1. Never forgotten because it’s so damn ugly
The Never Forgotten monument proposed for Green Cove in Cape Breton Highlands National Park is gaudy, monstrously oversized for its delicate placement, campy in all the wrong ways, and vile in its political intent.
And Parks Canada wants to hear what you think of it.
You know what would honour Canadians who have died in war? Stop having wars.
2. McCluskey and Doucette
I spent the day yesterday writing “How and why Gloria McCluskey stepped on a citizen’s right to due process.”
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It’s unrelated to the Richard Doucette story, but in the process of researching the story I learned of the bust of McCluskey that developer Francis Fares had commissioned, and which now sits in the head office of Fares’ King’s Wharf development on the Dartmouth waterfront:
As a piece of art, I kind of like the bust. There’s a pensiveness and uncertainty in the image of McCluskey that one rarely, if ever, sees in the person of McCluskey, and yet it conveys something like wisdom, or at least world weariness.
But who are we kidding? This is wrong, wrong, wrong. Developers aren’t supposed to be making and displaying busts of politicians, and especially not when they’ve got billion-dollar developments that are working their way through the city bureaucracy and will be voted upon by the very same politician.
It says something that the plaque on the bust doesn’t name the artist. This isn’t about the art — it’s about the relationship between Frances Fares and Gloria McCluskey, period. In that sense, the bust reminds me of Tony Soprano’s painting of Pie-O-My, Ralph Cifaretto’s racehorse:
The horse plays a central role in the drama between Tony and Ralph. Ralph is the equivalent of an old school developer, who crassly and rudely achieves his riches with brute force: “tell that midget not to be shy with the whip” he tells the horse’s trainer, referring to the jockey. Tony, however, is the new school developer. He loves the horse, wants it treated kindly, dotes over it. He calls the horse “our girl.” When Pie-O-My takes ill, Tony sits in the stable all night, lovingly stroking the horse’s neck, telling her everything will be all right. And because Tony’s love is pure, is sophisticated and worldly, he thinks he deserves an ever-greater share of the horse’s winnings.
The new ways are better than the old ways, and more profitable.
When Pie-O-My dies — in a stable fire, possibly set by Ralph for the insurance money (so old school) —Tony and Ralph come to blows. “The fight culminates with Tony shouting at Ralph as he strangles him and bashes his head against the kitchen floor until he finally dies,” explains the Soprano Wiki. “‘She was a beautiful, innocent creature!’ was yelled by Tony as he was bashing Ralph’s head.”
It is the perfect TV moment.
The painting would go on to feature in a future Soprano episode, but I’ve stretched this analogy as far as time allows this morning.
3. No joke
The “Draft Kelly” campaign is not a joke, says CBC.
Of course it’s not a joke. It’s an art project.
4. Wild Kingdom
“Biologists say there’s new hope for struggling bat populations in Canada following laboratory and field trials that treated white-nose syndrome with a common North American bacteria,” reports the CBC:
Researchers at Georgia State University started using the bacteria Rhodococcus rhodochrousin in laboratories to inhibit the growth of fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in 2012, The Nature Conservancy said in a news release.
I learned how to read with the help of a book called The King, the Mice and the Cheese. The exciting premise of the book was that a king loved cheese, and so had various cheeses stored all about his castle. But then mice came and started eating the cheese, so the king got cats to scare away the mice, but then the cats got up to their mischievous ways so he brings in dogs to get rid of the cats. I forget the sequence, but we go through a bunch more of these ever-bigger animals to get rid of the previous animals — lions are in there somewhere — until we end up with elephants rampaging around the castle, which clearly won’t do. In the end, the king realizes he didn’t have it quite so bad with the mice, so he invites them back to scare away the elephants and agrees to share the cheese with them.
I fear Rhodococcus rhodochrousin is the cat of the cave world, the start of a never-ending and fatal human tweaking of the natural cave environment.
I also learned some unflattering things about kings from that book.
1. Martello Towers
The Prince of Wales Tower in Point Pleasant Park was just one of five Martello Towers built in the Halifax area, explains Peter Ziobrowski, who gives exacting architectural details and the history of each. The others were at Fort Clarence (later the site of the Imperial Oil terminal in Dartmouth), York Redoubt, Georges Island, and Maughers Beach on McNabs Island.
2. Maps of early Halifax
Throughout the last few years, I have spent tens and tens (and probably hundreds) of hours pouring over the beautiful digitized historic maps of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, looking for pre-Deportation Acadian villages, colonial frontier fortifications, portage routes, you name it… A few months ago, a large swath of portefeuille 133 du Service hydrographique de la marine was put online, of special interest to those of us studying 17th and 18th century Nova Scotia.
Jones posted several images from the collection showing the Sawmill River in Dartmouth, including this one:
John DeMont is a fan.
City Council (10am, City Hall)—there’s a lot on the agenda today. I may be a bit late to the meeting, as I’ve got something to research related to the meeting. But when I get there I’ll be live-blogging via the Examiner’s Twitter account, @hfxExaminer.
It’s hard to observe the meeting and write long articles at the same time, but that’s my hope for today’s meeting. If I can manage it (big if), I’ll have a post up early this evening.
In the harbour
Oceanex Sanderling, cargo, arrived at Pier 41 from St. John’s this morning, will sail back to St. John’s this afternoon
Atlantic Cartier, ro-ro cargo, arrived at Fairview Cove this morning, will sail to sea this afternoon
APL Belgium, container ship, Damietta, Egypt to Fairview Cove West
Torino, car carrier, Fawley, England to Autoport, then sails to sea
I haven’t forgotten about your emails. I’m just ignoring them.