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To Help People Fall in Love, Don't Do This

This is not the Valentine's Day article I intended to write. As is so often the case in journalism, the idea that sparks a piece shifts radically with research, and you end up with something no one was expecting.

The Tyee 14 Feb 2015
In Praise of Reporters Who Stir the Pot

I burst out laughing when I saw this predictable Globe and Mail headline: "Jesse Brown is quick to expose the failures of Canadian media. But what about his own?" 

Contrary to what you may have heard, nobody in the trade likes investigative reporters much, and most hacks are openly hostile to the ones who start covering other media.

The Tyee 29 Jan 2015
How Harper's office is playing news editor

Kudos to the weekly Barrie Advance for exposing the way some journalists are taking their marching orders from Erica Meekes, a flack in the Prime Minister's Office.

The Tyee 20 Jun 2013
The Jane Austen Guide to Manliness


This year's 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice arrives not a moment too soon to deal with the current crisis in manliness.

The Tyee 23 Feb 2013
Movies Suck!

While I'm happy to join the hand wringing parties over the demise of one of my favourite movie houses, the Ridge, the death of Vancouver's iconic popcorn palace suggests it's time to address the elephant in the room: movies suck.

The Tyee 30 Jan 2013
Relating to Dr. Divi

I'm at Vancouver's 20th annual wellness trade show, where Dr. Divi Chandna, a licensed medical doctor and a "certified medical intuitive" is delivering her confusing hypothesis on how to treat depression with help from the "law of attraction." Dr. Divi (as she styles herself) is telling a few dozen mostly middle-aged women that insomnia is the result of spirit guides or angels waking us up to have a chat.

The Tyee 30 Mar 2012
The Facebook Follies: The New Crowd-Sourced

While you’ll see dire warnings about Facebook privacy, and enthusiastic-but-unproven marketing promises

The Tyee 30 Aug 2010
Older Women Invading Facebook

Facebook is getting old, in every sense of the word.

Since early 2009, when Facebook trumpeted the fact that the female 55+ demographic grew by 550 per cent, (while underplaying the fact that the under-30 enthusiasm stagnated), I've been amused to see it evolving into the equivalent of the retirement home's social centre.

Women who used to scrapbook are now farming on Facebook and sending us all tiresome updates. (PopCap Games reports that 60 per cent of FarmVille's 82 million users are women over 40.)

The Winnipeg Free Press 10 Mar 2010
That's Oprah-essive!

Barbara Ehrenreich's latest masterful book, Bright-Sided, opens with the most hopeful frontpiece I've seen in decades. "To complainers everywhere: Turn up the volume!"

Ehrenreich subtitles the book How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America, and she investigates how the 19th century's faith-healing movement developed into today's pop culture tool for social control.

The Tyee 21 Jan 2010
Against Social Media

Twittering is just frittering as we amuse ourselves to death.

The Tyee 22 Jun 2009
Beware of Neuromarketing

Adults are taught to be sceptical. But the subconscious is like a toddler.

Forget focus groups, marketing studies or even psychographics, 2009 is the year the selling juggernaut will use neuroscience and our own biology against us.

The Tyee 25 Dec 2008
Dust and Lust

The point at which sex and housekeeping collide.

The Tyee 12 Apr 2006
'Write Dirty for Me' Slap the monkey? Slap the editor!

 Pierre Trudeau said famously that the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation and, to this, let me add: that sentiment should go double for news media.

The Tyee 12 Dec 2005
Let's Give Americans a B.C. Liberty Tour

Bush-mad Yanks need flu shots, medicinal tokes, and orca-viewing; and we need bucks.

To: Tourism B.C.  Re: Liberty Retreats

The time has come to put aside the post-election jokes about our American neighbours and recognize what the George Bush landslide really means for B.C: a tourism windfall.

The Georgia Straight 18 Nov 2004
Real dicks dream up faux chick flicks


Ever since I saw the film Kate and Leopold, any invitation to dinner-and-a-movie has taken on a sinister tone.

K&L, which is currently topping the hot videos lists, is the latest in a growing roster of "dick flicks". You know what I mean: those romantic comedies that are marketed to women as chick flicks but often seem designed to insult us. Or worse: they reflect the way some man wants women to behave. In short, they could only have been dreamed up by some dick. Or, if it’s really bad, a committee of dicks.

The Georgia Straight 12 Sep 2002
Women are fed up: Call it a trend, or call it a revolution

Since greeting cards have to express popular sentiments in order to make a profit, I’ve long thought they were a good indication of the zeitgeist. 

In that case, what are we to make of a Valentine’s Day card I found last year? The card is by the creator of the Cathy comic strip and reads, “It’s Valentine’s Day and once again women all over the country will be shouting those here special little words… On the next page, Cathy yells: MEN ARE PIGS!”

The Globe And Mail 14 Feb 1995