Many people in an increasingly complex society have problems explaining what they do for a living.
Remember the scene in The Bonfire of the Vanities where Sherman McCoy is forced by his wife (on whom he has cheated) to explain to his daughter his job as a bond broker.
When you hear the name Edward Cornwallis, what is your first thought?
Today probably, his issuing an edict to pay bounty for aboriginal scalps, an edict that apparently was never acted on. But it has caused Cornwallis, perhaps not quite fairly, to be seen as an advocate of genocide.
In 2013, the conservative American political scientist Charles Murray wrote Coming Apart, in which he describes how America is becoming two nations: a relatively (at times very) affluent cosmopolitan economic/cultural/media elite with mostly intact families; and a lower class that is losing good blue collar jobs and is less attached to stable families.
A couple of columns on the CBC website, by CBC reporter Neil Macdonald and by former Nova Scotia NDP finance minister Graham Steele, speak to the quality and relevance of many current political speeches. As it happens, I have firsthand experience with the process behind government speeches.
The Big Dig is, of course, the massive highway tunnel system that funnels traffic underneath the heart of Boston with its notorious street labyrinth.
Halifax got its own big dig exactly a century ago: the railway trench that scours its way from Fairview, then along the Northwest Arm and Point Pleasant Park to the Via Rail station.
Such a project would be inconceivable today.
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