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Opinion Piece Up on CBC Internet News Website

My opinion piece, “The Shorter Work Week: An Idea Whose Time Has Finally Come,” is up on the CBC Internet News website, in the Opinion section.

The piece has already attracted attention from elsewhere in CBC. This afternoon I am being interviewed for a Montreal Radio 1 news program. And on Sunday, I will be interviewed for CBC TV’s Newsworld show, which runs between 8 and 9 p.m. Who’d have believed?

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One Year After

Traditionally, January 6 has marked the Feast of the Epiphany, at least in the Christian year. The date is also of significance even to pagans, as marking the end of the third part of the winter solstice. After today, sunrises will start to become earlier, however gradually.

Since last year, January 6 has come to take on a new and much darker meaning, as the anniversary of Donald Trump’s attempted coup d’etat. It’s most disquieting to realize that had Trump’s unruly horde been better organized and more disciplined, the coup might well have succeeded. No longer can we North Americans look smugly at, say, Latin American countries where such coups have become almost routine, and say to ourselves, “That sort of thing could never happen here.” Last January 6 showed that it could–and damn near did. Welcome to the Third World, U.S.

Let us hope that in the coming year, U.S. President Joe Biden backs up the strong words of his anniversary speech with strong actions. Every single person involved in the seditious coup attempt must be arrested, tried, and locked up for a good long period. As for those contemplating similar action in the weeks and months to come, they must be given to understand that future coup attempts will be greeted with rifles, tanks, police dogs, and drones. It is past time that Biden stopped pussyfooting around, and started treating the enemy as the enemy.

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News

Amazon URL Available from this (revised) address

Dear friends,

Please disregard the URL address I put out here last night. It was incorrect. Please use the following: amazon.com/author/jp_plaguetakeit21–almanac. Make sure you include the period at the end of the address! I know it looks weird, but a period was a requirement for the site.

As a bonus, you can now see Plague Take It on my author page! Hopefully many of you will order, read, and enjoy it. It is some production, if I do say so myself, written in both French and English and containing poems, short stories, plays (among them one of mine) and performance pieces as well as the more traditional memoirs and essays. At $25 plus shipping for 475 closely-printed pages, it’s little short of a steal.

Happy New Year, all, and to all a good read!

Jon

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News

Podcasts Are Coming!

Soon–as soon as I can figure out how to make the pieces I’m now recording available to listeners–I’ll be offering podcasts as well as written blogs. Stay tuned!

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News

Two articles published in online Stittsville weekly

Two articles about the COVID almanac I’ve co-edited with Ann McMillan were recently published in an online Stittsville weekly. To view the more recent of these articles, which appeared on Nov. 16, use the following link. https://stittsvillecentral.ca/launch-of-plague-take-it-almanac-leads-to-additional-project/

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Donald Trump’s Legacy

Trump’s great achievement has been to turn the U.S. into a giant trailer park full of science-denying grifters, a COVID-infested pest house, and above all a country whose citizens are persona non grata in three-quarters of the nations of the world.

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What Our Book Launch Looked Like

Here’s one of the more serious moments from the November 9 launch of the new COVID almanac, Plague Take It co-edited by Ann McMillan and yours truly. This excellent photo is courtesy of Brent Coates, one of the almanac’s more than 50 contributors. Counter-clockwise from the bottom right are Ann, yours truly, contributors Deb Bertrand and Gavin Murphy, and publisher (and contributor) Bob Barclay.

Image preview
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News Publishing

Plague Take It Website Now Up and Running

A special website for my new COVID almanac, Plague Take It, is now up and running at plaguetakeit.ca. The website contains ordering information, editor and contributor bios, and more. Check it out!

May be art of text that says 'PLAGUE TAKE IT ACVIDLMANAC COVID ALMANAC BYAND ABOUT ELDERS JON PEIRCE ANN McMILLAN'
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News Publishing

New COVID Almanac Now Available

This is to let everyone know that a new COVID almanac by and about elders (those aged 60 and over) co-edited by Ann McMillan and yours truly is now available at amazon.com, barnes & noble.com, and amazon.ca. The book is entitled Plague Take It, and it is a multidisciplinary and bilingual (English-French) social history containing short stories, plays, poems (including a performance poem), essays, and memoirs. At $25 Cdn. or $20 U.S. plus shipping, for 470-plus pages, we think it’s one hell of a deal. Enjoy.

May be art of text that says 'PLAGUE TAKE IT A COVID ALMANAC BYAND ABOUT ELDERS JON PEIRCE ANN McMILLAN'
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News Publishing

For Pete’s Sake!

The other day, I saw a story about a press release from U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The release included a phrase like “infrastructural indivisibilities,” or something along those lines. I had a hard time pronouncing it, let alone understanding it–and I have an earned doctorate in English literature!

Like large cannons or ultra-formal articles of clothing, such phrases must be used sparingly and judiciously–in this case, to nail a situation with great precision, or to defuse another type of situation with laughter. Used indiscriminately, such phrases suggest either a tin ear or a complete lack of awareness of and sensitivity to one’s audience. Or, very possibly, both.

Fortunately for Mr. Buttigieg, an effective remedy is ready to hand. To prevent further embarrassments of this sort, all he need do is read, or have one of his staff read, press releases aloud before sending them out into the world. If the reader stumbles over a phrase, that’s a sign that the writer needs to go back and translate it into ordinary English. If he keeps up this routine for a few weeks, writing in language that’s friendly to the ordinary ear will become second nature. At that point, he will no longer need to read all his press releases out loud.

In the meantime, a simple suggestion for Mr. Buttigieg. Try writing (or having your dedicated staff member write) your next press release in monosyllables. Once you’ve managed to do three or four of those, you will never look back. No longer will people think of you as “Pompous Pete.” Now you will be “Pithy Pete,” and your popularity will soar.