Who needs civics? You do!

The business report on the radio began with the latest dooming and glooming. The commentator used all the appropriate clichés about this poor outlook, that unexpected downturn, and, of course, the uncertainty prevailing. Then, he surprised me with his ignorance by describing this week’s outcome in the French election.

“European markets are surging,” he said, “because of leftist Marine Le Pen’s showing in the first round of the French elections.”

Leftist?” I repeated out loud. “Does he have any idea what he’s talking about?”

Suffering for art sake

Jennifer Carroll as Maud. Photo courtesy Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario.

The great English poet and satirist John Donne called it a treasure. French impressionist painter Claude Monet considered it torture. American author Helen Keller said it was an inspiration. Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner claimed humankind could endure vast quantities of it, but that it resulted in greatness. Then there was philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s view of suffering.

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger,” he said.