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"Notre métier n’est ni de faire plaisir, ni de faire du tort. Il est de porter la plume dans la plaie." - Albert Londres


L’homme caustique

Rex Murphy est chroniqueur au Globe and Mail et à la CBC. C’est un plaisir un peu trouble de savourer les mises en boîte de cet homme intelligent, érudit et corrosif. Un certain nombre de ses chroniques ont été réunies dans un livre.

Points of View,
Rex Murphy

McClelland & Stewart, Toronto

ques extraits :

Sur le livre d’Andrew Morton ‘Monica’s Story’ (Monica Lewinsky)

She says she contemplated suicide. ‘Contemplated’ is the wrong word there. A couple of brave and lonely neurons may have tried to forklift something that resembled a thought across the dizzy open spaces of that head, but I don’t think the circuit board in question is really up to ‘contemplation. (…)

Sur le baptême de René-Charles

On Wednesday, Ms Dion and her husband, René Angelil, conducted the baptism of their son René-Charles, at Montreal’s majestic Notre Dame Basilica. The event was described as a ‘private ceremony’. For perfect drollery, this is hard to match. An event that probably required greater logistical support than D-Day, beckoned more paparazzi than Diana’s wedding, and sought to amplify the proceeding by inviting in the cameras of celebrity television may only be described ‘private’ because – as far as we know- it was restricted to a single planet. (…)

Why People get fat

The federal government has announced it will spend fifteen million dollars to research why people get fat. I’m very glad to hear it. It’s about time.

"Why people get fat" is one of the last great mysteries. We’ve made a dent in the bing bang, peeled back black holes, and opened our understanding even partway to the origins of conscious life and the popularity of Oprah Winfrey. But science has twiddled its thumbs far too long on the last real hidden riddle of the cosmos. Why people get so damned fat.

I’m not a scientist myself – I'm putting in far too much time on global warming to make that claim- but if I may, I’d like to suggest just a couple of lines of inquiry. Now this may be radical, but I think they should look at food. Nor should I wish to prejudice the experiment, but I think the amount is important. Just a guess, I know, from a layman, but take a look at food and the amount of food. And if there’s anything left over of the fifteen million dollars, perhaps They could have a look a eating too. Eating food, I mean.

I suggest they eat out a lot for science. I know how little work has been done in this area, but I suspect that, if they designed the right experiment, say a controlled study involving Boston cream donuts, vats of deep-fried chicken, and chocolate-chip ice cream in buck
ets, they’re going to find a connection between fat, food, and eating. Lors of eatin of lots of food. (…)

Lorsque James Bond fume un cigare

« In the words of the Head of the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (The name’s Mahood, Garfield Mahood) : « if icons like James Bond use cigars, it’s not a long leap for young people to assume it’s all right to smoke cigarettes »
Garfield Mahood, executive director of the Non-Smoker's
Rights Association in Canada

No, Mr. Mahood, it’s not a leap at all. They are but a puff away from perdition. Mr. Mahood, cautious as always, is soft-pedalling, doubtless to avert social panic. But all of us must pay attention when he says : « It’s all very destructive in terms of role modelling. » We’ve been warned.

Now, one or two eccentric skeptics and, maybe, the odd Amish retiree might question whether James Bond is a role model. But all ludicrously handsome future assassins with a taste for high life, the appetites of a tomcat, a harem of supermodels, an arsenal the envy of Osama bin Laden, and the morals of a splinter, have held James Bond as the template of their lives. We’re talking Everyman here. (…)

Sur le terrorisme
Trying to solve problems without resorting to death as a tactic or a goal is what we call politics. Politics is the agreement that the other side should be allowed to live, while the problem – however imperfectly- is beeing dealt with. This meaning of politics is one measurement of the human race’s long march from our bestial origins. (…)

Time for closure
After that terrible devastation in Colombine. We were informed that grief-counsellors were on standby. When the jet plane crashed off Peggy’s Cove, same thing. They grief-conselled the relatives. Makes sense. Then they went after those who helped after the crash. And, finally, they were interested in grief-counselling the reporters who covered it. The end of that kleenex-chain, I presume, has to be that the grief-consellors are then themselves grief-counselled, and so on and so on and so on.

Is there a button somewhere someone presses after every tragedy to let loose the grief-counsellors ? Well, it may be an antique idea, but most people who have suffered the loss of a dear one or been ground down by some personal tragedy already know how to grieve. In fact, as a moment’s reflexion will confirm, you don’t need therapy to gieve because grieving is the therapy. Human beeings grieve to absorb the shock of loss, accomodate their anguish, and regain their equilibrium after genuine trauma. We remember ; we mourn ;some pray ; and we return. The experience is intensely personal, deeply intimate, and, most of all, private. It takes place with varying inensity within families, among friends, and with community. Strangers, however well-wishing, are not wanted unless called for. The presumption that grief-counsellors are part of the rituals and privacies of mournong is both undignified and arrogant. How we seem to have reached the point when grief-counselling is automatic perplexes me. When people suffer personal loss and tragedy, they should be left alone to mourn with those they know and care for, and those whow know them and care for them. If professionals are wanted, let each individual or family make the choice. I say it’s time for closure – on grief-counselling.

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