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Mar 10, 2017
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There’s no place like home (2017)

Finally, a feel-good story from the East! Moncton is “the place to be,” [1] says Canadian travel blogger Andrew Gunadie – Hurray! Down here, we all know that we live in a special place and I recently heard it said that ‘There’s the good times, the bad times and the Maritimes!”

But let’s start with a bit of background information. The first and the most famous travel writer was Herodotus, the Greek historian who lived in the fifth century BC. The role of any travel writer, he said, “is to be the tourist’s perfect companion: to be articulate, well informed, a skilled raconteur; to include in what he tells [sic] a fair share of the unusual with a dash of the exotic; to tell it all with infinite zest.” [2] Gunadie has many of those qualities, he is articulate, engaging, charming, and I want to believe him. But there is something in his travel truth that made me pause. To say that the City of Moncton is the ‘place to be’ or not, is not the aim of my commentary. I am curious about the tone, the coverage of his story and ultimately what it says about us.

When I first saw Gunadie’s video, I was delighted. Imagine, my hometown was the best place to be! Joy! My second impression was more nuanced. There is something steering the clip that reads like an advertisement. Maybe the ‘place to be’ reminded me of the infamous New Brunswick licence plate tagline, the “Be … in this place”.[3] I understand the necessity of naming things (cafés, pubs and restaurants), of speaking in clichés or memes (beach for oneself, beautiful sunset), but I believe that it is possible to write about a place without sounding like an ad.

A lot of travel writing is about selling something to someone, but it does not have to be like that. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Ernesto Che Guevara’s The Motorcycle Diaries are examples of two great works based on actual travel adventures. The genre continues to reinvent itself. In December 2016, Canadian Art Magazine awarded its Art Writing Prize to Calgary Art Critic, Ginger Carlson for her travel essay describing “a journey with artist Nicole Kelly Westman to former mining town Wayne, Alberta, to produce a new work.”[4]

The script of Our Country: Gunnarolla on why Moncton is his favourite place could have been lifted from a Tourism New Brunswick brochure. It is all niceties, product-oriented and we heard it before:

The East Coast is where the friendliest people live
Does anyone do seafood like the East Coast of Canada?
Moncton is perfect for road trips
Having a beach for oneself
Amazing sunsets
Walking ‘on the ocean floor’

This ‘walk on the ocean floor’ has been repeated like a mantra by the operators of the Hopewell Rocks as well as by the New Brunswick Department of Tourism.[5] It is probably something that everybody in New Brunswick does in his or her sleep, but to talk about Hopewell Rocks without mentioning the recent collapse of the Elephant Rock, one of the more popular of the Flowerpot formations, is puzzling. Gunardie surely wants to focus solely on the positive.[6]

The suspension of my belief came in a two-pronged realization. The first prong happened last month when the New Brunswick Department of Tourism announced that it was investing $1.1M for travel writers to promote tourism over the next 4 years[7]. Could this Canadian Geographic feature be part of that program? The second prong came a few days ago, when CBC New Brunswick published an article about Gunardie’s video. When I saw the video on Facebook, I thought that it walked like an advertorial and it talked like an advertorial, so I thought that it was an advertorial, but it did not trouble me, as after all, it was on Facebook. But to see it on CBC News was like seeing a little red flag on the horizon. The question is, why would CBC News would cover an ad? It is important to distinguish between the genuine article and the advertorial. Otherwise, we should have news stories about Leon’s couches.

How we see ourselves is important to consider, how other people see us might be more crucial. Our enthusiastic reaction to the Gunardie’s story is natural, but our social identity and the positive emotions we experience from belonging to any social group, or place, must not be shaped by marketers alone. The book has already been written, it’s called: Tourism Marketing for Cities and Towns and chapter 3: Analyzing the City or Town as a Tourism Product offers food for thought.[8]

Daniel H. Dugas
Moncton, NB

 


 

[1] “Travel blogger says Moncton is ‘the place to be’,” last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/blog-travel-gunnarolla-moncton-nb-favourite-1.4008283

For an interactive map of « Our Country » see Canadian Geographic, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://maps.canadiangeographic.ca/our-country/map.asp

[2] Lionel Casson, Travel in the Ancient World, (Hakkert, Totonto, 1974), 111

[3] “N.B. dumps licence plate slogan”, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/n-b-dumps-licence-plate-slogan-1.1089931

[4] “Calgary Critic Wins Canadian Art Writing Prize”, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://canadianart.ca/news/canadian-art-writing-prize-winner-announced/

[5] Tourism New Brunswick, Walk on the ocean floor, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca/Products/ECs/WalktheOceanFloor-The-Hopewell-Rocks-EC.aspx

[6] “New Brunswick’ s famed Elephant Rock collapses in a pile of rubble”, last modified Feb 24, 2017, https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/03/15/new-brunswick-s-famed-elephant-rock-collapses-in-a-pile-of-rubble.html

[7] “Province pays $1.1M for travel writers to promote tourism over 4 years”, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/cash-coverage-tourism-vacation-1.3991776

[8] Bonita Kolb, Tourism Marketing for Cities and Towns: Using Branding and Events to Attract Tourists, (Routledge, 2017). https://www.routledge.com/Tourism-Marketing-for-Cities-and-Towns-Using-Social-Media-and-Branding/Kolb/p/book/9781138685192

For Analyzing the City or Town as a Tourism Product, see Chapter 3 in Google Books, last modified Feb 24, 2017, http://bit.ly/2n6NjDm

 

Feb 16, 2017
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269th anniversary of Jeremy Bentham’s birth (2017)

jeremy-bentham

Today is the 269th anniversary of Jeremy Bentham’s birth. And I wonder why Google did not create a Google-Doodle for the founder of modern utilitarianism.

In his studies of English law, he realized early on that it was not “what it was said to be; neither was it what it ought to be.” In the 1770s he described his despair and resolution:

“… I entered upon the task. I had been taught to believe both in print and in conversation that it is in [its] . . . several parts as beneficial to the people as the whole together is profitable to those who study it as a profession: that it is as near to perfection as any thing can be that is human; that if it has any imperfections, they are like spots in the sun, absorbed in the splendour of superior beauties. As I advanced every page I read seemed to furnish an exception to those general rules; till at last I began to be almost at a loss to conjecture upon what particular observations could have given occasion to these magnificent positions.

… I saw crimes of the most pernicious nature pass unheeded by the law: acts of no importance put in point of punishment upon a level with the most baneful crimes: punishments inflicted without measure and without choice: satisfaction denied for the most crying injuries: the doors of justice barred against a great majority of the people by the weight of wanton and unnecessary expense: false conclusions ensured in most questions of fact by hasty and inconsistent rules of evidence: light shut out from every question of fact by fantastic and ill consider’d rules of evidence: the business of hours spun out into years: impunity extended to acknowledged guilt and compensation snatched out of the hands of injured innocence by . . . impertinent & inscrutable exemption: the measure of decision in many cases unformed: in others locked up and made the object of a monopoly: the various rights and duties of the various classes of mankind jumbled together into one immense and unsorted heap: men ruined for not knowing what they are neither enabled nor permitted even to learn: and the whole fabric of jurisprudence a labyrinth without a clew. These were some of the abominations which presented themselves to my view . . . From the view … I confess resulted a passionate desire of seeing them done away.”

Jeremy Bentham : an odyssey of ideas
by Mack, Mary Peter
Published 1963

Sep 4, 2016
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This is not a bikini (2016)

Delineator

On July 5, 1946, five days after the explosion of a nuclear bomb on Bikini Atoll, French automobile engineer and clothes designer Louis Reard unveiled the first bikini bathing suit to the world. It was daring and shocking. Reard’s inspiration was the nuclear blast on the tiny Pacific Ocean atoll of the same name. The French newspaper Le Monde said that the word ‘bikini’ was as lashing as the atomic explosion, that it had annihilated clothing as we knew it, and brought forward an extreme minimization of modesty. Some called it ‘the first a(na)tomic bathing suit in the world’ (… la première bombe an-atomique).

But the bikini is not a modern idea; the Greeks and the Romans had it all figured out. In 1959, the Italian archaeologist, Gino Vinicio Gentili, excavated the ‘bikini girls mosaic’ at the Villa Romana del Casale. This artwork entitled Coronation of the Winner shows young women in two-piece suits performing various sports. Perhaps the discovery of the bikini girls mosaic paved the road for even more daring inventions. In 1964 fashion designer Rudi Gernreich unveiled the monokini, the first topless swimsuit for women. Gernreich believed that the prefix “bi” as in bikini meant two. He was wrong. Similarly to the famous butterfly’s wings in Brazil, this mistake started to create a series of storms across the globe. All kinds of swimsuits were invented based on the same assumption: microkini, tankini, trikini and now the famous burkini.

According to the Wikitionary, kini means many things. It is an alcoholic beverage in Hawaïan, a woman in To’abaita, the adverb now in Malay, to nip in Maori and KINI is a radio station in Nebraska. Unfortunately, kini has nothing to do with the lower part of a two-piece swimsuit. By naming the Islamic inspired swimsuit burkini, Aheda Zanetti, the fashion designer who created the garment, only perpetuated the misconception. There is nothing ‘kini’ about the burkini. In fact, the burkini is similar to the 1800’s bathing gowns that embodied Victorian ideals of religious morality and prudery. The problem with the construction of this word is that when we talk about the burkini, we invoke the bikini. In our minds, we allude to revealing the body of the swimmer, while in fact the burkini is covering that same body. It is an oxymoron like ‘sweet agony’ or ‘true myth’. If the bikini was born out of an explosion, the burkini is closer to an implosion. The bikini fashion started with a bang while the burkini is threatening to close the trend with a whimper.

Nevertheless, the dress code war that is being waged in France is not new. What is sanctioned and what is forbidden to wear on a beach is part of a long-time struggle to break away from the iron collar of modesty. In 1921, Louise Rosine, a writer from California, was arrested in Atlantic City for rolling down her stockings and showing her bare knees on a public beach. She fought back saying that it was ‘none of Atlantic City’s business to roll them up or down’ and she threatened to bring the City to court. Before that, in 1907, the Waverly Shire Council in Sydney, Australia required the wearing of a skirt-like tunic by male bathers. Mayor, R. G. Watkins said:

After contact with water… the V-trunks favoured by many of the male bathers show up the figure… in a very much worse manner than if they were nude… people who patronize them should not be compelled to overlook bathers whom they do not agree with.

Soon after, the Sydney bathing costume protests erupted. Thousands of male surf bathing enthusiasts wearing women’s clothing made a point to show the ridiculousness of the proposed regulations.

What we should have learned by now is that people should be permitted to decide for themselves. If people want to wear bikinis, let them wear bikinis, if they want to go to the beach in long swimming gowns, let them do so. We know that “those who look directly at [a nuclear] blast could experience eye damage ranging from temporary blindness to severe burns on the retina.” The problem here is that explosion and implosion are two different ways to detonate nuclear weapons. The advice is not to look at the blast, but in the battle royal between fashion police and morality squads, we have decided to stare.

Daniel H. Dugas
3 September 2016

 


NOTES

• Le Monde, 1947,  ‘Bikini, ce mot cinglant comme l’explosion même … correspondant au niveau du vêtement de plage à un anéantissement de la surface vêtue; à une minimisation extrême de la pudeur.’
• For an informative write-up about the transformation of swimsuit through the ages see The Evolution Of The Bathing Suit From The 1800s Until Today
• Bikini Girls mosaic: Villa Romana del Casale
KINI 96.1 FM is a radio station broadcasting a Variety music format.
• Louise Rosine: Keep her knees bare in Atlantic City jail, The New York Times, September 4, 1921.
• For Mayor R. G. Watkins’ comments see ‘Tourism and Australian Beach Cultures: Revealing Bodies‘, Christine Metusela, Gordon Waitt, Channel View Publications, Toronto, 2012, p. 32.
• Sydney bathing costume protests: Fun on the Beaches, The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 23 Oct 1907
• Bathing Machine: Sea-Side Etiquette, Victoriana Magazine
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Radiation
• TOP IMAGE : The Delineator magazine

Aug 15, 2016
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People Carrying Signs (2016)

People carrying signs

Two images
of people carrying signs
supporting
a refinery
Wanting
a pipeline

Then it was Seadade
A chemical plant and an oil processing temple
along the shores of Biscayne Bay

Now it’s Energy East
A continental pipeline
to be laid across the land
over rivers and rivers and rivers
until it reaches the edge of the Bay of Fundy

Two images
of people carrying signs
of old folks and kids alike

The man with the cigarette in his mouth
and the woman with the pointy glasses
never saw their dream come true

But what about the YES PIPELINE kid
Will she be part of the sacrifice?

I don’t think
they understood then
or understand now
what is at stake
the gamble at play

The sheen of oil is making us mad
when we are willing to risk everything
to ease our pains

The sheen of oil is making us mad
when we believe that this endless tube of tar is not the Moloch
to which we will have to feed our own

Daniel H Dugas
August 12, 2016


Tales of two bays

The Bay of Fundy in Canada and Biscayne Bay in Florida are separated by more than 3,000 kilometers. At first glance, they seem to be worlds apart, but looking back into archival material, we realize that these two ecosystems have a shared history with industrialization. In this drama of progress we find two key players: K. C. Irving, one of Canada’s foremost 20th century entrepreneurs and Daniel K. Ludwig, shipping magnate and businessman with numerous companies, sometimes referred to as the American Onassis.

In 1959, Ludwig began buying acreages in South Dade, Florida to build a deepwater port and a refinery on a bayfront site east of Homestead Air Force Base. The project called Seadade was approved in 1962 and was supported by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, but soon faced growing opposition from the Safe Progress Association (SPA). The SPA argued that Biscayne Bay, a warm and shallow, salt lagoon could be easily and irreversibly harmed by industrial pollution. Support for the project faded and in 1968 the American Congress passed the Biscayne National Monument Act, establishing a 96,000 acre preserve.

The industrial developments threatening Biscayne Bay are not isolated circumstances, they are happening everywhere in the world. The geological makeup of the Bay of Fundy in Canada seems to be diametrically opposite to the one of Biscayne Bay. Fundy is known to have the highest tides in the world whereas Biscayne Bay is a shallow semi-enclosed lagoon. But similarities emerge when we look at the relationship between humans and these ecosystems. The first parallel is between the historical players behind the refineries of Seadade and the Energy East project. Energy East would send its tar sands oil across a vast section of North America to Irving’s refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. The narratives arcs of the two tycoons followed similar trajectories: Ludwig was born in 1887 and Irving the founder of Irving’s empire, was also born just about the same time, in 1899. Both magnates died the same year, in 1992. The two of them were involved in a wide range of holdings, shipbuilding, pulp paper and oil refinery among other things. Their fortunes were equally formidable. In 1982, Ludwig was #1 on the first Forbes 400 “Richest Americans” list, while Fortune Magazine in 1989 listed K. C. Irving as the 11th wealthiest man on earth.

There is a second connection between Biscayne Bay and the Bay of Fundy. Both locations have nuclear plants built on their shores. The Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station was built just next to Biscayne National Park in 1973 while the construction of Point Lepreau in New Brunswick was started in1975. Both stations have had their share of safety problems in the past and are still plagued with ongoing problems today

The two bodies of water, on the Atlantic coast of North America, are magnificent. They are true natural wonders of the world. The question is why pristine areas are such magnets for big polluters? Why do they have to choose the most biologically diverse ecosystems to set up shop? If Biscayne Bay managed to avoid Seadade, can the Bay of Fundy do the same with Energy East? The two already have their own nuclear stations, their own safety, and cost management conundrums, it seems that this should be enough danger to deal with.

Daniel H Dugas
August 14, 2016


Notes

The Florida Experience: Land and Water Policy in a Growth State, Mix-up on South Bay, Luther J. Carter, RFF Press, New York, 1975p 157-192.

Daniel Ludwig, Billionaire Businessman, Dies at 95, The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/08/29/us/daniel-ludwig-billionaire-businessman-dies-at-95.html?pagewanted=all

K. C. Irving, 93, Industrial Tycoon Dominant in Canadian Province, The New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/14/world/k-c-irving-93-industrial-tycoon-dominant-in-canadian-province.html

Study shows severe nuclear accident at Point Lepreau 40 times more likely than initially thought:
https://www.conservationcouncil.ca/study-shows-severe-nuclear-accident-at-point-lepreau-40-times-more-likely-than-initially-thought/

Evidence of salt plume under Turkey Point nuclear plant goes back years:
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article73233802.html

Nuclear energy, David Suzuki:
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/climate-change/science/energy/nuclear-energy/
‘Nuclear power creates radioactive waste for which there is no accepted method of safely managing or storing. It is also prohibitively expensive.’

SAFE PROGRESS ASSOCIATION, INC. is a business entity formed in Florida and is a Domestic Non-Profit under local business registration regulations. Having the registration number 703668, according to the official registry, it is now Inactive. http://www.associationdatabase.org/safe-progress-association-inc


IMAGE CREDIT
Left: Pro Seadade demonstrators, January 23, 1963. South Florida History Magazine, Vol. 23, no 1, Winter 1995. / Middle: 18th-century depiction of the Moloch idol from Johann Lund’s Die Alten Jüdischen Heiligthümer (1711, 1738). / Right: Video still from CTV Atlantic ‘Pipeline arguments at NEB hearings’ by Ashley Blackford, August 8, 2016.

May 17, 2016
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Collateral damage (2016)

pauline-pfeiffer-in-1934

Pauline Pfeiffer, 1934

Collateral damage

You never know what you’re going to find,
where you’re going to end up.
I woke up this morning thinking about Hemingway,
Ernest, his house, the sun, Key West.

I went to his house once while visiting Key West.
I remember the pool, the catwalk connecting his home to his writing studio, the spacious art deco bathroom, the heat.

Hemingway lived in paradise and died in Idaho.
He was born in 1899.
There is now, only one person in the entire world,
one lonely soul that was born before him.

He was married four times.
His second wife,
the American journalist Pauline Pfeiffer,
died on October 1, 1951.
She and Ernest married in 1927,
honeymooned in Le Grau-du-Roi
in the South of France and
divorced on November 4, 1940.

Pauline Pfeiffer died of an acute state of shock.
It was precipitated by the news that her son Gregory,
who had experienced gender identity issues for most of his life,
had been arrested entering a woman’s restroom in a movie theater.

When I woke up this morning,
I didn’t know
that anyone had ever died because of a transgender bathroom issue.

You never know what you’re going to find,
where you’re going to end up.

Daniel H. Dugas
May 14, 2016

Feb 24, 2016
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Caution over daring (2016)

Irving Oil has contracted B + H Architects to design their new headquarters. The company had a unique chance to create a bold architectural statement, something that would have stood out in the cosy downtown of Saint John, the first incorporated city in Canada. It’s not every day that a chance like this comes along. Instead, Irving decided to build something that looks like a totalitarian monument reminiscent of the best of Ernst Sagebiel, whose style was described as “Luftwaffe modern”. They could have made an audacious statement, but chose caution over daring.

irving-misnistry-aviation-600px

Irving Oil reveals plans for new headquarters in Saint John

Jan 8, 2016
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Merit, Finance and Depth of Field (2016)

image1Keywords: arts, artistic merit, arts boards, money, poverty, fairness

The message to the poor and discontented is that they must not impatiently upset or kill the goose that will assuredly, in due course, lay golden eggs also for them. And the message to the rich is that they must be intelligent enough from time to time to help the poor, because this is the way by which they will become richer still.[1] E. F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful

My hope this year is that something changes. For example, a change in the system that manages arts grants, specifically the criteria for assessing projects. In all the Arts Councils or Arts Boards across the country, and in many parts of the world, there are two rules for evaluating an application. The most important element for this evaluation is the artistic merit of a candidate. This is how jurors decide if someone will get a grant or not. The second rule is that the financial situation of a candidate should not have any influence on the decision. I have always been opposed to this way of assessing applications. I believe that the financial situation of an artist has a direct influence on the artistic merit of that artist. I have stated this for years while participating in both Canada Council for the Arts and New Brunswick Arts Board juries. Every time I have raised the issue, I got the same terse response; that those are the rules, the foundations of the whole thing, period. I believe that laws or rules are not by themselves proofs of fairness and history is full of such examples.

The straw that broke the camel’s back (forcing me to sit down to state this in writing) came a few weeks ago when I read a press release of grants awarded by the one of the provincial Arts Boards in the country. One of the successful candidates is also a full-time professor at a University and the grant will allow this professor to attend an arts residency during a sabbatical. According to the Faculty Bargaining Services, someone making $100,000. a year will make around $88,000. while on sabbatical. I am outraged that someone on a sabbatical, which is a time paid to do one’s work, can apply and get a grant to help do that work. Aren’t the taxpayers on the hook twice for the same thing?

There are people out there who are applying for grants, getting them and they have no financial need for this funding. There are also people who are applying for grants and not getting them and have an urgent need for funding. Books, paintings, sculptures, musical scores and videos are not created because some people are not receiving grants. Some of the available funding is going out to supplement individuals already receiving generous packages. Perhaps there should be a program that would permit people who receive grants recognizing their work excellence, yet don’t need the funding, to put the money back into the system. Perhaps they could then receive commendations for their contribution. If it is accolades that they need, why not create special recognition prizes?

Every time that I am told that the financial situation of an artist has no bearing on an application, I am puzzled. How could money not be a consideration when money is at the core of the whole thing? This is why artists are asking for grants: to get money, to do things. If money doesn’t matter, the federal government would not make equalization payments to less wealthy Canadian provinces to equalize the provinces’ “fiscal capacity”. If money is not important, George Murray, St-John’s poet laureate would not have resigned after budget cuts to the arts and culture sector in Newfoundland [2]. If money is not an issue, why are arts boards paying Hill Strategies to research key statistics about artists and their personal situations as well as their financial impact on the economy? [3] We are all outraged when we hear of CEOs salaries and how many lifetimes it would take for a regular Joe to make that kind of dough. And what the hell happened to the We are the 99% movement?

Every time that I am told that the financial situation of an artist has no bearing on the artistic merit, a shiver runs down my spine. If wealth is not an indicator of well-being, then what is? It is difficult to deny the link between poverty and poor health; it is also difficult to say that the economic well-being of an individual does not affect that person’s life. Who is going to have the better depth of field, the artist with the Canon EOS 1D Mark III priced at $12,000. or the artist with the Kodak FZ41 Digital Point & Shoot Camera at $88.? I agree, the better camera might not yield the better artwork but it allows the artist to have a bigger range of possibilities.

A few countries in the world have established what is called a Day-Fine, a “structured fine payment plan calculated according to a convicted individual’s financial status and the severity of the crime”.[4] The idea is that “if both high-income and low-income population are punished with the same jail time, they should also be punished with a proportionally similar income loss.” [5] If this works for fines, can’t it work for grants?

I am an artist and a writer and I am writing this to say that our model is broken and that it could be fixed but only if we really wanted to do it. I am aware, that this post will not change the world, but I need to say it, I need to feel that I am trying to let some light in.

Daniel H. Dugas, January 6, 2016

 

 

During the last few years, Daniel H. Dugas has written a few posts about the arts and the arts management. For more information about Daniel’s writing please visit: http://daniel.basicbruegel.com/texte/

[1] E F Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered, Vintage Books, London, 1993, p.11

[2] St. John’s poet laureate quits over cuts to arts funding

[3] Hill Strategies Research

[4] Day Fine Law & Legal Definition

[5] Day-fine

 

Related links:
Do You Have to Be Rich to Make It as an Artist? (ARTNET)

Oct 7, 2015
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Liaisons and The Last Man on Earth (2015)

I was shocked to see the Season 2 Premiere of The Last Man on Earth (Is There Anybody Out There?). In one of the scenes at the White House we see two statues, one of Benjamin Franklin the other of Abraham Lincoln, banging their heads together as if they were kissing.

I did a video entitled LIAISONS (2011) about a love triangle between Dante, Marie-Antoinette and Sirène. To say the truth the The Last Man on Earth scene looks very similar to my video.

Liaisons (2011)
Clip The Last Man on Earth (Is There Anybody Out There?) (2015)
The Last Man of Earth review

similarities-2015-WP

Apr 28, 2015
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Text(e) Image Beat – talks (2015)

GSN-TALK-web-front-pageGSN-TALK-web-daniel

On April 28, Valerie LeBlanc and I each gave a talk at the Galerie Sans Nom during the Frye Festival.

 

pdf Text(e) Image Beat talks given through the Galerie Sans Nom and the Frye Festival, (pdf 2mb)

Nov 28, 2014
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Spem reduxit / Hope restored (2014)

Key Words: New Brunswick, debt, marijuana, traffic code, zombies, marketing
zombie_silhouettes_by_symbiopticstudios-d5n8rmk

“Time to rebound is running out”, it’s a “financial disaster”[1], it’s “very concerning”[2], “our regional economy is flat-lining and we are depopulating… it’s a death spiral”[3], it’s a “perfect fiscal storm”[4] and so on. We’ve all heard the song. It’s terrible and it seems that there isn’t much we can do. We are doomed, but are we really?

Here are a few ideas, of what we might be able to do.

P as in POT
The first idea is a simple one: New Brunswick could legalize marijuana (medical and recreational). Our province has vast fields of uncultivated land, which always makes me wonder where have the farmers gone? In addition, our climate is mainly humid continental with warm summers, which is excellent for growing stuff. By decriminalizing marijuana, our province would be the first in the country, and this alone would be an incredible business opportunity.This prospect that has already created waves: in the aim of defining target markets and customers, market research professionals have begun asking Canadians what they think of marijuana. When the questions start flying, you can assume that the product is on its way. Even the Globe and Mail is writing about the future of cannabis in Canada.[5]

I like this idea because it has a two-fold potential: to generate tax revenues, and to become a fountain of youth. Legalize it and they will come. They, the young people from all over the country might consider New Brunswick as a place to live and to settle. This could be the true golden age of New Brunswick. For those who might say that marijuana falls into federal legislation (Controlled Drugs and Substances Act), I would point out that it is the provinces that control the “administration of justice.”[6] Moreover I would invoke the right to economic dignity. I believe that every province has a right to create an environment where its citizens can flourish and to deny New Brunswick the possibility of improved economic revenue would be criminal.

T as in TRAFFIC
The second idea concerns the drivers and the police departments of all towns and cities in New Brunswick. As a pedestrian I can attest to the danger of walking on our streets. There are many factors that make walking a dangerous activity: car culture, changing weather, darkness in winter, cultural misunderstanding on the meaning of yellow lights, etc. The fact is that there is a potential gold mine at every corner and maybe we should be exploiting these open pit deposits. A officer could monitor a crosswalk and give as many fines as necessary to drivers who see the flashing lights, see the pedestrians but don’t think they should slow down.

Z as in ZOMBIES
They are currently hot on TV with; Z Nation, The Returned, The Walking Dead, and of course, there are zombie walks all over the world. We are fascinated by their relentless stamina and as Angela Becerra Vidergar pointed out in a recent article “Zombies are important as a reflection of ourselves.”[7]

The question here is what can these tireless workers do for us? The motto for the city of Moncton is Resurgo, Latin for “To rise up again.” That is zombie speak and is awesome. The province should quickly seize Moncton’s motto, make it its own and market itself as a global hub for anything zombies. Here again, two birds with one stone, during the zombie walks, police could dispense tickets to zombie drivers.

Daniel Dugas
November 27 2014

[1] Richard Saillant, director general of the Canadian Institute for Research on Public Policy and Public Administration in “New Brunswick barrelling toward bankruptcy, analyst warns”, CBC News, April 29, 2014.

[2] Auditor General Kim MacPherson in “Auditor General troubled by debt growth”, CBC NEWS, Dec 05, 2013.

[3] Frank McKenna in, ‘Good governments do not allow mob rule”, The Chronicle Herald, November 4, 2014.

[4] Donald Savoie in “Paying the piper”, Atlantic Business Magazine, February 23, 2012

[5] Jeffrey Simpson, ‘Should Canada do a Uruguay on pot?’ Dec 3 2014.

See also, Jeffrey Simpson, ‘A marijuana measure worth watching‘. Dec 5, 2014.

[6] Sensible BC, Canada’s largest marijuana reform group in Frequently Asked Questions.

[7] Angela Becerra Vidergar in “Stanford scholar explains why zombie fascination is very much alive“, Stanford Report, February 20, 2013.

Zombie Silhouettes by SymbiopticStudios

Spem reduxit / Hope restored is New Brunswick ‘s motto

Click here to read part 1: Home of the New Balance: Nota bene published on August 26 2014.

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Daniel H. Dugas

Artiste numérique, poète et musicien, Daniel Dugas a participé à des expositions individuelles et de groupe ainsi qu’à plusieurs festivals et événements de poésie en Amérique du Nord, en Europe, au Mexique et en Australie. Son neuvième recueil de poésie L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time vient de paraître aux Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas is a poet, musician and videographer. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions as well as festivals and literary events in North America, Europe, Mexico and Australia. His ninth book of poetry: L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time has just been published by Les Éditions Prise de parole.

Daniel Dugas es poeta, músico y videocreador. Ha participado en exposiciones individuales y colectivas, festivals y eventos literarios en Norteamérica, Europa, México y Australia. Acaba de publicar su noveno poemario, L’esprit du temps / The spirit of time (Les Editions Prise de parole).

L’esprit du temps / The Spirit of the Time est un projet de transmutation du paysage publicitaire en paysage poétique. Ce livre est à la fois un livre de photographie, un recueil de poésie et un essai lucide mais ludique sur notre société matérialiste. Il a été produit en numérique et imprimé en quantité limitée.

Date : Décembre 2015
Genre : Poésie
Collection : Poésie
ISBN : 9782894239629

Éditions Prise de parole

http://www.prisedeparole.ca/auteurs/?id=148

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