The words of Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquino, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mills are unleashed from their exclusive, leather bound, Victorian-book-shelves tumbling into our homes via the impressive printerless, pressless, Gutenberg-like Internet worlds of full-text-online versions open to all Internet users. Their language is infinitely more readable than their 20th century counterparts. Web 2.0 tools such as Gnosis ClearForest, provide readers with hot links sprinkled throughout their essays, contributing to making their arguments even more accessible.

But it is in the language of novelists gifted in putting words to varied, shape-shifting, complex, unconscious states, qualia who are able to weave philosophy into fiction, to describe not only material culture through time and space but succinctly provide words when we ourselves are speechless.

From my local library I have free access to the entire series of West Wing. So with my morning coffee I watched as the fictional US President Bartlett with his fictional Nobel Peace Prize and the West Wing staff attempted to articulate specific words for a state of the economy that was not a recession − since the word was forbidden as a bad omen in the West Wing ─ but a state that encompasses a bit of moderate, albeit divergent economic viewpoints, in other words a lexicon of economics within a highly, textured, nuanced dialogue.

I watched as they tried to stretch the meaning of freedom so it could encompass the 18th century Founding Fathers right through to negotiations with North Korea in the 21st century and all that is in between. I also learned from the episode that the word Han in North Korean the name of the 22-year-old North Korean protegé pianist who chose to return to his own country rather than defecting, to protect a higher state of freedom,means a state of profound sorrow with a touch of hope.

Before I turn to my PC and my blogs, I read a paragraph from the new stack of library books recommended on-line by the New York Times, this one entitled Eclipse by John Banville. This sentence evoked a multi-layered state of synethesia with a full orchestra of fragrances, textures, images and sounds reminding me of my own experiences like this one described in the opening paragraph,

“Then a slight thickening in the air, a momentary occlusion of the light, as if something had plummeted past the sun, a winged boy perhaps, or falling angel.”

The entire book seemed condensed into this one phrase revealing the extent to which the speaking, writing and reading of words can also be experiencing. These are the things we do with words.

Number of Words: 457

Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. A momentary occlusion of the light: a Review of Banville, John. 2000. Eclipse. London: Macmillan Publishers.


Tag Clouds WordPress Featured BlogWith the unfolding of Web 2.0 technologies, software developers such as authors/technicians are constantly improving their products. WordPress for bloggers, has a Featured Blogs element which uses the user’s tag clouds with an algorithm to generate clusters of tags. This is one of the clusters for my entries categorized under tag clouds itself.

Using the liquify tool in Adobe Photoshop I digitally manipulated text tags chosen by WordPress, maintaining WordPress generated proportions by using larger or bold fonts to visually demarcate tags that were used more often in this tag cloud.

I wanted the shapes of the words to take flight, to mimic the movement of the clouds.

I took this photo when I was on a First Air flight from Ottawa to Iqaluit, Nunavut in 2003. I think I used to ask for Row 21, a window seat so I could take aerial photos.



Fireplace with Artist and Easel ReflectingFlynn-Burhoe. 1999. “Fireplace with Easel and Artist Reflecting.” Acrylic. 12″ x 14.” Creative Commons License 2.5 BY-NC-SA..


The Canadian business community has taken the most active interest in politics at the CEO level than any other business community in in the world (d’Acquino cited in Brownlee 2005: 9 Newman 1998:159-160). And this interest and influence has been on the rise in the last decades. Canada’s business community has had more influence on Canadian public policy in the years 1995-2005 then in any other period since 1900.

Look at what we stand for and look at what all the governments, all the major parties . . . have done, and what they want to do. They have adopted the agendas we’ve been fighting for the in the past few decades (cited in Brownlee 2005: 12 Newman 1998:151).

Tom D’Acquino should know as he is the CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.

While the average North American is becoming increasingly concerned by climate change, a recent report by Pricewaterhouse Coopers has found that fewer than a fifth – 18 per cent – of North American chief executives are concerned about climate change putting them increasingly out of step with their colleagues in Europe and Asia Pacific.

This a current list of the Chief Executive Officers of the Officers of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives:

  • Dominic D’Alessandro, Vice Chair Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President and CEO Manulife Financial
  • Thomas d’Aquino, Chief Executive Officer and President of Canadian Council of Chief Executives
  • Paul Desmarais. Jr. Vice Chair President of Canadian Council of Chief Executives and Chairman and C0-Chief Executive Officer of Power Corporation of Canada
  • Richard L. George, Honorary Chair Canadian Council of Chief Executives and President and CEO of Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Jacques Lamarre, Vice Chair of Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President and CEO SNC-Lavalin Group, Inc.
  • Gordon M. Nixon, Chair of Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President and CEO of Royal Bank of Canada
  • Hartley T. Richardson Vice Chair of Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President and CEO of James Richardson and Sons, Ltd.
  • Annette Verschuren Vice Chair of Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and President of The Home Depot Canada

Selected bibliography

  • Brownlee, Jamie. 2005. Ruling Canada: Corporate Cohesion and Democracy. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.
  • Brownlee’s (2005) publication stems from his MA thesis supervised by University of Manitoba Sociology Professor Greg Olsen. It builds on the work of William Carroll, Wallace Clement and Murray Dobbin. I highly recommend this book for teaching, learning and research on how Ottawa really works. Some of the well-constructed arguments are located in sections entitled: economic cohesion and the structure of corporate capital, mergers and acquisitions, interlocking directorates, a class conscious business elite, public policy formation network, Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Global policy organizations, advocacy think tanks and economic elite, corporate social responsibility and the role of states in the era of globalization. The bibliography is a book in itself. The appendices, Media-Corporate Director Board Interlocks and Think Tanks – Corporate Director Board Interlocks for 2003 provide missing pieces to a puzzle.

  • Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2006.Media and Objectivity: a Selected Timeline of Events
  • Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2005. Interview with Jamie Brownlee in response to Globe and Mail article “Canada’s top 10% pay 52% of total tax bill.”
  • Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “King of Canada: Tom d’Acquino CEO of CEO’s” Google Docs and Spreadsheet. mirror
  • “The Globe and Mail Weekly Appointment Review.” Globe and Mail. January 22, 2007. p. B6
  • Hackett, Robert A. and Gruneau, Richard. 2000. The Missing News: Filters and Blind Spots in Canada. Ottawa: Centre for Policy Alternatives/Garamond Press Inc.
  • Hackett, Robert A. and Zhao, Yuezhi. 1998. Sustaining Democracy? Journalism and the Politics of Objectivity. Toronto: Garamond Press Inc.
  • I first read this book while preparing to teach a Northern-centred introductory human rights course in Iqaluit, Nunavut. My students were often employees of the Nunavut Government involved in making history as they introduced their own human rights bill. I wanted the inconvenient truth claims in Hackett and Zhao to be illegitimate but their research was unfortunately very robust. I thought I lived in a country whose forms of democratic governance were maturing until I read how we were actually going backwards not forwards in terms of objectivity and mass media.

    These recent shifts in media ownership and policy might be seen as the equivalent of a non-violent coup d’etat, a metaphor evoking the inherent link between media power and state power — between the colonization of the popular imagination and the allocation of social resources through public policy and market relations. Communications scholar Herbert Schiller suggests that what is at stake is “packaged consciousness”: the intensified appropriation of the national symbolic environment by a “few corporate juggernauts in the consciousness business (Hackett and Zhao 1998:5)

  • N/A. 2007. “U.S bosses out of step on climate change.” Management-Issues
  • Newman, Peter. 1975. The Canadian Establishment. Toronto: Mclelland and Stewart.
  • Newman, Peter. 1975. The Canadian Establishment. Toronto: Mclelland and Stewart.
  • Newman, Peter. 1981. The Acquisitors.. Toronto: Mclelland and Stewart.
  • Newman, Peter. 1998. Titans: How the New Establishment Seized Power. Toronto: Penguin Books.
  • Olsen, Gregg. 1991. “Labour Mobilization and the Strength of Capital: The Rise and Stall of Economic Democracy in Sweden.” Studies in Political Economy. 34.
  • Olsen, Gregg. 2002. The Politics of the Welfare State: Canada, Sweden and the United States.. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Originally uploaded from my Flickr account ocean.flynn.
I seemed to be disembodied, living through the digital images that appeared by magic on my Dell laptop screen. It was minus forty or fifty degrees. There was no taxi service so the town was shut down for me. Severe weather warnings were issued from Environment Canada. Suddenly a blinding sun broke through. I pulled on my army parka, leggings, mittens and Pangnirtung hat, grabbed my Kodak and headed outside to the breakwater. This image encapsulates the entire experience.

I attempted a number of reductions with this .png image but it created white noise. I tried an even smaller resolution and the noise is still there.

There were many painful things that I tried to forget but these images keep flashing into my mind and I am back there again. I am embarrassed that the loss of this silly lap top remains as such a crushing memory considering the suicides, the murder, the stories of everyday violences against human dignity. Having the laptop confiscated without warning is a metaphor for my inability to process the memories, a missing archives, a secret archives, an archives fever.

TOXIC

Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. “Afliction: Tempest in a Tea Pot.” Uploaded 2007/01/05. Creative Commons 2.5 BY-NC-SA.

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