BronyCon: Where Were You 25 Years Ago?

Butterscotch from Hasbro’s My Little Pony collection

When I was three or four years old, in the mid ’80s, I fell in love with My Little Pony. I begged my parents for the little plastic figurines, but they were reluctant to indulge my overtly girly interest. Being a boy, there were clear, acceptable expectations for my play habits: Batman and Transformers yes, ponies no. I can imagine my parents worried thoughts about how my subversive pony phase would play out through the rest of my life: would other kids make fun of me? Would that make me unhappy? Would I turn to drugs to compensate? Would that ruin my chances at university? Would that mean I would be living with them until I was forty?

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Ai Weiwei, You’re Hot

Dear Ai Weiwei,

I think you’re hot. It’s not because I have a thing for beards, bellies or artists, because I don’t. (Especially artists — imagine what it would be like to date Jeff Koons? Scary. You’re bits and bites would be on display).

It’s because, as the New Yorker‘s Culture Desk noted, you’re an artist rebel-hero of the hottest order

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A Rigorous Sort of Happiness

Mavis Gallant at the Standard, Montréal, May 1946 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/PA-11524).

I’ve never read a Mavis Gallant short story, something that, as I write this blog post, I’m ashamed to admit. But every so often I come across a mention of this escaped Cannuck — who has lived in Paris for over 60 of her 90 years — that re-asserts her importance in the world of writing. As a result, I have a certain sketchy understanding of her life through the Globe and Mail, the Walrus, the National Post and other media outlets. The first time I really took notice was in a charming 2008 radio interview on CBC’s Writers and Company, but it wasn’t until last week, when I listened to another CBC radio interview on Ideasthat her life strongly resonated with me. She seems to have achieved something that I find deeply admirable — independence — and I wish I knew how to do the same.

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