From the archives: March 2008

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Judging her by the cover

Saturday, 29 March 2008 — 6:09am | Literature

Rachel Donadio has written a superb essay in The New York Times Book Review on literary dealbreakers, disparities in literary taste that spell doom for a relationship. As should be obvious to my regular readers, I fully agree that this is an acceptable standard that brooks no compromise, much like how many out there hold their partners to far sillier criteria like religion.

Need I name my dealbreakers, Dan Brown?

I find it a stimulating exercise, however, to ponder the problem in the inverse: the dealbreaker involving a book that a potential (but alas, only potential) companion fails to like. And come to think of it, on this account I can be quite forgiving—knowing, as I do, that I am a reader of profoundly omnivorous interests whose favourite novels hail from genres or aesthetic movements that virtually never intersect.

But if I had to pick one? Well, I wouldn’t even consider getting involved with someone who doesn’t appreciate The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. A candlelight dinner with the sort of young lady blind to Mark Haddon’s whimsical celebration of genius—be it the intrigue of its Holmesian bravado, the incalculable charm of chapters numbered in primes (oh la la!), or simply hating France—is, frankly, two wasted hours better spent re-reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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Mon Dieu, c’est rempli d’étoiles

Saturday, 22 March 2008 — 8:50pm | Literature

The final debating competition of my undergraduate career ended much the same way as the previous National Championship I’d attended: with a cosmic phenomenon for sad and lucky eyes. This time, it happened at the end of a stroll along the perimeter of the Halifax Citadel with an entourage of my fellow prairie kids, bellies full of seafood one and all. And while it wasn’t a festival of colours like that aurora from above, consider this: posing for a dockside photograph with Theodore Tugboat was not the highlight of the evening.

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Not that I’m a stakeholder: SU Elections 2008

Thursday, 6 March 2008 — 12:53am | Studentpolitik

Is it just me, or has this week been a veritable festival of democracy? It’s high time, then, for the last edition of my annual endorsitorial for the most inconsequential election of the lot—the Executive of the University of Alberta Students’ Union.

Since I’m releasing my endorsements much later than usual, and after the first day of voting, I don’t expect that anything I say will swing any votes. But I don’t expect that I’ll need to. Without any referenda or plebiscites on the ballot, if you’re voting in the first place, you’re probably informed enough to know that the VPSL race is perhaps the only one without a single, obvious choice.

I’d first like to commend The Gateway for putting a stellar panel together for this year’s Hack-o-Rama-of-sorts, one in which every participant has substantially more experience than I do in navigating the workings of the Students’ Union (even if one of them happens to be a domain-name highway bandit). I can’t say I have a lot to add to their analysis apart from weighing in on where their endorsements are split, so I’ll devote most of my attention to making fun of the speeches at the Myer forum.

For previous editions, please see: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004. Without further ado, let’s get endorsing.

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