Before the Fall

It was a good week for Canadians: we got our two Michaels back and we got a day to remember that we can change history and not let history change us by forgetting how badly Canada’s Indigenous citizens were treated, and still are.

Better still, we can remember this every year. We all know Martin Luther King said: “We shall overcome.” But his full sentence reads: We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

On that note, here are 10 things to keep us bending:

1. The world after the pandemic. There’s no one better than Yuval Noah Harari to make the future pithy. Here he is in The Financial Times on how the choices we make now could affect our lives for years to come.

2. The best travel books of all time. Reading about travel will never replace actual travel. But if you’re looking to re-grease your real travel wheels, these books will get them moving.

3. The tyranny of perfectionism. Long ago, tennis star Andre Agassi wrote an autobiography called Open that was wildly different – and better – than the usual “as told to” big-star story. I was reminded just how delicious it was this week when my daily email from delanceyplace.com landed with Agassi’s excerpt on his game-destroying perfectionism. This site sends great bits from important non-fiction books, often many years old, that speak to the issues of the day. Just sign up.

4. Betty the Riveter. Betty Reid Soskin is a 98-year-old US Park Ranger who leads tours at Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park in Richmond, California. She’s also Black and her efforts have changed the way the National Park Service tells the story of America. Here’s Betty now.

5. I lurve Gillian Anderson. She first smote me in The X-Files where the British actor spoke Americanish. Then long empty years. Then up she pops in the terrifying streaming series, The Fall, which had me calling 911 repeatedly. Then her wonderful portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Crown. And now…oh boy: she’s the therapist-mom in the obscenely funny Netflix series, Sex Education, and…and!…she plays Blanche Dubois in the new National Theatre at Home production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

6. The last time always happens now. A new way to get the most from daily things: think of doing them for the last time. Because “You always know when you’re doing something for the first time, and you almost never know when you’re doing something for the last time.”

7. The most difficult shot in movie history (and why it matters). It’s likely not what you think, or remember.

8. Is it going to rain in the next 90 minutes? That’s one of forecasting’s greatest challenges. But some Brits may have solved it, with the help of AI.

9. Calling all sociopaths. Do we have a place for you to work! It’s called Facebook. This is because its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is a sociopath, according to business professor Scott Galloway whose essay on the subject will fill you in on how personal qualities can quickly become corporate ones, like “False expressions of love;  False promises of protection; Fake compatibility (I’m like you); I’m the real victim (turning things around on accuser); and Fantasy villains (inventing crises you alone can fight).”

10. The 50 greatest movie dance scenes of all time. And most of them you can watch and tap to right here.

Forbidden Words: This week, the  word we can no longer use in polite company is “basically.”

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To order a copy of my book Love or Die Tryingclick here for Canadian orders, click here for US orders, or visit your favourite bookstore.

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