced that it would build 50 new stores and renovate 100 more, at a cost of $1.2 billion, in 2015. In July, Loblaws announced that it would close 52 “consistently unprofitable” stores over the next twelve months. The 52 closures are not exclusively food stores, but include “gas bars, Joe Fresh stand alone stores and select pharmacies and grocery stores”.

The expansions and renovations in 2015 are estimated to create 5,000 jobs. The number of people affected by the closures is not disclosed. Nor are the locations disclosed. In any given year, 10 to 15 Loblaws-owned stores, in various formats, are closed, out of a total “inventory” of 2,300 stores.

Much of Loblaws is unionized, at least in the grocery stores. Always wonder whether it is possible to offer a business for purchase by a union, or with union funds, as an option to closure. Have written about this previously. Loblaws has a franchise operation: Your Independent Grocer. Would it be possible for a Loblaws store, otherwise closed, to be turned into a union-financed Your Independent Grocer?

Turns out there is a long history of worker buyouts of businesses that would otherwise be closed. However, longer-term employee ownership, or harmonious employee ownership appears to be comparatively smaller.

Still, as an option…

Posted in Business Closures, Business Commentary | Leave a comment


Wonder about so many women with religious callings who have reservations, since the call may not be fulfilled. The prohibition against a female acting as a priest in a Catholic service, even if having made similar religious vows as a nun. In Islam, women are prohibited from leading prayer services, or otherwise acting as an Imam, though this is subject to debate and more debate. Similar to non-Catholic Christian denominations and non-Orthodox Jewish denominations, it seems that there needs to be a split from orthodoxy before a woman can lead in prayer. Or try to work within, amidst controversy, such as Roman Catholic Womenpriests.

My great-aunt was a nun, who had a fulfilling academic career, courtesy of the support of the Sisters of St. Joseph, but never led a service, even if she had wanted to. Thinking about the sisters of the Community Notre Dame du Cap, who regularly participate in the service at St. Augustine of Canterbury parish, in Toronto. But do not lead. The participation in the communion service being itself a rarity.

Yet there are female prophets in Christianity, in Judaism and in Hinduism. In Buddhism, women may be ordained. There appear to be no female prophets recognized in Islam, unless they also recognized certain female Judeo-Christian prophets as they do certain male Judeo-Christian prophets.

If one has the light–one of those rare people, across religions, with the light–it would seem contrary to all faith to constrain in any way.

Posted in Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism | Leave a comment

Slap, Stand II

Have written about teacher violence in primary school. Didn’t appreciate how much worse it could get in rural areas, during the 1960s (and ending when?)

Friend told me about a childhood in a one room schoolhouse, where the teacher seemed to have a particular dislike for his brother.

I’ll always remember how the teacher one day jumped over two rows of desks to get at my brother. Dragged him outside and kicked him in the balls.

Didn’t you complain to your parents?

No. Would have been worse. The teacher was always right. Could have ended up getting pounded again. Maybe both of us. One for telling, the other for doing. Something.

All this power, tied to a bestial view of human nature generally, and children in particular. No sense of encouragement of innocents. Christian Brothers attitudes, direct or indirect.

Posted in Catholicism, Education - Primary and Secondary | Leave a comment


Books seem to be behaving in a different way.
I think they play a different role in our lives.

Heather Reisman, 2014, “Indigo still a ‘huge believer in books'”

News that sales of electronic books, such as via Kindle, are on the decline. People going back to hardcover books and paperbacks. There remains a continuing decline in the sale of hard copies of newspapers and magazines, plus music CDs and film DVDs.

Declines in copy sales of music and film make sense. One does not regularly see a film more than once, and the film rental business was grounded in limited access to such films on demand elsewhere. Most people who listen to music don’t feel the need to be holding the case and reviewing the music credits detailed on the label or liner. Such was also the case decades ago, when people would buy records in order to hear favourite songs on demand, but had much less interest in what was going on behind the music. So when the music is available digitally on demand, no need to purchase a CD. The increase in sales of vinyl records seems to relate to a relatively minor market. People are said to like vinyl because it has a more permanent sense to it, whereas digital recordings are regarded as more disposable. So much so that, quite apart from the decline in the sales of CDS, there is also a decline in revenues from digital downloads. People are quite happy to stream music, without feeling a need to possess any of it.

Maybe the same disposable nature is associated with magazines and newspapers. Most people did not retain magazines or newspapers for extended periods, and both were more popular before much of such information was available online, and often at no charge. People may say that there is nothing to compare with the physical experience of reading a newspaper or magazine, but since they are regarded as disposable in any event, digital approximations, preferably free, will suffice for most.

So one is left with books that seem to continue to be associated a greater degree of social interest, when in physical form. Perhaps how we define ourselves:

Only a bookshelf can truly hold a reader’s history and future at the same time, while the present is usually found in a book bag or on a nightstand nearby.

Peter Knox, “What does your bookshelf say about you?”. The Guardian, September 7, 2012.

Posted in Books, Film, Magazines, Music, Newspapers | Leave a comment