Category Archives: Writing

The Globe, and some news

I had my first byline in the Globe and Mail the other week: an interview about steady-state economics.

Also, Maisonneuve has a shiny new issue, a shiny new website, and a shiny new announcement: I’ve decided to leave the magazine.

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Fiction: The Off-Season

the-off-season-1

I’ve started writing fiction. I’m not sure why. A short story of mine, “The Off-Season,” is out this month from Ribbon Pig, a small art-lit press that’s a project of Maison Kasini. It’s set in the future but it’s not really science fiction; it takes the form of a beautiful little booklet; it’s the first time I’ve published fiction since I was twelve. You can order it from Ribbon Pig for $7.

 

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The Quebec student strike

I’ve been writing about the Quebec student strike here and there. Here’s a piece about Quebec, Occupy, elections and social movements, posted today on the new online magazine Hazlitt, to which I’ll be contributing regularly. I also wrote this dispatch for n+1 a while back, and this short post for Maisonneuve.

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Recent writing

From the Walrus:

Fresh Ingredients

After the Orange Wave, a rookie MP learns to cook

Like many undergrads, Laurin Liu doesn’t know how to cook. The twenty-one-year-old, who majors in history and cultural studies at McGill University, can scramble an egg and boil a mean pasta, but that’s about it. She has cooked rice, by her own account, once or twice in her life (“It turned out really badly,” she said). At a dinner a few years ago, when a friend handed her an onion to dice, she started to peel it like an orange.

Read the rest.

From the Toronto Standard:

Luddites Weren’t Luddites, They Were the First Occupiers

Why have we forgotten about those British labourers from the 19th century who stood up and asked for change?

Some time ago, a group of angry people got together to figure out what to do with their anger. They had been put out of work by forces beyond their control. They didn’t like the state of things. Those in power told them to adapt or die, but the angry people decided that this was a false choice. They deserved employment. They deserved dignity. So they fought back, destructively and violently at times, drawing endless condemnation in the media, as well as measured support. But the police fought back even harder, and the burgeoning movement was crushed under the boot heels of state and industry. Today, we even make snide little jokes about the whole episode.

Read the rest.

I also have a short profile of the actress Alison Pill in the new issue of BULLETT, a thick, glossy New York magazine. And back in December I had a 1,500-word piece in Reader’s Digest about so-called “Lost Canadians.” Neither piece is available online.

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Montreal Is Burning

From the Walrus:

On February 13 of this year, the Montreal rock band Arcade Fire, known for their spirited live shows and ragged emotionalism, arrived at the Grammy Awards with low expectations. Their third LP, The Suburbs, released on the independent label Merge, was inexplicably nominated for album of the year, up against efforts from four of the biggest acts on the planet: Lady Gaga, Eminem, Lady Antebellum, and Katy Perry. The past decade has been hard on the music industry, but the Grammys have generally been content to go down with the ship, doling out prizes in accordance with establishment tastes. Few expected a bunch of shabbily dressed Canadians to beat out the luminaries who brought us “Poker Face” and “I Kissed a Girl.”

Read the rest. From the December 2011 issue.

Also, I’ve been having trouble sleeping.

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Some things I’ve written in the several months since I last posted

An interview with Cadence Weapon

An obituary for Jack Layton

Why Occupy Wall Street has already succeeded

Arcade Fire, Tune-Yards and growing up

The Corner Store at Pop Montreal

Fireworks in the age of digital isolation

Bon Iver, irony and the return of soft rock

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Hosni Mubarak is a Dead Man

From Maisonneuve:

Hosni Mubarak is a Dead Man

by Drew Nelles

If Egypt’s revolution does nothing else—if it dies at the hands of the state’s thugs with their American guns—it will at least have exposed with crushing clarity the monstrous unfairness of US foreign policy. Yesterday the world watched Hosni Mubarak, tone-deaf and deeply insulting, refer to the people he has long oppressed as his “children”; he darkly insinuated that his opponents were backed by foreign forces, as if his regime hasn’t been on the American dole for decades. As if the only thing keeping Mubarak’s Western benefactors from throwing him to the wolves were not his peace with Israel and his jowly, raccoon-eyed fear of political Islam.

Read the rest.

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