Nobility

From Clarissa:

For centuries, nothing was more meaningful or more defining than whether one was born to a noble family. One’s entire existence was influenced in every single aspect by the accident of birth into a certain social class.

After WWI, the titles of European nobility started to lose their value. Save for a couple of Windsors or Borbons, the rest of the “nobles” accepted that their titles’ place was on the trash heap of history. I’m sure it wasn’t pleasant for the antiquated aristocrats to see how “nobodies” were stripping them of importance but that’s the march of history for you.

Today the same is happening with citizenship. And people are just as unhappy that the accident of birth that used to give them so much good stuff is becoming meaningless. Like the nobles of 100 years ago, they can’t believe that the lottery win they thought they had gained just by being born in the right place is losing its value.

Of course, their loss is somebody else’s gain. Just like 100 years ago.

“The Accident of Birth”

All of Clarissa’s posts on Liquid Capital and the end of the nation-state are compelling.

Pigeon Park interviews

vicepigeonparkinterviews

From Vice: There’s Little Time to Mourn the Dead as Overdoses Continue in Vancouver.

Perfect

Nation of immigrants

Immigrants have made my American hometown more and more wonderful. They are beloved there.

Come to Canada

In a tart post this morning Atrios notes that he would be

shocked if foreign enrollment in [American] colleges and universities wasn’t down 10%+ next year (I completely made up that figure, of course, but you get the idea) even if they started handing out green cards to anyone who asked for one. And those institutions really rely on full paying foreign students these days, for better or for worse (certainly for worse in some ways, but just ripping away that revenue source isn’t going to help).

Prediction: If the travel bans and if the “extreme vetting” stay in place, Canadian universities like Kwantlen will see a surge in applications. And what a tremendous thing that would be for my country and for my colleagues in postsecondary institutions across Canada. But at such a cost.

cross-posted from nocontest.ca

My university’s president, Dr. Alan Davis …

… issued a statement about the past two days that I want to share here:

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) proudly and unabashedly embraces diversity, and remains steadfastly committed to the values of inclusion and belonging.

For this reason, I am deeply disturbed by events of the last few days. On Sunday, six people were killed and many more were injured during an attack on Muslim worshipers at a Quebec mosque. On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order restricting travel to the United States for 90 days on individuals from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

KPU stands with Universities Canada in expressing our opposition to the executive action taken by the Trump government. …

It was only three months ago that KPU was proud to join with SFU and the City of Surrey to become Canada’s first international City of Refuge, and to work together to offer temporary sanctuary—respite from danger and fear—to writers and artists who are persecuted in their home countries for their creative work. …

Among KPU’s international student population are students from countries affected by the travel ban, and we are currently reaching out to those students directly. Students from other countries who come to KPU to study enrich the university’s global learning environment by furthering cross-cultural engagement. To these students, I offer the university’s abiding encouragement and support, and a pledge that we will do our utmost to ensure their academic experiences are minimally impacted by the order. Further, we remain committed to supporting the international academic pursuits of all our students and faculty members, and that includes maintaining our relationships with universities around the world. …

In terms of any pending or current education leaves, professional development or scholarly activities, KPU strongly advises those who might be subject to these travel restrictions to carefully consider whether their travel plans should be amended in light of the current situation.

Further, we understand that these restrictions may impact the ability of scholars to freely travel across borders.  In some instances, some of those scholars may have been scheduled to speak at KPU. We will review on a case-by-case basis any instances where these travel restrictions will impact plans to have visiting scholars speak at KPU and what might be done to still ensure their voices are heard. …

Kristi Coulter holidays

From “Dear Santa” –

I would like an advent calendar of lipsticks, a telegraph machine and respondent, moon boots made with fair-trade moon. I would like one hour to speak privately with the muppet Grover about some things that have been troubling me. I would like an add-a-bead necklace where the beads are Get Out of Jail Free cards. The cards are sold separately and I would like a starter set of five. Two starter sets of five. I would like a weathervane in my heart that I can make visible to others on a need-to-know basis.

Kristi was an original contributor to Ellavon: An Ezine of Basic Culture. I have edited possibly a thousand writers in my professional career. Kristi is the only author to whom I never could suggest a change, no better words, no commas, no nothing.

My only request: “Do please submit a new, next piece.” And therefore I was a genius editor.

Her first book comes out early next year.

Family and friends

The holiday season was extra busy for me, with lots of family and friends visiting B.C. One consequence has been the slim pickings here at basil.CA and on my other online platforms.

Lots of eating activity, though, was accomplished over the break. Below is a photograph taken by the wonderful Lincoln Clarkes of Alie Sokol, Dr. Miles Basil, and me at The Flying Pig in Gastown a couple of weeks ago.

lcpicture1_forweb