Joe Campbell

Making sense of it all

Light is Right Joe Campbell My vision began changing in 2009. Not my mental vision. I can still see what’s wrong with the world. My physical vision. I can no longer see what’s wrong with my wardrobe. Which is a bit of a blessing. What’s not a blessing is that, thanks to macular degeneration, my central vision deteriorated rather abruptly. Despite treatment, including injections of unpronounceable drugs ... (Continue reading)

With a little help from our enemies

Light is Right Joe Campbell When he said he was a convert, several who heard him turned away. Maybe they thought a convert was a cross between a convict and a pervert. “I converted to Catholicism a year ago,” he explained, as they dispersed. A cradle Catholic, I’ve always been interested in conversion stories. I asked about his. “I was attracted to the Church’s distinctive teachings,” he said. “Distinctive teachings? ... (Continue reading)

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The voters they deserve

Light is Right Joe Campbell "The Prime Minister dropped the writ,” Molder said. “He did what?” said Bimson. “I’m afraid we’re in for an election.” “I should think so. A Prime Minister who’s that careless is no longer fit to serve.” “The Governor General issued the writ today.” “I’ll bet she was angry when the Prime Minister dropped it.” “She had no choice,” Molder explained, “unless she was prepared for a constitutional ... (Continue reading)

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Managing risk

Light is Right Joe Campbell So now I have to worry about sitting. Prolonged sitting, the media tell me, could shorten my life. They say it’s a risk factor like smoking, fattening and aging. Aging? Although I stopped smoking and fattening years ago and survived, no one I know of who stopped aging lived to tell about it. I’d rather age than not, thank you. By ... (Continue reading)

Making room

Light is Right Joe Campbell My good friend Bidwell is reducing his possessions and his weight. In common parlance, Bidwell is downsizing. As he is moving from a large two-storey house to a small bungalow, he sees no other viable option. When we last met, I found him brooding over several boxes of books he intended to give away. “It’s like parting with old friends,” he said, reaching ... (Continue reading)


Light is Right Joe Campbell Normally, I don’t publicly engage in sex talk. But when a progressive thinker corners me at a cocktail party, I can’t always choose the topic. “Homosexual orientation is innate and fixed,” she said. “You mean gays and lesbians are born with it?” I replied. “It’s due to nature, not nurture.” “Like being masculine or feminine?” “Masculine and feminine are social constructs and changeable,” she said. “You mean ... (Continue reading)

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Give your masthead a shake

Light is Right Joe Campbell There sure are a lot of stars, a lot of suns, too. In Canada alone, there is at least one star in most provinces and a multi-province chain of suns. Since modern journalism began in 17th century Europe, stars and suns have proliferated on newspaper mastheads around the world. Try as I may, I can’t figure out why we circulate news under ... (Continue reading)

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Witches brew

Light is Right Joe Campbell Although she had noticed him from afar, she didn’t recognize her former classmate until she reached the bench he was sitting on.“I haven’t seen you for a long time,” she said, after they exchanged greetings. “I don’t see you very well now,” he replied. “I’ve lost a good deal of my central vision to macular degeneration.” “I hadn’t heard,” she said. “Should you ... (Continue reading)

Some are more equal

Light is Right Joe Campbell Thanks to the animal rights people, I’ve developed a guilty conscience. After reading their literature, I realize that I’m unfair to animals. I’ve been unfair to them, I’m embarrassed to say, for as long as I can remember. It’s not that I dislike animals. It’s just that I treat them unequally. I discriminate, and that’s wrong. But I can’t help it if I ... (Continue reading)

Humour rights

Light is Right Joe Campbell "You’re a humorist, I understand," the rights regulator said. “I’ve been accused of that,” I replied. “You amuse your readers.” “Apparently.” “Why? “I beg your pardon.” “Why do you amuse your readers?” “I’m not sure. Maybe I was amused as a child and can’t break the cycle.” “You make fun of events, issues, groups, individuals,” he said, taking another tack. “I don’t usually make fun of identifiable individuals. I invent ... (Continue reading)

An odd profession

Light is Right Joe Campbell Charles Dickens earns more from his writing dead than I do from mine alive. So does Ernest Hemingway. What is there about being dead that promotes literary excellence? I’d give anything to know. Well, almost anything. I’m not dying to know. Fortunately, death isn’t the only hope for struggling writers. Several occupations unrelated to writing also foster literary ability. Two terms in ... (Continue reading)

Miracles of sloppy writing

Light is Right Joe Campbell Not for anything would I miss reading my favourite columnists and reporters. Without their revelations, I might never have known what a miraculous age we live in. Consider, if you will, an engagingly reflective bit of writing that has to do with a late pope, a living cardinal and a chapel dear to both. The writer, a columnist I much admire, ... (Continue reading)

A burgeoning industry

A burgeoning industry

George Jefferson from TV show All in the Family. Until I did some research, it hadn’t occurred to me that there might be a cache of racial slurs that target whites. Well, apparently there are plenty of the allegedly offensive epithets. I say “apparently” and “allegedly” because I’ve never heard of most of the entries, and the ones I know about don’t offend ... (Continue reading)

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What’s missing

Light is Right Joe Campbell "I’m learning about the virtues,” Bimson said. “The virtues?” Molder replied. “You know,” said Bimson, “temperance, liberality, justice, fortitude, that sort of thing. I’m taking a short course in ethics.” “It’s easier to learn about the virtues than to practice them,” Molder said. “That’s what our instructor told us,” said Bimson. “So each time he introduces a new one, our assignment is to find a ... (Continue reading)

Survival of the fattest

Light is Right Joe Campbell Am I ever naive. I used to think that overeating is about catering to an unruly appetite. It isn’t. It’s about promoting world peace. Because of it, thousands fail to qualify for military service every year. They’re too fat to fight. Of course, only a quarter to a third of adult North Americans are obese. Never mind. If present trends continue, before ... (Continue reading)