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Up Chuck and Di
That was a rude sign greeting Charles and Diana when they visited Vancouver to open Expo ‘86. I thought it was way over the line. But oh my, how the line for the Royals has changed. Hacked phones, pedo pals, duchesses spurned, and tabloids full of scandals.
Back on June 2nd 1953, Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was in many ways the first global broadcast of an event. It was in black and white. Elizabeth’s funeral last September 19th was called “the biggest human event of all mankind” because it was seen by 4.1 billion people, in colour. This is no surprise. Despite Britain’s straitened prospects today, the British Empire remains the largest empire in human history. At one point, 23% of the world’s people lived under the Union Jack and it covered close to a quarter of the world’s land area including Canada and Canadians. So there’s a vast vestigial interest.
Some of you got up at 5 o’clock this morning to see Charles’ and Camilla’s coronation. I didn’t, not because I don’t love all that, but I can always catch it later. I also sense that this may be the last coronation any of us will see. So for today, let the pomp and circumstance, despite the looming judgement of history, go marching on.
1. Quick coronation clicks. First, a primer on Operation Golden Orb. Next, a lively interview with Princess Anne via the CBC’s Adrienne Arsenault. Next, a supplement to Canadian Geographic on King Charles’ history and future in Canada, including the story by Dr. Joe MacInnis of taking the then 26-year old Prince diving under the High Arctic seas. Finally, strange coronation customs, from pie made of lampreys, to a stranger to chat with in the loo.
2. Turning a profit doesn’t have to cost the earth. Yvon Chouinard was born 84 years ago to a Quebec couple (his father was a handyman and mechanic) who moved to Lewiston, Maine. In 2022, the founder of Patagonia transferred his ownership (worth $3 billion) to the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective. They guarantee that all the clothing company’s profits ($100 million a year) go to combat climate change and protect underdeveloped land across the world. The media was ecstatic and the interviews flowed.
As Chouinard said: “Earth is our only shareholder.”
3. Short takes on kul things. George Carlin on living our next lives backwards; plus the price of speed; plus things we’ll never do and people we’ll never be; plus weird perspectives on things; plus why spend $35 million on a new jet fighter? Thanks to persistent contributor Peter Sever for all of these.
4. Random airports. Since we’re doomed to spend more time in them, here’s a screensaver that pops up a drone's-eye-view of hundreds of airports and runways around the world.
Plus, did you know between 1953 and 1970, United Airlines ran flights, complete with cigars and cocktails, for men only?
5. Which side of the tracks? It seems growing up in a rich neighbourhood has a more positive effect on you than growing up in a poor neighbourhood has a negative one.
6. Visit sunny Afghanistan. Despite the fact the Taliban run a murderous regime, two British companies are running group tours there. Untamed Borders will take you to “some of the world’s most interesting and inaccessible places,” and Safarat offers you “the kind of access normally closed to tourists.” And if you’re a woman tourist? “As a traveller from a western country you are held to a very different set of standards to Afghan women. You will generally be treated as just another strange foreigner – the Taliban are equally confused by Western men as they are women.”
8. The Dao of Phones. Why fight your smartphone the way you would fatty food by dieting? We’ll only really make peace with technology by shifting our view of it, from a drug to be controlled, to a ritual to be embraced.
On Sunday, May 7, their Walk so Kids Can Talk happens in 17 cities across Canada. It’s all part of their $300 million campaign to help young people in crisis across the country. What better reason to get up off the couch and…walk?
9. What I’m liking. I went to a screening last week of Karen Wookey’s film, The Case Against Cosby, the story of Canadian Andrea Constand’s 15-year fight for justice against sexual predator and America’s Dad, Bill Cosby. Powerful doesn’t begin to describe it. You can see it here, for free, on CBC GEM.
10. The Lightfoot Lifer’s Kit. Here is Matt Galloway hosting a two-hour tribute on CBC Radio with Anne Murray, Murray McLauchlin and more. Plus the teary biopic If You Could Read My Mind, on CBC GEM. I urge you to view it this weekend, before life takes you elsewhere; Lightfoot really was in the background of all our memories for so many years.