Emily M. Keeler
As the temperature dips, I find myself thinking mostly about bodies and heat. Something about snow makes me crave spice, and I’m not the only one, not by a long shot. Even here at Hazlitt there’s a renewed interest in getting under the covers—you’ve already listened to the latest (sexiest?) episode of The Arcade podcast, right?
After today, the flowers will be gone for another year. At 11 this morning, did you think about Vimy Ridge, or Kandahar? Next year, Canada will be a country at peace, but for now we are remembering everything we’ve broken and all we’ve burned. Doug Saunders makes the eloquent point that you should consider our government’s current track record with new vets, including cutting back their pensions. Today at 11, I thought of the people I know who serve in the armed forces, with a near-anguished sense of complicated gratitude in my heart.
Okay, so, the Mayor of Toronto. So many layers to this story. There’s Robyn Doolittle, author of the forthcoming Crazy Town, recounting the beginning of the crack-scandal in the Toronto Star. There’s this sanctimonious Freddie De Boer piece in Jacobin about Gawker’s addiction to this story. (Gawker isn’t really my cup of tea, and Jacobin’s hardly my jug of cat piss either—but that’s the thing with this story, it’s taking us all to places we’d rather not be.)
Today in animal news worth knowing: a man was caught smuggling 25 parrot eggs in his underpants as he tried to breeze through Swiss customs. Meanwhile, some marsupials are so horny they literally are dying for sex. And Iringa, Thika, and Toka, the elderly elephants formally of the Toronto Zoo, begin their long journey to a pachyderm retirement home in California today. While all involved agree that the trio require a warmer, more peaceful environment than Toronto can give them, the move is not without controversy; the elephants’ former caretakers are worried about how they’ll fare on the drive, and their campaign to have Iringa, Thika, and Toka flown to their new home was rejected by city council as too expensive. Hazlitt contributor Nick Hune-Brown wrote a lovely feature about the elephants before their fate was decided, if you have the inclination to learn more about the creatures as they face this big change.
If you were anywhere on the Internet this morning, you heard that Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She’s technically not the first Canadian to do so: Montreal-born Saul Bellow was in, in 1976, though he spent his entire writing life living in the States. Munro is however, the first person to win the prize with a Canadian home address.
We know about Too Soon, but how much time does it take for an idea, essay, or joke, to be Too Late? I can’t keep track of how tight the cycle is nowadays. Has the buzz been drained, in only a week, from Jonathan Franzen’s longwinded rambling? Either way, I’m urging you to make time for Lydia Kiesling’s short little meditation on Twitter and Franzen, because it is, one, excellent, and two, the most thoughtful piece I’ve read about the experience of using Twitter as a writer in the past year at least, if not ever.