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

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14

Oct

2023

TV reverses the flow of literature

Author: Jim Taylor
Sunday March 19, 2023

TV can be a cruel medium. Long ago, when I still thought I would earn a doctorate in English literature, I read a theory about the evolution of literature. Essentially, it argued that literature had slowly, steadily, but irreversibly shifted from the perspective of the aggressor to the perspective of the victim.
From the hunter, to the hunted.
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14

Oct

2023

Giving away the secrets

Author: Jim Taylor
Thursday April 6, 2023

“How do you guard an idea?” Donald Schmidt asked in his book, Easter for Progressive Christians.
The question had never occurred to me before. I know how to defend a place. Obviously, with security cameras. Fences. Armed sentries.
Medieval rulers surrounded their castles with moats.
The U.S. builds barriers along its border with Mexico, and mutters about doing the same with Canada.
But you can’t do those things with an idea.
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14

Oct

2023

The sexiest time of the year

Author: Jim Taylor
Thursday March 30, 2023

Less than ten days into official spring, and the daphne bush by my front door has purple blossoms opening like lips awaiting a kiss.
Last year’s peonies are poking green fingers through the soil.
The buds on my neighbour’s magnolia tree swell as if pregnant with possibilities.
And that reliable harbinger of spring, the rhubarb plant from my mother-in-law’s garden 30 years ago, has thrust a dozen dark red erections through the debris of last year’s rotting leaves.
Sorry, I can’t help using sexual imagery to describe spring.
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14

Oct

2023

Creative messages for answering machines

Author: Jim Taylor
Thursday March 23, 2023

Artificial intelligence ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. More and more, I find that when I call business number, I get an automated voice that’s supposed to understand what I say almost as well as a real live human being.
I find myself yearning for the good old days when people recorded their own messages for their answering machines.
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14

Oct

2023

Ten tips for dealing with hearing loss

Author: Jim Taylor
Thursday March 16, 2023

“Slewffcorkt or gruble?” the woman at the fast-food order desk asked.
“I’m sorry,” I said, “I didn’t catch that.” I had forgotten my hearing aids that morning; now I was embarrassed by my own forgetfulness.
“Slewffcorkt or gruble?” she repeated.
I shook my head again. She rolled her eyes and tried one more time. This time I caught the last word – “grilled.” Of course -- she was asking how I wanted my chicken bits cooked!
“Grilled,” I said, still not knowing the other option.
Almost everyone over 50 has some hearing loss.
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