Trump down editorial cartoon
Can concur that reading is way of life

Dear Editor:

I thoroughly enjoyed Jack Knox’s column (The Daily Courier Opinion, Aug. 17).

Not sure about others, but I attribute living longer, in part, to having a library in our community (also the convenience of being able to borrow an e-book from the library) and indulging my love of reading to my heart’s content.

Jack hit the nail on the head (I’m 77, so I have a quote, phrase, saying to fit every occasion) when he said how people are about being asked “what they are reading” and sometimes replying with not the whole truth (so help me God).

I, for one, always (almost always) answer “fiction” – crime, detective (preferably set in England, Scotland, Italy; the food and geography lessons within are worth their weight in gold – a lot fact-free, but also a lot based on facts), psycho thrillers, historical fiction, etc.

Thank you Jack (not Reacher but just as tall in my mind’s eye).

Jean (Thesaurus Rex) Farina, West Kelowna

Canada’s shared narrative is shattered

Dear Editor:

For most Canadians it was Maxime Bernier and Pierre Poilievre  who first drew attention to the ‘Great Reset’ Initiative – an idea that started in 2020, when the Prince of Wales, as head of the annual Davos summit, launched an initiative calling for the pandemic to be seen as a chance for a Great Reset of the global economy – “to produce fairer outcomes.”

The Great Reset pits ideology against practicality, and turns traditional dynamics of left and right politics on its head. Now anti-globalists of both the left and the right are united against a cabal of Davos liberal elites. Conservatism has become the new counter culture, and Liberals represent “the man.”

It was the unholy trinity of the pandemic, Poilievre, and the Freedom Convoy that coalesced into a new breed of Canadian conservatives – conspiratorial, angry and grievance-driven – with an unhealthy interest (for Canada) in the use of extreme patriotism practiced by their American Republican cousins who are obstructionist, rather than collaborative, demonizing opponents and having a willingness to use physical force to get their way.

These new conservatives believe Canada’s liberal narrative bows to “wokeness.” 

Today’s conservative rebels want to end government over-reach. But that is like grabbing smoke. Nobody knows the right size of government; it grows and shrinks constantly and is as big as it needs to be. Canadian history as a compulsory subject ended years ago, and unfortunately that void now gets filled with YouTube. The Internet has altered how we see ourselves. Like the great social transformation of the “Protestant Reformation,” which broke down the Catholic church’s doctrinal hold upon western society, the Internet has broken down Canada’s shared common narrative and unhinged from its anchor what it means to be Canadian. 

Jon Peter Christoff, West Kelowna

Don’t tweet it on the mountain; slow down

Dear Editor:

When George Mallory was asked why he climbed Mount Everest, his reply was simple: “Because it’s there,” and unfortunately so was he for a long time until his body was found. His camera that would have shown if he made the peak was never found but that is no longer a problem for some mountain climbers.

The Tanzanian government is installing high-speed Internet at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro but why? There are some benefits in terms of safety on the climbs but the real reason is so that tourists can have their Instagram piece online immediately.

Has the human race lost their sense? The climb is a challenge to be met by the brave and strong and their reward is what they can see when they get there. There used to be ‘Kodak moments’ that you have to wait weeks to have developed but now there is instant gratification for the climber and all of their ‘followers.’

Slow down, smell the roses, and sit down to appreciate nature’s beauty at the top or bottom of the mountains.

Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne, Australia

Kelowna needs new performing arts centre

Dear Editor:

A volunteer organization, known informally as “Friends of KPAC” has formed to support the creation of an exceptional new Performing Arts Centre in Kelowna’s downtown cultural district. The hope is to achieve this by 2026. They are working with Kelowna’s municipal government to advance a plan to replace the Kelowna Community Theatre with an iconic new Performing Arts Centre. They are also enlisting the performing arts community and other stakeholders to foster broad-based and sustained business and public support for the project. This apparently was the original plan. This group is affiliated with some very heavy hitters in the Kelowna arts community, namely people involved with Ballet Kelowna, Opera Kelowna, and the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Their website is: kelownaperformingarts.ca.

At first it seemed that the City of Kelowna was going to be a partner in this endeavor until news of the upcoming 60th anniversary seemed to imply that the KCT would be enjoying its new upgrades and renovations into its retirement years. I’ve been told that these upgrades are nothing more than improvements to an aging building. This puts the “Friends of KPAC” in a bit of a lurch. They don’t want to be at odds with the City, but at the same time it seems they’ve been blindsided.

There is no doubt that the Kelowna Community Theatre has served its purpose. It has been home to locals like Ballet Kelowna, The Okanagan Symphony, Opera Kelowna and Robert Fine, and it has hosted the likes of Gord Downie and many other celebrities over the years.

But the population of Kelowna has increased from about 13,000 to 153,000 in the last 60 years. That’s an increase of almost 1,200%. It’s time Kelowna got with it and supported a new performing arts centre. Doing meager upgrades to an aging building isn’t enough. 

It seems to me the City of Kelowna wants to act like a big city with all the new highrises and such.

Well, a new performing arts centre is something that would put Kelowna on the map. Afterall, if you travel to Vernon, they have a great venue. It only holds around 750 people but it is a much better venue than our community theatre. 

It’s time, Kelowna. It’s time to build a new performing arts centre that will complement our population, our local talent and will draw celebrities and talent from around the world.

Richard Knight, Kelowna

Some people being considered disposable

Dear Editor:

During the first half of 2022 there were at least 1,095 lives lost in B.C. from toxic-drug overdosing, and more than 10,000 such deaths since April of 2016.

Many, if not most, substance (ab)users resort to reducing or temporarily eliminating their immense stress through chemical means, i.e. euphoria until the drug wears off. Often societally overlooked is that intense addiction usually doesn’t originate from a bout of boredom, where a person repeatedly consumed recreationally but became heavily hooked — and homeless, soon after — on an unregulated often-deadly chemical that eventually destroyed their life and even those of loved-ones.  

Either way, neglecting people dealing with debilitating drug addiction should never have been an acceptable or preferable political option. But the callous politics typically involved with addiction funding/services likely reflect conservative electorate opposition, however irrational, towards making proper treatment available to low- and no-income addicts.

Tragically and appallingly, it’s as though some people, however precious their souls, can be considered disposable. Even to an otherwise democratic and relatively civilized nation, their worth(lessness) is measured basically by their sober ‘productivity’ or lack thereof. Those people may then begin perceiving themselves as worthless and accordingly live their daily lives more haphazardly. Sadly, many of the chronically addicted don’t really care if they overdose and never wake up. It’s not that they necessarily want to die; it’s that they want their pointless corporeal hell to cease and desist. And I don’t think I’m just splitting hairs with that point.  

Though I have not been personally affected by the opioid addiction/overdose crisis in my country, I have suffered enough unrelenting ACE-related hyper-anxiety to have known, enjoyed, and appreciated the great release upon consuming alcohol and/or THC. Yet, I once was one of those who, while sympathetic, would look down on those who’d ‘allowed’ themselves to become addicted to alcohol and/or illicit ‘hard’ drugs.  

However, upon learning that serious life trauma, notably adverse childhood experiences, is very often behind the addict’s debilitating addiction, I began to understand ball-and-chain self-medicating: The greater the drug-induced euphoria/escape one attains from its use, the more one wants to repeat the experience; and the more intolerable one finds their sober reality, the more pleasurable that escape should be perceived. By extension, the greater one’s mental pain or trauma while sober, the greater the need for escape from reality, thus the more addictive the euphoric escape-form will likely be. 

The lasting PTSD mental pain resulting from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one’s head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others. It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is prescription and/or illicitly medicated.  

The preconceived erroneous notion that drug addicts are simply weak-willed and/or have committed a moral crime is, fortunately, gradually diminishing. Also, we now know that Western pharmaceutical corporations intentionally pushed their very addictive and profitable opiates — the real moral crime — for which they got off relatively lightly, considering the resulting immense suffering and overdose death numbers.  

Frank Sterle Jr., White Rock