Ben Mahony

Playing With Fire by Theo Fleury

I heard Theo Fleury speak at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse last summer during the Adäka Cultural Festival, but hadn’t had a chance to read his autobiography, Playing With Fire, until recently. I finished it quickly. He writes forcefully about his addictions and the abuse and neglect that underpinned them. Much of the …

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The Mystery Man

As we age do we revert to the simpler pleasures of youth? Perhaps all the way to the diaper? The symmetry of the baseball diamond and the unique strategy of this game-of-inches have inspired poets and hooligans alike. As middle age moves on, I find myself indulging more in the sport, recalling its obscure and …

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Piper at the Gates of Dawn

When “The Pink Floyd” released their 1967 experimental psychedelic classic, Piper At the Gates of Dawn, the term “Swinging London” had just been coined by Time magazine. Art school dropouts and all manner of urban Anglos were exploring music and film and staging mixed-genre “happenings”. At the centre of the aural maelstrom for a brief …

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The Last, Best Guitar Album

Radiohead’s 1995 album The Bends clocks in at just over 45 minutes. I know that because my cassette tape that featured it would cut-off and flip over to “Crooked Rain Crooked Rain” by Pavement halfway through The Bends’ ultimate track, “Street Spirit (Fade Out.)” Allegedly inspired by Ben Orki’s novel The Famished Road, “Street Spirit” …

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Magic and Loss: On the passing of Lou Reed

I find that sometimes there is a temptation to gloss over the more tempestuous aspects of a person that is recently deceased. Lou Reed might be the exception that proves the rule. In his book The Velvet Underground and Nico, Joe Harvard compares Lou to Raymond Chandler (one of Lou’s artistic fountainheads – second perhaps …

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Declan O’Donovan

Born and raised Yukon singer songwriter Declan O’Donovan is setting sail for The Rainbow Room in Ottawa as a featured performer in the upcoming Northern Scene bonanza of music, visual art, storytelling and so much more. O’Donovan has put together a top notch band and is teaming up with Whitehorse-based roots and blues luminary Ryan …

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The Plight of the Roma

Last October Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that the Roma, more popularly known as gypsies, would no longer find safe haven as refugees in Canada. Until recently, I had little knowledge of these people who transcend national borders and trace their history to the Dom tribe of 11th century India. On my recent backpacking …

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Strung Out in Saigon

Vietnam provokes strong reactions. Either you love it or you hate it. I’ve found endless travel blogs dedicated to scams perpetrated on the back packing foreigners. In stark contrast, I’ve found writers praising the grace and virtue of the Vietnamese. Were reports from travellers on pre-packaged tours or in the luxury hotels shielded from the …

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