Among the lowlights of this week’s reading and listening was tuning into a CBC Radio noon call-in show while sick with the flu, only to find the theme of the show to be how bad this year’s flu season is. Salt in the wound, really.
But there were highlights. Here are a few:
1) I’m packing for a quick out-of-town trip this weekend. No matter how daunting the packing job is, at least I’m not packing for a SEVEN YEAR odyssey.
2) I’m making space in my bag for two books I hadn’t even heard of until yesterday. But the obituary of Evan S. Connell suggests these books are well worth a read (and perhaps the movies worth a watch?)
3) A friend passed along an article by the great Howard French about Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions (French’s book A Continent for the Taking is a must-read). (The friend who passed that French article along has also written about Chungking Mansions, here).
4) The westward shift of Canada’s economy is nothing new, but here’s a fresh look at the issue, seemingly poking a hole in the argument that as the oil sands go so goes Ontario’s manufacturing sector.
5) This evening I was reading some reviews of the new Lincoln movie when I fell into an internet wormhole and ended up watching a TV appearance of the last surviving witness of Lincoln’s assassination. Samuel J Seymour was five when he attended the Ford Theatre the night Lincoln was shot. Here he is appearing on a 1956 game show (with Lucille Ball as one of the celebrity panelists), two months before he passed away. Crazy.
6) Hearing a song by The Band on the radio sent me spiralling down another internet wormhole listening to songs of theirs sung by the late, great Richard Manuel. Here he is singing Georgia on My Mind in 1975, I believe on Saturday Night Live. Here he is with another great one, I Shall Be Released from the 70s. Unfortunately the decline of his voice from years of drug and alcohol abuse is apparent in a later version of I Shall Be Released, from 1984, less than two years before his death.