This is a very good article, written by a friend of mine. I can totally relate to it, because, although I am not a visible minority, my childhood was plagued by the torment of prejudice and bullying. Education, especially in the home from day one, is the key to eradicating this blight on society.
Monthly Archives: March 2011
Canada has spawned many great music stars and the Toronto scene in particular was a hotbed of activity. This documentary captures the taste and feel:
T.O. rock doc fascinating
By BILL HARRIS, QMI AGENCY
Here’s a strong plea for music fans and pop-culture historians across Canada:
Do not dismiss the new three-part documentary Yonge Street: Toronto Rock & Roll Stories — which airs across Canada on Bravo! on three consecutive nights, beginning Monday — merely because it has the audacity to have the word “Toronto” in its title.
We can be a funny nation that way. Americans can make fascinating docs about the history of the music scenes in their biggest cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago) and no one gasps. In Canada, though, the charge of being “Toronto-centric” has some sway and can act as a deterrent.
But folks, history is what it is. The Canadian “music industry” virtually was non-existent in the 1950s and 1960s, with record companies acting primarily as warehousing operations for U.S. and British product. Thus, one of the very few versions of “making it” as a musician in Canada was to be part of the vibrant, hip, sexy and frequently dangerous nightclub scene on Yonge Street in Toronto.
Yonge Street: Toronto Rock & Roll Stories — which was commissioned to enhance CTV’s coverage of the 40th annual Juno Awards on March 27 — was directed by Bruce McDonald and is divided into three parts chronologically (1955-60, 1960-65, 1965-70). It’s packed with rare archival footage and features recent interviews with the likes of Robbie Robertson, Gordon Lightfoot, Daniel Lanois, Ian Tyson, David Clayton-Thomas, John Kay ** and Ronnie Hawkins.
It reveals the irony that while Toronto was a boring banking town on the surface, it simultaneously fostered a restless generation of youngsters — as well as an active and violent underworld — that was determined to rebel.
In an era when people went out for live entertainment on any night of the week, as opposed to sitting at home and staring at computer screens, there were nightclubs up and down the Yonge Street strip. While musical styles changed both through the years and from club to club, the dominant genre in the heyday was rhythm and blues.
“Yonge Street was the star, not us,” says Hawkins, an American transplant and awe-inspiring live performer who was the king of the Yonge Street nightclubs in the early 1960s. “I’d never seen a street like that anywhere in the world.”
Thematically, the first two episodes of Yonge Street: Toronto Rock & Roll Stories are the strongest because they’re the most focused. There’s interesting stuff in the third episode, but much of it (including John Lennon’s performance in Toronto in 1969) has little to do with the Yonge Street scene.
At the end of the third episode, though, there’s a great summing-up from a visibly emotional Lanois, who clearly pines for the days before “progress” — aka, retail and strippers — took over Yonge Street.
“This was all before the shopping malls came in, and so the strip had kind of a small-town feeling about it,” says Lanois, a world-famous producer who has worked with everyone from U2 to Bob Dylan. “The buildings weren’t very tall and every little club seemed to resonate with excitement.
“It was a scene, is what it was. And when you’re part of a scene, just by hanging out, through osmosis, it helps shape you.
“It was a very powerful situation. And then, kind of overnight, it all disappeared.”
** John Kay is the founder and lead singer of one of the greatest bands in rock history; Steppenwolf
This is fascinating!
Lost city of Atlantis may be found
Swamped by tsunami
By Zach Howard, Reuters
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. – A U.S.-led research team may have finally located the lost city of Atlantis, the legendary metropolis believed swamped by a tsunami thousands of years ago in mud flats in southern Spain.
“This is the power of tsunamis,” head researcher Richard Freund told Reuters.
“It is just so hard to understand that it can wipe out 60 miles inland, and that’s pretty much what we’re talking about,” said Freund, a University of Hartford, Connecticut, professor who led an international team searching for the true site of Atlantis.
To solve the age-old mystery, the team used a satellite photo of a suspected submerged city to find the site just north of Cadiz, Spain. There, buried in the vast marshlands of the Dona Ana Park, they believe that they pinpointed the ancient, multi-ringed dominion known as Atlantis.
The team of archeologists and geologists in 2009 and 2010 used a combination of deep-ground radar, digital mapping, and underwater technology to survey the site.
Freund’s discovery in central Spain of a strange series of “memorial cities,” built in Atlantis’ image by its refugees after the city’s likely destruction by a tsunami, gave researchers added proof and confidence, he said.
Atlantis residents who did not perish in the tsunami fled inland and built new cities there, he added.
The team’s findings will be unveiled on Sunday in “Finding Atlantis,” a new National Geographic Channel special.
While it is hard to know with certainty that the site in Spain in Atlantis, Freund said the “twist” of finding the memorial cities makes him confident Atlantis was buried in the mud flats on Spain’s southern coast.
“We found something that no one else has ever seen before, which gives it a layer of credibility, especially for archeology, that makes a lot more sense,” Freund said.
Greek philosopher Plato wrote about Atlantis some 2,600 years ago, describing it as “an island situated in front of the straits which are by you called the Pillars of Hercules,” as the Straits of Gibraltar were known in antiquity. Using Plato’s detailed account of Atlantis as a map, searches have focused on the Mediterranean and Atlantic as the best possible sites for the city.
Tsunamis in the region have been documented for centuries, Freund says. One of the largest was a reported 10-storey tidal wave that slammed Lisbon in November, 1755.
Debate about whether Atlantis truly existed has lasted for thousands of years. Plato’s “dialogues” from around 360 B.C. are the only known historical sources of information about the iconic city. Plato said the island he called Atlantis “in a single day and night… disappeared into the depths of the sea.”
Experts plan further excavations are planned at the site where they believe Atlantis is located and at the mysterious “cities” in central Spain 150 miles away to more closely study geological formations and to date artifacts.
Some people need lessons, or, so it seems!
I consider myself a good friend. Loyal, empathic, always here for you, no matter what the mood or circumstance. This is what TRUE friendship is all about. Perhaps I have a little more empathy and sensitivity than the average person, (as I have been told), but, consider this scenario, if you will:
My father, (who lived in California with my mother, about 2600 miles away), suffered from lung cancer for six months, before he finally gave up the fight. I have been back and forth several times since last September. My last trip was for three weeks and I returned home on Feb. 6, as my father was in hospice care and appeared to be stable. Sadly, he passed away on Feb. 9, three days after my return, and I headed back to California on Feb. 13. The California authorities are difficult to deal with and it took a very long time to get the death certificates, plus, my mother has basically “zoned out” in her grief and won’t handle anything herself. I was left with the nightmare scenario of dealing with taxes and the fact that my mother did not have a proper ID card to settle things with my father’s estate, (Of course, this was never an issue when he was alive, but, now the banks will not cooperate with her unless she has that card.) Add to that, the fact I have been away from home and my husband for a long time, not to mention my business, which he has been running with the help of friends. This all caused me to fall into a state of depression and despair and in my anguish, reached out to someone I considered a good friend. What do you suppose I got in return? DEAFENING silence – for days!! Eventually, there came this response: “Seemed like you were in a ranting depression the other day – hope things are better now” and an account of the vacation plans the family was making for Spring Break! Please note, that whenever this person was upset or depressed, I always tried to make them feel better with words of comfort and concern. This is someone who means a lot to me, but, obviously, that sentiment is NOT reciprocated! Life is too short to put up with fair weather friends. To those people I say: