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

To make Comments write directly to Jim at jimt@quixotic.ca





How to get men talking

Author: Jim Taylor

Men don’t like talking about emotions. They have a hang-up about discussing their hang-ups. If you want to get men talking, ask about their first car.

            This tactic doesn’t work as well in mixed groups. Some women don’t care about cars. A few have never actually owned a car. They’ve left car ownership to their boyfriends or husbands.

            Cars seem to matter more to men. It’s a macho thing, I guess.

            That first car was a rite of passage. An entry to the adult world. A portal to an alternate universe.

Comments (0) Number of views (379)




Who’s repaying what, to whom?

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday April 25, 2021


The federal budget is in. As presented by Finance Minister Christia Freeland last week, the budget expects to run a $354 billion -- yes, that’s billion -- deficit for the current fiscal year.

            Plus $152 billion next year.

            And $59 billion the year after.

            On top of somewhere over $400 billion thrown at the economy during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the carnage caused by closures, shutdowns, lockdowns, and travel restrictions.

            The federal government itself has no money. It operates on money it collects from us, in taxes. If it doesn’t have enough money on hand, it has to borrow from us, so that it can feed that money back to us, to get us through an economic crisis, and then we have to re-pay ourselves the money that was borrowed on our behalf from ourselves.

            Does that strike anyone else as somewhat circular?

Comments (0) Number of views (994)




Mixed thoughts on Earth Day

Author: Jim Taylor

If this column seems a little lighter than usual, it’s because I completely forgot about writing it for the local weekly paper. Until today. Which happens to be Earth Day, 2021.

            A few years ago, a visiting friend asked me what I thought of the state of the world. 

            At the personal level, I said, I’m an incurable optimist. I don’t know any individual who would refuse to help out another individual in need. 

            I know, I know, there are occasional stories of someone being murdered while 27 eyewitnesses did nothing. But those stories make the news because they’re the exceptions. 

            Most individuals can be, and are, compassionate to other individuals. 

            At the collective level, though, I am equally pessimistic. As a human species, we seem incapable of thinking beyond the present. We are terminally short-sighted. 

Comments (0) Number of views (481)




What if we never return to normal?

Author: Jim Taylor

Let’s imagine the unthinkable. Suppose life never goes back to “normal.”

            Increasingly, I hear people expressing frustration about pandemic restrictions. They want to visit their grandchildren; travel to exotic places; hug their friends. 

            I share those desires.

          I long for a time when I can associate with my friends directly – not virtually.

            But maybe things won’t go back to what they used to be. 


Comments (0) Number of views (369)




Volcanoes and other coincidences

Author: Jim Taylor

Thurs. Spr. 15, 2021

In January 1993, Joan and I took our winter holiday in Montserrat, one of the less-visited islands of the Caribbean. It was so less-visited, it only had three hotels.

            Four years later, the island’s volcano blew up. It buried the capital city in ash. To the rooftops.

            Then in January 2008, we went to St. Vincent, at the other end of the Caribbean chain of islands. Five of us hiked up to the rim of St. Vincent’s volcano, past ferns growing 30-feet tall. 

            We peered down into swirling mists in the crater. I’d love to have gone down, but the rock walls were too sheer for anything but trained climbers with ropes and pitons. 

            Last week, the volcano on St. Vincent blew up. 


Comments (0) Number of views (371)




The trauma of living in bubbles

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday April 11, 2021


Many years ago, when our son was still alive but not yet a teenager, our family watched a made-for-TV movie called “The Boy in a Plastic Bubble.” 

            It had little to commend it. Even the story line was a bit hokey – a boy born with no immunity to anything. To have any kind of normal life, he lived inside a large plastic bubble that isolated him from everyone.

            It seemed to me, at the time, that it also reflected the life that our son had to lead. Because he had CF, cystic fibrosis, he had to be protected from anything that might lead to a potentially fatal lung infection.

            When the movie ended, our son yawned, stretched, and said, “Okay. I’m going to bed.”

            On a sudden impulse, I asked, “Do you ever feel like that boy in the bubble?”

            He was frozen for an instant. Then he burst into tears. 


Comments (0) Number of views (494)




Singing to the Easter sunrise

Author: Jim Taylor

Thursday April 8, 2021


The church congregation I belong to has held an Easter Sunrise service for at least 40 years. The last two years, however, Covid-19 has thrown a virus into the works. Health restrictions prohibit any gathering of people. And any singing. 

            This year, for some reason that I cannot fully define, I felt that I needed a sunrise service. 

            If we couldn’t have one collectively, I decided, I would have one individually. 

            Which is why I found myself, half an hour before dawn on Easter Sunday, climbing a steep trail up Spion Kop, a local peak. 

Comments (0) Number of views (541)
Read more

Categories: Soft Edges

Tags: Easter, sunrise




Who gets protection last?

Author: Jim Taylor

I got my Covid-19 vaccination a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad that my age puts me near the head of the line. 

            But then Jack Knox, a Victoria columnist, asked who should be at the end of the line?

            Because somebody has to be last. Don’t they? 

            Most of us would agree about those who should get preference. 

  • The residents of long-term care facilities, whose health is fragile already.
  • The front-line medical workers, who spend all day, every day, in close contact with the infected people the rest of us want to avoid. 
  • The essential workers, the ones who keep supplying groceries, hardware, and emergency services. Even if only one in every hundred people they encounter is a Covid carrier, that’s still way more than the rest of us.
  • Teachers and child-care workers, who deal daily with little germ factories. 

           But who’s not on the list?

            The question implies a deserving factor. Which is rooted, I would argue, in a belief that the universe is supposed to be fair. Those who are good get rewarded; those who aren’t, get punished. 

Comments (0) Number of views (578)




To those who live in fear

Author: Jim Taylor

Sunday April 4, 2021


What does it feel like, to live in fear? Not the short-term fear, that an oncoming car won’t stop in time. The long-term, constant fear that you, through no fault of your own, are a target for violence. Just because of who you are.

            It happened to a 65-year-old woman in New York last week. An unknown man knocked her down, kicked her in the stomach, stomped on her face, then casually strolled away.

            The woman was Asian.

            Most of us who are white males, like me, have no idea what it is like to spend your life knowing that you’re at risk. To feel unsafe walking to the bus at night, after work. To feel people staring at you on the street or in the classroom. To hear jokes that imply you’re genetically stupid (or, conversely, genetically smarter), or a sexual object, or inherently untrustworthy. 

Comments (0) Number of views (519)
«April 2021»



"gate of the year" #MeToo .C. Taylor 12th night 150th birthday 1950s 1954 1972 1984 215 3G 4004 BC 70 years 8 billion 9/11 A A God That Could Be Real abduction aboriginal abortion Abrams abuse achievement Adam Adams River addiction Addis Ababa adoption Adrian Dix Advent advertising affirmative action Afghanistan agendas aging agnostics Ahriman Ahura Mazda airlines airport killings Alabama albinism albinos Alexa algorithms Allegations allies Almighty Almighty God alone ALS alt-right altruism Amanda Gorman Amanda Todd Amazon American empire Amerika Amherst amnesia analysis anarchy Andes Andrea Constant Andrew Copeland Taylor anger animals anniversaries Anniversary Anthropocene antidote Ants aphrodisiac apologetics Apologies apology apoptosis App Store Archives Ardern Aristotle armistice Armstrong army Army and Navy stores Art artifacts artists ashes Asian assisted death astronomy atheists atonement atropine Attawapiscat attitudes attraction audits Aunt Jemima Australia authorities authorities. Bible autism automation autumn B.C. election B.C. Health Ministry B.C. Legislature B-2 Baal Shem Tov baby Bach bad news baggage Bagnell Bahai Baldi Bali Banda banning books Baptism Barabbas Barbados barbed wire barbers barriers Bashar al Assad Batman baton BC BC Conference Beans bears beauty Beaver Beethoven beginnings behaviour bel-2 belief systems beliefs bells belonging benefits Bernardo Berners-Lee berries Bethlehem Bible biblical sex bicycle Biden Bill C-6 billboards billionaire BioScience Bird songs birds birth birthday birthdays Bitcoin Black history Blackmore blessings Blockade blockades blood blood donations blood donors Bloomberg Blue Christmas boar boarding school body Boebert Bohr bolide Bolivia Bolivian women BOMBHEAD bombing bombings bombs books border patrol borrowing both/and bottom up Bountiful Brahms brain development Brain fog brains Brazil breath breathe breathing Brexit broken Bruce McLeod bubbles Buber Bucket list Buddha Buddhism Bulkley bulldozers bullets bullying burials bus driver bush pilots butterflies butterfly Calendar California Cambridge Analytica. Facebook cameras campfire Canada Canada Day Canadian Blood services Canal Flats cancer candidates cannibalism Canute Capitol Capp caregivers Caribbean Caribbean Conference of Churches caring Carnaval. Mardi Gras carousel cars Carter Commission cash castes cats cave caveats CBC CD Cecil the lion. Zanda cell phones Celsius CentrePiece CF chance change Charlie Gard Charlottesville Charter of Compassion Checklists checkups chemical weapons Chesapeake Bay Retriever Chesterton Child Advocacy Centre child trafficking childbirth children Chile Chile. Allende China chivalry chocolates choice choices choirs Christchurch Christiaanity Christian Christianity Christians Christina Rossetti Christine Blasey Ford Christmas Christmas Eve Christmas gathering Christmas lights Christmas tree Christmas trees Christopher Plummer Chrystia Freeland church churches circle of life citizenship Clarissa Pinkola Estés Clearwater Clichés cliffhanger climate change climate crisis clocks close votes clouds Coastal GasLink coastal tribes coffee coincidence cold Coleman collaboration collapse collective work colonial colonial mindset colonialism colonies Colten Boushie Columbia River Columbia River Treaty comfort comic strips commercials communication Communion community compassion competition complexity composers composting computer processes Computers conception conclusions Confederacy Confederate statues confession confessions confidence Confirmation confusion Congo Congress Conrad Black consciousness consensual consensus consent conservative Conservative Party conservative values conspiracies conspiracy constitution construction contraception contrasts Conversations Conversion conversion therapy Convoy cooperation COP26 copyright coral Cornwallis corona virus coronavirus corporate defence corporations corruption Corrymeela Cosby Cougars counter-cultural Countercurrents couple courtesy courts Covenant Coventry Cathedral cover-up COVID-19 Coyotes CPP CPR CRA Craig crashes Crawford Bay creation creche credit credit cards creeds cremation crescent Creston crime criminal crossbills cross-country skiing Crows crucifixion Cruelty crypto-currencies Cuba Missile Crisis Cultural appropriation cuneiform Curie curling cutbacks cute cyberbullying Cystic Fibrosis Dalai Lama Damien Damocles Dan Rather dancing Danforth dark matter darkness Darren Osburne Darwin data mining daughter David David Scott David Suzuki de Bono dead zone deaf deafness death death survival deaths debt decision decisions decorations deficit Definitions Delhi Dementia democracy Democratic denial Denny's departure Depression Derek Chauvin Descartes Desiderata despair determinism Devin Kelley dew dawn grass Diana Butler-Bass Dickie dinners dinosaurs discontinuities discussion Dishwashing dissent distancing diversity division divorce dog dogs dominance Don Cherry Donald Trump donkey Donna Sinclair donor doorways Doug Ford Doug Martindale Dr. Keith Roach Dr. Seuss dreaming dreams Drugs ducks duets Duvalier dying Dylan Thomas earth Earth Day earthquake Earworms Easter Eat Pray Love Eatons Ebola echo chambers e-cigarettes eclipse
Copyright 2023 by Jim Taylor  |  Powered by: Churchweb Canada