Sadness, frustration, hope, worry, a little more hope, and a shock of red hair. That's what's on the menu today. If you like links, then this is sort of like an all-you-can-read buffet. Bon appetit.
Paul Quarrington died on Thursday. He was a CanLit icon, and a well-known musician in these parts. Last I saw him was at the International Festival of Authors, back in October. I didn't have tickets to actually see the event for him, but it was great by all accounts, even if it was a bit sad considering he was sick. Vit Wagner's piece is here, and Julie Wilson's excellent tale of (among other things) living in his old house is here. There's very little that I can add to what they have written, but Quarrington wrote several good books, and I suggest you experience some of them.
Of note to Canadians: There are protests going on today in anger over the government prorogue. I'm going to swing by the one in Toronto and see if any significant fuss is made about this political farce.
Haiti update: I was photographing a fundraiser for Haiti on Thursday night. The event went remarkably well. From a humanitarian perspective, it's great to see the general outpouring of generosity in recent days. Part of the money raised went to Lifewater, an organization that builds wells and provides sustainable clean drinking water. It was a party kind of fundraiser, but there were a couple of pretty sombre moments, such as when the organizer (DFareham) had his mother on the phone from Haiti. She was put on speaker, and there were echoes of gunshots a couple of times during a two-minute conversation. I can't even imagine what it's like to be in those shoes. Here's hoping for the best.
For those of you who helped, who are helping, or who have donated time or money, thank you.
Raising funds? Good. Distributing them and having accountability? That's trickier. Not to get too political here, but there are economic problems with Haiti that go beyond anything brought on by natural disaster, and some of it could be our doing.
It's troubling to read about the indiscriminate distribution of goods. Here's a sample line: "Piyay (goods) from foreign missionaries and aid agencies with the best of intentions but little understanding of the culture they are working in too often turns the village sociopath or criminal into the wealthiest member of the community [...] And now, in the wake of this disaster, the piyay is about to arrive as never before."
The good news? There are ways to fix Haiti.
Friday night also had a couple of big TV events. First was the Hope for Haiti telethon hosted by George Clooney.
That was followed by another event, one that was a bit more light-hearted than anything else in this post seems to be. I'm talking about Conan O'Brien's last show as host of the Tonight Show. Funny, moving, and rocking (did you see him shredding on guitar?!), it was a good way to go. Long may you run, CoCo.