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

Stress: Our path to early death

I have become accustomed to listen to early morning radio, not necessarily to be entertained, but to hear what’s in the news every given day. And three particular stations meet my daily information needs: CJAD, CBC, CKUT—not necessarily in that order—each one offering specific news and social tidbits of interest to ruminate, and perhaps digest. So a couple weeks ago, in the lead-up to CJAD’s 8 AM news, Doctor Mitch Shulman’s always informative health segment touched on an issue of particular interest to Black people: stress, and it’s potentially fatal outcome if not taken seriously. Generally speaking, stress can be …

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Commentaries

More studying and consulting

About race, racism, ethnocentrism… “Québec veut ouvrir le dialogue sur le racisme systématique…” screamed a headline on the cover page of last weekend’s Metro newspaper. It’s like a rite of passage for any MNA who holds the Quebec Immigration portfolio. Each one invariably establishes a commission to conduct an inquiry into the reality (or the perception) of systemic racism in the province. According to the article, the announcement of this latest endeavour “coincides with the appearance of a poster proclaiming “All these hateful acts are unacceptable in a society…” the minister stated. That’s true. But platitudes are all that; they …

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Commentaries

Hear This…

Call me a Pollyanna if you like. But at a time of year when people should tune out all the madness happening in certain pockets of the world and mentally preoccupied with (thinking) things summery, summertime and living easy, and all things beautiful that the season conjures, I’m going against the grain, obsessing over urgent practical matters of the world—at least some of them—and how they could be remedied with a modicum of international political and social will. So there they were recently, a handful of politicians—aka leaders of the free world—men for the most part, under the auspices of …

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Commentaries

At 150 she’s aging but is still young and beautiful

CANADA I’m not one to wrap myself in national political colours, or pretend to be a pseudo historian of any kind, but as a living soul it’s incumbent on me to suck up as much as I can about where I live, as well as the rest of the world. So listening to CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup last Sunday it was interesting to listen to Canadians of various backgrounds—racially, culturally, ethnically and otherwise, all of whom are (the products of) immigrants, some recent, others going back two, three, four… generations. Ultimately, we are all (the children, grandchildren, great… grandchildren …

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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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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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