All entries by this author

Seven steps to heaven on the Toronto jazz scene in January 2018 …

Jan 3rd, 2018 | By Dominic Berry | Category: Entertainment

[UPDATED JANUARY 10]. What are some options for dropping by the Rex Jazz & Blues bar in Toronto in the first month of this perhaps fateful year 2018? Which of the scheduled groups would you most like to hear? Those asking these poignant questions also promised that if we did go to any of these [...]

“Toronto, I just want to say … this is the greatest city in the world” — the double football championship of 2017

Dec 12th, 2017 | By Dominic Berry | Category: Key Current Issues

Football means one thing in North America, and another in the rest of the world. (And even just North America north of the Rio Bravo/Rio Grande. There’s also Australian Rules Football, I guess, but that’s … well … something completely different.) In the late fall of 2017, as it happens, Toronto, ON, Canada has won [...]

Ave atque vale Hugh Hefner : “one of a handful of people who most represent the sexual revolution” .. maybe ??

Sep 29th, 2017 | By Dominic Berry | Category: In Brief

Like others, no doubt, I haven’t looked at a copy of Playboy magazine for a great many years. And I never subscribed or otherwise read the articles (or looked at the photos) regularly. But for a time in the late 1950s and 1960s, it was something young men my age were expected to know about [...]

Memories of Gerry Mulligan and other time travelers in the strange North American summer of 2017

Jul 15th, 2017 | By Dominic Berry | Category: Entertainment

At last we have summer in the city 2017 up here on the northwest shore of the most easterly great lake (well, sort of …). Back from a short communion with early July mosquitoes further north, I somehow bumped into a YouTube clip called “Paul Desmond & Gerry Mulligan — Stardust.” As happens in the [...]

Northern lights on US election V : does Comey’s latest announcement cancel Bill Maher’s right-wing coup?

Nov 7th, 2016 | By Dominic Berry | Category: In Brief

GANATSEKWYAGON, ON. MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2 AM. The phone rang. It was the doctor. “You’re supposed to be the humour guy,” he said. “Do something humourous about this US election. It’s killing us.” He went on : “I watched Bill Maher Friday night. President Obama — just on tape but of course impressive. Then a [...]

100th anniversary of Easter 1916 Rebellion in Ireland .. one view from Toronto, Canada

Mar 27th, 2016 | By Dominic Berry | Category: Countries of the World

In the 1930s the local historian (and private school Latin teacher) Percy Robinson — author of the still invaluable Toronto during the French Regime, 1615–1793 — called Toronto, Ontario, Canada (all North American indigenous words) “the citadel of British sentiment in America.” On a somewhat earlier and more extreme, possibly even exaggerated variation on the [...]

Old Toronto memories of worst team in NHL .. Al Rollins & Black Hawks + Erin Andrews & Jarret Stoll

Mar 5th, 2016 | By Dominic Berry | Category: Sporting Life

MARCH 5, 2016. TORONTO, ON. For several days my morning TV news has been harshly reminding me that the Toronto Maple Leafs (in my hometown, I will quietly confess at the start) are the worst team in the entire National Hockey League/Ligue nationale de hockey. The NHL/LNH is now a much bigger operation than it [...]

Happy saxophone holidays to the shadow of your smile (and other close-to-year-end notes), 1965–2015

Dec 10th, 2015 | By Dominic Berry | Category: In Brief

“The Shadow of Your Smile” was one of the last enduring popular songs in the tradition of the Great American Songbook — whose truest heyday was “from the 1920s to the 1950s.” With music by Johnny Mandel and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster, it first appeared in 1965, as the Academy Award winning Best Original [...]

David Letterman was Alfred E. Neumann come to life, and we postwar Mad magazine readers loved him

May 21st, 2015 | By Dominic Berry | Category: USA Today

I don’t have a lot to say about David Letterman. (Ed NOTE: Mr. Dominic Berry then goes on for another 750 words or more, but hey… it is the end of an era.) I think I have watched his late night TV show since it began, not exactly always but often. Though, like others it [...]

Ontario election May 30 : is “close race” the new deep truth .. and what about Brian Mulroney at Quebecor?

May 30th, 2014 | By Dominic Berry | Category: In Brief

Ontario election polls may be starting to suggest some emerging consistent if still quite uncertain story. The great poll aggregator Eric Grenier offers the snappiest summary : “close race.” The latest “CP24/CTV Ipsos Reid poll of 868 Ontarians has determined that the Liberals now enjoy the support of 34 % of decided voters (up three [...]