A different seasons greeting...

A year end parable and things to listen to in these dark and magical times: podcasts for the holidays and The Fun Palace 3penny Holiday Variety Show.

December 28 and 29 // Fun Palace 3penny Holiday Variety Show Tickets here: https://www.universe.com/fp3penny


In the parabolic nature of this time of year, let us imagine.
There are two kinds of folks who are angry at the Charlatan and other sellers of false magic.

One type is the Rationalist. The Rationalist, aligned and overlapping with the “New Atheists” – believes that there is no magic in the world. Numbers, Rational actors and Realpolitik are the tools he° sells. He is furious that the Charlatan is trying to trick the masses into believing that there is magic at all.

The other type are the Believers. We are opposed to the Charlatan because his° customers, exposed to false magic, will stop believing in real magic. We are the ones who believe in this real magic that can’t be sold or even well articulated — but is present when people gather in solidarity and companionship.

It is possible, in these times, to believe that there are only Charlatans and Rationalists. We break this belief by creating and sharing magic.

As simple and mysterious as that.

(Previous year end letters)


For these days, maybe you need something for the solo walk needed to wakeup, work off the candy and/or the stress of not yelling at family.

Reggie Watts on You Made it Weird Website Link / iTunes

Reggie Watts walks so many inspirational lines, working with comedy, music and performance art with grace plus commercial mainstream success — late night shows and Netflix. You Made it Weird is a podcast that starts where most conversation/comedy podcasts stop — at conversations of religion, deep beliefs, drugs and unpopular opinions.

Doreen St. Félix of The Longform Podcast Website Link / iTunes

Listening to Longform reminds me of what might be great about being a writer. It also reveals people who I don’t know anything about saying very smart things. This one is a great conversation about criticism, race and gender and how to speak and think with TV, hip hop and twitter.
“It feels like there are images of black utopias that are arising. And you can’t—even if you’re not as superstitious as me—you can’t possibly think that that doesn’t have to do with the decline, the final, to me, last gasp of white supremacy. It really does feel like we’re approaching that, [but] that approach might be a thousand years.”

Alice Cooper on Studio 360 Website LinkiTunes

Alice Cooper was important to 11 year old me and stayed important until the immediate earnestness of grunge and the Halifax music scene of the mid nineties pushed out the glamour and irony of Alice and the other glam rock I was listening too. But that which is important at 11 stays important at some level, and this interview justifies and connects to the vaudevillian in “Alice Cooper” and to my 40 year old interests in performance and music.


If you, or someone you know is in the Toronto area post family obligation,

The Fun Palace 3penny Holiday Variety Show
is a perfect cleanse of the holiday blur.
December 28 & 29 8pm at the Burdock Music Hall – 1184 Bloor St W
Get you’re tickets here. 

the thing I most want to say today about this show, today, is that
It’s an honour and gift to work with the people of the character, generosity and talent as the folk bellow.

The People of the Fun Palace 3penny Holiday Variety Show

Melissa D’Agostino
Camila Diaz-Varela
Sedina Fiati
Christopher Stanton
MUSIC DIRECTION and KEYS by Matthew Reid
The BAND is Candy Apple Jazz Band
NEW LYRICS by Simone Schmidt
PRODUCED by Alison Wong
GUESTS including Evan WebberMaija MartinAnand RajaramAdam PaolozzaLaura HansonRyan KamstraDerrick ChuaJeremy BaileyMolly SautorPaul BanwattStephen Jackman TorkoffSyrus Ware and Laura Barrett

Thanks to all of them and to all of you. You probably deserve it too.



° Intentional, specific, use of male pronoun. Exceptions are possible but in my experience of Charlatans and Rationalists are men.