Jim Taylor's Columns - 'Soft Edges' and 'Sharp Edges'

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Published on Friday, March 24, 2023

Nothing to say

Sunday February 19, 2023

I didn’t send out a Sharp Edges column this weekend. This is the explanation why.
I had planned to write about 68-year-old Toronto Mayor John Tory’s affair with a 31-year-old female staff member, which led to his very public resignation. I wrote a column. And then I re-wrote it. And then I re-re-re-rewrote it. And I discovered I had nothing to say.
There was one article in the Toronto Star that detailed his transgression. Everything else – thousands and thousands of Google hits – were just opinion pieces, about whether Tory should or should not have resigned. Or should have resigned instantly. Or didn’t need to resign at all.
I’m very glad I’ve never been in a similar situation, where I got involved in an affair that could have ruined my marriage and/or my career. Or maybe I was too clueless to recognize the possibilities. Either way, I’ve been spared John Tory’s humiliation.
I discovered I had nothing to say. No experience to relate to. No wisdom to impart.
Except, perhaps, that Tory’s embarrassment proves – as if proof were needed – that for someone in the public eye, there’s no such thing as safe sex.
Copyright © 2023 by Jim Taylor. Non-profit use in congregations and study groups encouraged; links from other blogs welcomed; all other rights reserved.
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Your turn

Although I have no column for last weekend, I do have letters about the previous week’s column, in which I recommended giving blood or plasma to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day.

The first letter came from Sylvia Mayer: “My ‘heart’-felt thanks for your article in The Daily Courier. In fact, this one finally got me to put my appreciation in writing and send it.
“God bless you, Jim. I'm digging out my Red Cross donation card and will resume the donating.”

David Gilchrist was also motivated: “I remember you writing about the plasma solution for would-be donors who have had Malaria. I found the place in Lethbridge (300 km from here!) that you mentioned; but there was no one around at the time. I tried to contact Blood Services here in Southern Alberta; but had no answer. But I am interested to note that the only time I gave blood directly into veins of a woman bleeding badly after giving birth, no one asked about Malaria. They just wanted to know my blood type!
“I can’t figure out why they can’t accept the blood-for-plasma at all donor drives, like they used to: and then send our blood wherever it has to go.”
JT: I shall ask that question the next time I’m in the plasma centre.

Sheila Carey had some similar concerns: “I agree that the idea of people being paid to donate blood or plasma makes me uncomfortable.
“Somewhere I have a pin that says that I donated blood 25 times. I think that I made it to about 30 times before they decided that they couldn’t take blood from anyone taking certain prescription drugs or over the counter things like antihistamines. I gather that these rules have changed, but Canadian Blood services makes it so hard to donate.
“When I started donating in the 1960s there were on-campus blood drives at the U of S and U of R in Sask, as well as permanent places for everyone to donate in Saskatoon and Regina. In BC I’ve lived in Prince George, Kelowna, and now Courtenay. PG had no permanent clinic but there were mobile clinics once or twice a year. Donating in Kelowna was always easy as there is a permanent clinic. However this is rare, and you seldom hear of mobile clinics in cities that don’t have a permanent site, or on the post-secondary campuses.
“I’m horrified that there are so few locations to donate plasma in Canada. Why aren’t there two or three in each province? I might drive from Courtenay to Victoria to donate but I can’t take a ferry and drive 4 hours each way to donate plasma. I’ve never heard of a blood donation clinic here in the almost ten years I’ve lived here, even for whole blood.
“If Canadian Blood Services want more people to donate they need to make it possible!”

Jean Macdonald: “I gave blood for years, until, following the AIDS crisis, a new screening tool was introduced. Because I had been in contact with monkeys when I worked in the Stanley Park Zoo in the late 1960s, suddenly I was banned form donating. I wonder if this is similar to your malaria situation, and wonder if blood plasma donation might be an alternative. I’ll look into it.”

I’ll give the last work to Lyle Phillips: “Glad to see you urging people to donate blood. Five years ago I was diagnosed with Melanoma. Until that time I had donated over 135 times, but I was deferred from then on. I had 12 monthly doses of immunotherapy infusions and I have not had any recurrence since then. Last week I was given the good news that the Melanoma was completely gone -- but I am still restricted from donating.
“I continue to help the cause by volunteering at the [whole-blood]clinic in Langley once every four weeks, and my wife donates as often as she can - every 12 weeks.
“I hope your writing about donating blood or plasma inspires some of your readers to donate. There is no longer an upper age limit and many earlier restrictions have now been relaxed, so people who have been unable to donate in the past should call to see if they are eligible now.”



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To use the links in this section, you’ll have to insert the necessary symbols. (This is to circumvent filters that think some of these links are spam.)
Wayne Irwin's “Churchweb Canada,” is an inexpensive service for any congregation wanting to develop a web presence, with free consultation. http://wwwDOTchurchwebcanadaDOTca. He set up my webpage, and he doesn’t charge enough.
I recommend Isabel Gibson’s thoughtful and well-written blog, wwwDOTtraditionaliconoclastDOTcom. She also runs beautiful pictures. Her Thanksgiving presentation on the old hymn, For the Beauty of the Earth, Is, well, beautiful -- https://www.traditionaliconoclast.com/2019/10/13/for/
Tom Watson writes a weekly blog called “The View from Grandpa Tom’s Balcony” -- ruminations on various subjects, and feedback from Tom’s readers. Write him at tomwatsoATgmailDOTcom (NB that’s “watso” not “watson”)

The late Alva Wood’s collection of satiric and sometimes wildly funny columns about a mythical village’s misadventures now have an archive (don’t ask how this happened) on my website: http://quixotic.ca/Alva-Wood-Archive. Feel free to browse all 550 columns
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Author: Jim Taylor

Categories: Sharp Edges


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