SONGS TO LISTEN TO WHILE READING MY ARTICLE

by UTP Journals on September 14, 2017

Written by guest blogger, Eric Spalding.


 

Below is a playlist to listen to while reading my article on Canadian content regulations for commercial radio in the 1970s. I tried to think of favourite Canadian songs that I heard on the radio back in that decade, when I was a teen growing up in Montreal, and that don’t seem to get much airplay nowadays.
 
Walter Rossi, “Soldiers in the Night” (1978).
I see this number as a Canadian counterpart to Brit Al Stewart’s “Roads to Moscow.” It’s beautifully arranged and performed, with a lot of drama and ambience. I like the way it just builds and builds. Rossi is a talented guitarist and singer who, like so many, never broke through to a mass audience.
 
Lavender Hill Mob, “Dream Away” (1977).
Here’s a very catchy pop song from a Montreal band that is almost forgotten today. I remember listening to “Dream Away” on CKGM-AM and enjoying it. My nostalgia for the song grew over the decades because I had no way of hearing it until someone posted it onto YouTube a few short years ago.
 
Klaatu, “Sub-Rosa Subway” (1976).
As a fan of the Beatles and Wings, I was taken by this song when I first heard it on the radio because it sounded so much like a cross between those two bands. So I got the 45 and also developed a liking for the flip side, “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft,” which the Carpenters covered in 1977. Much later, I bought Peaks, a Klaatu best-of compilation. But “Sub-Rosa Subway” remains my favourite by this Toronto trio.
 
Chilliwack, “Something Better” (1977).
This song was on this BC group’s Dreams, Dreams, Dreams album, which I played over and over again in my teens. I loved the first two singles from it, “California Girl” and “Fly at Night,” both of which I hear on classic-rock radio to this day. In my view, these two numbers unfairly overshadow the third single from the album, “Something Better,” an intense song with a great hook (that sequence of four rising notes right at the start).
 
If you liked the four songs above, I also recommend April Wine, “Comin’ Right Down on Top of Me” (1978), unjustly neglected relative to two other tracks on the band’s First Glance album, “Rock & Roll Is a Vicious Game” and “Roller,” and Randy Bachman, “Is the Night Too Cold for Dancin’?” (1978), a tuneful ballad that should have done better on the charts than it did. Rock on!
 
Eric Spalding (2017). Turning Point: The Origins of Canadian Content Requirements for Commercial Radio. Journal of Canadian Studies (Volume 50 Issue 3). Eric’s article is now available to read on JCS Online and Project MUSE!

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Written by guest blogger, Kathryn Imray.


 
READ PART ONE HERE

The grown Rorschach’s enemies are ‘lechers,’ communists, liberals, the pampered and decadent, intellectuals, smooth-talkers, heroin users, child pornographers, homosexuals, politicians, ‘whores,’ women who have children by different fathers, and welfare cheats (1:1, 14 16, 19). Some rapists are not acceptable (4:23), others aren’t so bad (1:21). He reads right-wing literature, including the New Frontiersman (7:11), the Watchmen equivalent of Breitbart. His world is a blood-filled gutter (1:1), and there is only one response to “this relentless world” (5:19). Rorschach takes up his mask, gloves, coat, and shoes, dressing himself beneath a poster for Nostalgia (5:19), with the slogan, “Oh, how the ghost of you clings” (see IMAGE 2).

Adrian Veidt sells Nostalgia. Veidt was born rich, but gave it away to become a self-made man. He is “the world’s smartest man,” whose computer password Dan cracks on his second guess. He is a consummate salesman, marketing his image in perfume, hair spray, action figures, and a body building regime (“I will give you bodies beyond your wildest imaginings,” his promotional material says, amid the bodies of his victims [12:6]). He inhabits a large, gold-filled tower, has another large house in the south, and watches a lot of televisions. He wants to be — he knows he is — a great man, and he exploits his sales talents to control the fate of the world, and exploits the world to improve his sales.

Nostalgia is marketed through two slogans: “Oh, how the ghost of you clings” (5:19; 8:25); and, “Where is the essence that was so divine?” (3:7). In a letter to his Cosmetics and Toiletries Director, Veidt writes of Nostalgia:

“It seems to me that the success of the campaign is directly linked to the state of global uncertainty that has endured for the past forty year or more. In an era of stress and anxiety, when the present seems unstable and the future unlikely, the natural response is to retreat and withdraw from reality, taking recourse either in fantasies of the future or in modified visions of a half-imagined past” (unnumbered page, between chapters 10 and 11).

Veidt’s marketing techniques tap into the connection between fear of death and political conservatism. In the future, though, and in anticipation of the peace he plans to bring to the world, the Nostalgia line is to be replaced with a new line, “Millenium” [sic], its imagery “controversial and modern, projecting a vision of a technological Utopia.” The final ad for Nostalgia has a new slogan, “The times they are a’changing,” running from a classic font to a ‘futuristic’ font, and ushering in Veidt’s technological Utopia (see IMAGE 3). Later, amid pro-Russian cultural and culinary artifacts, Veidt’s new perfume is advertised (see IMAGE 4). “Millennium” is written in solid block print across the torsos of two handsome, healthy, heterosexual blondes facing the rising sun. It is an image reminiscent of communist propaganda, and along with the slogan, in a subtly futuristic script, “This is the time. These are the feelings,” rebrands the make-believe of a past age for a future one.

*All references are to the chapter and page in Alan Moore and David Gibbons, Watchmen (Absolute Watchmen), New York: DC Comics, 2005. All images shown are from that edition of the graphic novel.


Kathryn Imray’s article, “Shall Not the Judge of All the Earth Do Right? Theodicies in Watchmen, is available to read in the latest issue of the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Vol. 29, Issue 2 (2017).

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Written by guest blogger, Kathryn Imray.


PART TWO NOW ONLINE

Rorschach is the character I appreciate least in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen,* and I begrudgingly included him in my article for the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture on theodicies in Watchmen. To summarize my argument there, Rorschach represents the position that evil, and the suffering it entails, is a product of human behaviour. For Rorschach, an indifferent God creates an abyss in which this human evil thrives, and into which he imposes his own moral system. Rorschach’s moral system is, I argue, a “monstrous, black-and-white, neo-fascist retributive justice.”

As I wrote about Rorschach, I wondered where this moral system came from, for it is certainly not the only possible response to a meaningless universe. My mind returned repeatedly to a bottle of perfume peppered throughout the narrative, Nostalgia by Veidt (See IMAGE 1), and the impact of that symbol on the lives of the characters, who all long for something from the past. Veidt longs for the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians. Dan longs for sexual adequacy, and gets it back when he puts on his old costume. The elderly Sally Jupiter has a bottle of Nostalgia on her dressing table (8:1), and longs for her lost love, her rapist, Eddie Blake. She gives voice to this nostalgia:

“Every day the future looks a little bit darker. But the past, even the grimy parts of it, well, it just keeps getting brighter all the time” (2:4).

Her daughter, Laurie, carries a bottle of Nostalgia in her hand bag (9:21). This image overlaps that of the snowglobe she owned as a girl, “a little glass bubble of somewhere else” (9:7; 9:24). When she smashes the snowglobe, and the bottle of Nostalgia, they were not filled with a “different sort of time” after all, but only with water (9:8; 9:24). This longed-for past, then, this “different sort of time” (9:7; 9:24), is make-believe.

Rorschach longs for the values of post-WWII America, and one can imagine he would be heartened by Donald Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again.” When he walks along the street, “Women’s breasts [are] draped across every billboard . . . Was offered Swedish love and French love but not American love. American love; like Coke in green glass bottles, they don’t make it anymore” (2:25). His idols are good men, decent men, like his father and President Truman, “who believed in a day’s work for a day’s pay” (1:1). Like Laurie, Rorschach is looking into a snowglobe of childish make-believe. In his youth he wrote an essay on the father he never met, whose name was ‘charlie’ (with a lower case c), no last name, kicked out by Rorschach’s mother because he was a big supporter of Truman. He likes Truman because his father would have wanted him to, and because he believes it was a good thing to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. His father never claimed him, the young Rorschach says, because he was probably killed defending his country, fighting the Nazis (unnumbered page between chapters 6 and 7).

*All references are to the chapter and page in Alan Moore and David Gibbons, Watchmen (Absolute Watchmen), New York: DC Comics, 2005. All images shown are from that edition of the graphic novel.


Kathryn Imray’s article, “Shall Not the Judge of All the Earth Do Right? Theodicies in Watchmen, is available to read in the latest issue of the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Vol. 29, Issue 2 (2017).

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Written by guest blogger, Dennis Molinaro.

*Dennis Molinaro’s upcoming article, “In the Field of Espionage, There’s No Such Thing as Peacetime”: The Official Secrets Act and the PICNIC Wiretapping Program”, will be available in the forthcoming issue of the Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 98, Issue 3 (2017).


molinaro-3Author Dennis Molinaro whose article on The Official Secrets Act and the PICNIC Wiretapping Program will appear in the Canadian Historical Review Vol. 98, Issue 3 (2017)
Photo Credit: Marino J. Osso via the CBC

The history of intelligence and espionage in Canada is a field fraught with gaps in the historical record. One of the reasons for this is the lack of sources available. This article began with a search for an order-in-council that was never published, but like pulling on the thread of a sweater, it began leading to more discoveries including the revelation that millions of documents pertaining to intelligence history have yet to make their way to the public archive. This material isn’t just central to uncovering intelligence history in Canada, but Canadian and international history as a whole because the material could surely shed much more light on international relations and the Cold War broadly speaking. This article focuses on the secret construction of a wiretapping program known at the time as PICNIC.

This article began with a search for an order-in-council that was never published, but like pulling on the thread of a sweater, it began leading to more discoveries including the revelation that millions of documents pertaining to intelligence history have yet to make their way to the public archive.

While the program was initially limited to those suspected of disloyalty during the Korean War, the government wanted to secretly continue the program in peacetime, using the Official Secrets Act to provide the legal justification for it. This incident reveals that wiretapping done by the RCMP during the Cold War and before the McDonald Commission may not have been carried out in as ad hoc a way that was previously believed and instead this demonstrates that the federal government was aware of, and sanctioned, the use of wiretapping in counter-intelligence operations. At the same time this event helps us understand how security was understood in this period, and how it can function as an ideological construct. On the one hand this event reveals the early construction of a mass surveillance infrastructure, but it also reveals the early construction of an idea of what security was and what some believed was needed to be done to provide it.


Dennis Molinaro’s upcoming article, “In the Field of Espionage, There’s No Such Thing as Peacetime”: The Official Secrets Act and the PICNIC Wiretapping Program”, will be available in the forthcoming issue of the Canadian Historical Review, Vol. 98, Issue 3 (2017).

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Orthodoxy in Dialogue

by UTP Journals on August 14, 2017

Written by guest blogger, Giacomo Sanfilippo.


 

Orthodoxy in Dialogue, an online publication edited by three doctoral students in theological studies at Trinity College in the University of Toronto, is scheduled to launch on September 1 with a maiden article by the editors, “The State of Orthodox Theology Today.” The editorial committee presently consists of Rørik Hrothgar and Giacomo Sanfilippo, while the third position has yet to be filled. Sanfilippo is already known to readers of UTP Journals Blog for his two articles on conjugal friendship (here and here), and to readers of the Toronto Journal of Theology for his review of Wendy VanderWal-Gritter’s Generous Spaciousness in the Spring 2017 issue (Volume 33, Issue 1).

An independent student initiative, Orthodoxy in Dialogue enjoys the support of the newly appointed Dean of Divinity at Trinity College, Dr. Christopher Brittain, and the Dean Emeritus, Dr. David Neelands. Early subscribers include some of the most prominent names in Orthodox theology today, as well as a growing number of bishops and priests. The rapidly expanding list of contributors working on articles for Orthodoxy in Dialogue includes both Orthodox and non-Orthodox writers. The blog’s Facebook page already has close to 1300 members around the globe.

Orthodoxy in Dialogue is dedicated to open discussion on an unlimited range of topics within the Orthodox Church, between the Orthodox Church and other Christian churches and non-Christian faiths, and between the Orthodox Church and the wider global community in which she figures as an integral, if often underestimated, part. The editors encourage submissions from writers who represent a wide range of interests and viewpoints both within and outside Orthodox Christianity.

During the first few weeks of publication, readers can look forward to an interview with James Martin, SJ, one of the most widely recognized names in US Roman Catholicism, on his book Building a Bridge; what it means to one 18-year old to be young and Orthodox in Trump’s America; a vegan’s insights on abortion; gender inclusivity in the liturgical language of traditionalist churches; the ramifications of Pope Francis’ decision not to appoint a Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem for Orthodox-Catholic relations; Orthodox contributions to ecumenical dialogue by a former chair of the Commission on Faith and Witness of the Canadian Council of Churches; reminiscences of an Anglican canon on studying under Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware); a response to Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option; the connection between beauty and the divine in Orthodox experience; and possibilities for the Orthodox doctrine of deification, or theosis, in Protestant soteriology. Future articles promise to address an equally broad spectrum of topics, some more academic, others more popular.

In this context, Orthodox Christianity refers to what is sometimes called the Eastern Orthodox Church. It consists of the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Moscow, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Georgia; the Churches of Cyprus, Greece, Poland, Albania, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Sinai (St. Catherine’s Monastery), and Finland; and various configurations of diasporic and missionary presence in the West, the global South, and other parts of the world. The canonical status of some Orthodox churches—the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), the Church of Japan, the Church of Macedonia, the Church of Ukraine, et al.—remains in dispute. In the US the Orthodox Church is represented by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Canada meets annually, but has no public or internet presence at all: it brings together bishops from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America, the Montreal and Canadian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR), the Russian Orthodox Church in Canada (Moscow Patriarchate), and a small number of US bishops who have charge of a few Canadian parishes administered mainly along ethnic lines. The vision for a canonically structured territorial Orthodox Church of Canada seems much more elusive than in the United States.

For all of these organizational anomalies outside of historically Orthodox lands, the Orthodox Church remains remarkably united doctrinally, sacramentally, and liturgically. Orthodoxy in Dialogue hopes to serve in some small way as a reflection and expression of the unity of faith among Orthodox brothers and sisters, and as a platform for respectful dialogue among people of good will within and beyond the Orthodox Church.


© 2017 by Giacomo Sanfilippo

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Marking Ten years of UNDRIP in Indigenous Historical Perspectives

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When C. Wright Mills Worked for the Culture Industry

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Everything is Political – Even Physiotherapy!

July 18, 2017

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