Novel Thomas

About the Author Novel Thomas

Novel is a well-respected columnist and a foundation member of the CONTACT team. He graduated from Concordia University’s English department. His writing is insightful and thought-provoking.

Commentaries

Doing whatever one enjoys in life for a living invariably defines personal success and happiness

WORK, SATISFACTION AND SUCCESS Here’s something: “Success has become synonymous with financial wealth, influence and status. But can we define success in another way — one that welcomes a broader range of accomplishment? It may not be as obvious as you think.” So reads an online introduction to the subject of success, and how it is defined in different societies. Ted Radio Hour is an interesting one-hour program “about arts and life… ideas, inventions, new ways of thinking and creating… heard weekends (Saturdays at 12 noon, repeated on Sunday) on CJAD radio. The narrator’s name is Ted Raz, the subjects …

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Commentaries

TRULY A MESSED UP WORLD

So there they were again, G7 leaders at their annual summit, held this year in a place called Taormina, Italy. The gathering included the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, representing the political leaders of the seven major economies of the world. They discussed the important matters of the summit, such as their nation’s individual economies (as well as the global economy in general), the urgency of global warming… climate change, terrorism, etc. Once all the important matters of the world were discussed, the leaders used the latter day or two of the summit …

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANYWAYS, MONTREAL

So Wednesday was a big day in and for the city of Montreal. It was a celebration of city’s 375th birthday. As if to herald a new day and beginning, church bells tolled sonorously. Politicians discarded their political colours for a day and came together in the celebratory spirit of the moment for Montreal. For most Montrealers—some to a greater degree than others—it was a big deal; they became caught up in the moment. But I dare say that many people of various ethno-cultural hues and stripes are indifferent; the birthday and what’s chalked up to be a major celebration …

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Commentaries

Never out of sight, but always out of mind

OUR PARADOXICAL CIRCUMSTANCE Late last year, a half-hour preview of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, which runs throughout 2017, was televised on the local CTV outlet. It was a showcase of the city: “founding peoples” (in this case, French and English people, none of the ‘original’ peoples), places of interest and what to expect the duration of the 375th birthday celebration. One thing that I took away from the preview video was the absence of so-called “people of colour,” (“visible minorities…), or, to use another descriptive in modern Quebec parlance re. people who are neither French nor English, “Cultural Communities.” After …

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Commentaries

IT’S NOT SUCH A WONDERFUL WORLD

The problem is uncivilized nations and people with funny names who continue to test the established international status quo. They invariably elicit the wrath of the “civilized nations” of the world. In 1967, jazz great Louis Armstrong recorded a song “What A Wonderful World.” Over the years that song has been featured in several movie soundtracks and TV programs, and has also been covered by various recording artists. Occasionally, it can be heard on radio. It goes without saying that the lyrics of “What A Wonderful World” are not only beautiful, but also meaningful, making it easy on the ears. …

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The Ties Will Always Bind So What Else Can We Be?

So as life continues to unfold, I maintain an interest in the continent of Africa. I wasn’t born there, and that’s a moot point, but I am of there by lineage. And despite all that has happened there throughout my lifetime, I haven’t… can’t become jaded. It’s a world I inherited a few decades ago, which has become increasingly crazy and messed up in this, the 21st century. And it’s unfolding, some say unraveling as it should, forcing people out of necessity to converge (and unite) around ideological issues of specific and common interest, such as race, culture, ethnicity, politics… …

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Commentaries

Our Continuing Trying Times…

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far go together.” I occasionally hear that adage used on certain radio and TV programs during discussions… And every time I hear it, it makes more and more sense. For various reasons I never get tired of hearing it; it’s resonant. Apparently, it’s an old African proverb the likes of that other popular one, “It takes a village…” which is widely used in discussions… Problem is I’m not quite sure if it truly originated on the African continent (and was appropriated, co-opted by others), but every time …

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Commentaries

It transcends February

AFRICAN… BLACK HISTORY Just like Black history has become the flavour of the month of February, I can’t separate the African history of the Caribbean, Latin America (especially Brazil), the nations of the South Pacific, North America and Europe from the continent of Africa. Diluted by time as Black history might’ve become in some places, the reality is always there to see… African history must therefore be addressed holistically. If what’s happening there, where it all began, does not resonate, then… That said, it truly is disheartening watching and reading the news coming out of a handful of African countries …

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Commentaries

Like shattered glass we must put our pieces together

A Fractured History A Fractious People In a global context, our history is not about little islands in the Caribbean, each with specific and unique customs and historical facts (like the region’s multi-racial, -ethnic composition, etc.). It’s not about the South Pacific’s or India’s Andaman Islands’ African peoples. It’s not about Europe’s peoples of African heritage, or North America’s African peoples, descendants of the slaves… Actually, our history is comprised of the totality – all those places along with (and most importantly) the primary source from which, centuries ago, our ancestors were forcibly extracted and stripped of those things that …

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THE HYPOCRISY OF RELIGION AND POLITICS…

The Religion… I went to Union United Church the end of January to worship, something I do occasionally. And each time I pull on that big brown door it’s with great expectations of hearing some “good news” from the pulpit and the good members of the Union family, especially that the seemingly endless contention, which has resulted in the polarization of the congregation, has finally ended, and that everyone is now on the same page, singing from the same Hymn book, and working cooperatively. So there I was. After greeting familiar folk I settled in for another Sunday session of …

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