It’s been one of those weeks…
September 23rd, 2010

It’s been one of those weeks… too much wind blowing through here, too many disruptions, interventions, and complications, and so I am exploiting this blog space to send a few notes.

To Tom Hollett, the owner of Jiffy Cabs who wrote a thoughtful letter to the MUSE editor this week– nicely put. Your graceful apology to the offended MUN community is well received, at least by me. I only hope you understood my sarcasm when I said in my earlier blog that it was socially acceptable to circulate misogynist ads. Of course, I meant it was a scandal that it would be acceptable to anyone in society. Wish you hadn’t highlighted me as for the ad, which completely misses the point. Anyhow, I now believe we are on the same page about all this—right? I hope your own employees and the editors at the MUSE learn from your example. I am rethinking whether I’ll ever step foot in a Jiffy again. Give me some time to think about it.

To Eye-Gore, or do you call yourself EE-Gore, thanks a lot for wreaking havoc on our island. If you were (only) a category 1 or 2, what the hell does a 5 feel like? Never mind. Please don’t show me. You blew a crater in the Trans Canada Highway and prevented dozens of trucks from depositing their precious cargo in our fair city. Some of that load included my scheduled film for the MUN Cinema Series, Ajami. Last I heard, the canisters of film stock were still aboard the van, somewhere west of Gander. There go the best laid plans for about 300 people on a Thursday night. We’re all sick about the trees. Hope you’re satisfied.

To Purolator, whom I had to call about the aforementioned film, why oh why couldn’t you have given me accurate information when I dialed to locate the missing cans of reels? Is it because you don’t have an office in this province? That I had to speak to someone who was answering from a cubicle in Moncton or Bangalore? Someone without a clue that the TCH had been closed, that Igor had swept through here, that trucks were stacked up higher than Grand Falls? That I had to schlep to the local Purolator office where I was pitied like an orphan for my hopefulness, and then told the harsh truth: no trucks, no film—ergo, no popcorn?

To NL Power, I feel for you. Igor was predicted, but no one could have prevented the 30-50,000 or so homes from going black and cold in the aftermath. I hope you’re not getting too much abuse. There is only so much a bunch of well-trained, yellow jump-suited guys in hard hats can do in a single day. Driving through major intersections without traffic lights in the last few days has been both surreal and terrifying. Anarchy is lurking just under the asphalt. You can feel it at every corner. I felt like sending a thank you card when the red-amber-greens came back on Kenmount Road this afternoon, one of our busiest thoroughfares. It’s like Lord of the Flies out there.

To Jack Layton, leader of the NDP, I love the way you nailed the divisive politics of the federal government around the gun registry debate this week. Someone had to say it and I am glad you did, sounding ever so much like a guy with a PhD in social science, which wears well in moments like this. The government’s pitting of rural against urban Canadians is shockingly demoralizing, a cheap and offensive way to rouse the masses into fiery indignation. The whole so-called debate has been insulting to anyone with half a brain. It’s not about whether one is for or against a registry (I’m for it, but never mind); it’s the shallow way government has been whipping people into red-neck frenzy, Glenn Beck style. Sometimes I am embarrassed by our political leaders. Not you, not this week, Jack.

To Danny Williams, who will allegedly be helicoptering it in a day or so with the aforementioned federal Canadian political leader.  As you survey the hurricane damage, our fearless premier, please try to chill PM Harper on the CBC coverage of the gun registry. His attack dogs are claiming the public broadcaster was ‘biased’ and misled Canadians. Donnez moi un break, boys (and girl, notably Jenni Byrne, Tory director of political operations for the Party). Don’t be sore losers. Democracy is messy but it‘s the best thing we’ve got. They need to channel their rage about losing the vote over the gun registry to helping out Newfoundlanders who have been stranded and left homeless. Mr. Williams, see what you can do.


Dr. Faye Murrin is Dean pro tempore of the School of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Biology. She completed her B.Sc. (Hons.) at Memorial University, her M.Sc. at Acadia University, and her Ph.D. at Queen's University. Her research interests have always been focused on fungi, in particular the cell biology of insect pathogenic fungi and, more recently, the ecology of mycorrhizal mushrooms in the boreal forest. Dr. Murrin has served in a number of positions on the Council of the Mycological Society of America and was awarded the title of MSA Fellow for her contributions. She was awarded the Women in Science and Engineering Lifetime Membership Award as founding co-director of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Summer Program. Dr. Murrin participates in public lectures and workshops, and is a Director on the board of Newfoundland Foray, Inc.

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