Sharp Stick

Bliss Chronicles

The cover art on Don Lattin’s Following our Bliss is a Volkwagen Bus painted in the psychedelic style associated with the hippie movement, which goes with the subtitle “How the Spiritual Ideas of the Sixties Shape our Lives Today”. Lattin has been writing about religion or spirituality for the San Francisco Chronicle and an assortment …

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A check on the new acquisitions shelf at Greater Victoria Public turned up the 2006 revised third edition of the Granta Book of Reportage. Most of the pieces were in the first edition in 1993. Most of them are long, most are immediate and thoughtful and all are well-written. The thinking tends to represent the …

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For fans of George Clooney’s movie “Good Night, and Good Luck”, a discussion of the work and influence of Edward R. Murrow from the New Yorker: THE MURROW DOCTRINE, Why the life and times of the broadcast pioneer still matter, by Nicholas Lemann.

Alien Abduction

Beam Me Up Godly Being, by Karen Olsson, in Slate, covers or reviews a book by psychologist Susan Clancy, Abducted: How People Come To Believe They Were Kidnapped By Aliens. The article contains this passage: In a chapter of The Varieties of Religious Experience called “The Reality of the Unseen,” William James attested to the …

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Terrible Beauty

It was an impulsive purchase, which proved to be worthwhile. I was looking for something else in the Ideas and philosophy section of the Grant Park McNally Robinson store when I noticed Peter Watson’s A Terrible Beauty: The People and Ideas that Shaped the Modern Mind. (ISBN 1-84212-444-7). With end notes and index, 847 pages …

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On Tuesday (Nov. 1) I flew back to Winnipeg from Victoria, through Edmonton and Saskatoon. I had a window seat. The middle seat was vacant. A passenger who got on in Edmonton took the aisle seat. Last week a couple of Mormon missionaries wanted to talk to me on the street. What is it about …

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Pet Peeve

From Spiked, a book review Self Help: More than just a Sham, reviewing SHAM: How the gurus of the self-help movement make us helpless, by Nicholas Brealey. One of my pet peeves. The reviewer r mentions several fakirs including “Dr.” John Gray, who wrote Men are from Mars – a charlatan right down to his …

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