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The real school bus problem

Why are all these school bus problems suddenly cropping up? No drivers. Autistic kids left at the side of the road. Whatever happened to the day when the person driving was someone who’d been doing the job for years and the company was local and had been business and served the community for years.

Then the Liberal government decided to go to competitive bidding. The contracts went to the lowest bidders – i.e. the school bus company that paid the least to their drivers. That resulted in the contracts for busing in the hands of one or two multinational corporations.

School bus companies in small towns that had been in business for years shut their doors. I think that’s a terrible shame. Those drivers took pride in their work. They knew their kids. The knew the ones who needed a bit of extra help and whose parents were who.

Yes, it meant lower costs. For now. The big companies were able to eat the losses for a while. But I wonder how long it will be before they hike their rate and we’re left with the worst of all worlds.


to be or not to be?

I love the Cineplex livestreams of great theatre from London. Just saw Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch. it was amazing. He takes Hamlet to a whole new level. The entire cast was great – especially Gertrude (Anastasia Hille).

It is an amazing production that stays faithful to Shakespeare while still opening up whole new perspectives on it. Cumberbatch reportedly was nervous about his role in the play, as he felt expectations were too high. Trust me, he had no need to worry. Superb performances all round. 

latin thought of the day

  •  atque, ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant. – Tacitus

They made a desert and called it peace

Mr. Holmes, I presume

Caught Mr. Holmes  recently. Just when you thought there was no new twist on Sherlock Holmes, along comes Ian McKellen  and Laura Linney with a wonderful new take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective.

If there is any justice in Hollywood, both will get Oscar nominations for their performances.

McKellen portrays Holmes in many ages – a remarkable feat. Lovely story and some great performances.

Give yourself a treat this weekend. Go see it!

Today’s Latin thought

ipsa scientia potestas est (Knowledge is power – Frances Bacon)

flag flap

while it’s good to see South Carolina legislators voted to remove the Confederate flag from in front of the State House, I wonder if it will be as easy to cleanse the deeply-rooted racism that led a young man to massacre 9 black worshippers in the African Episcopal church in Charleston recently.

Until they implement meaningful gun control laws and until they overhaul mental health services, I fear the removal of the flag will be an empty gesture.

The Audience

Just took in Helen Mirren in The Audience as part of the Cineplex Live from The National Theatre in London.

What a wonderful performance. This was the original version of the stage show. Mirren is currently starring in it in New York.

She recreates what it might have beem like to listen in on the Queen’s weekly audiences with her Prime Ministers- from Winston Churchill to .David Cameron.

It’s witty and poignant and very perceptive. it gives you a glimpse of politics from an oddly non-political point of view. Who would ever guess that socialist Harold Wilson, the quiet Oxford don from grimly working class Huddersfield, was her favourite PM. Yet she asked her to invite her to tea at number 10. 

or was James Callaghan her favourite.

one thing’s for sure. It wasn’t Maggie Thatcher.

You get the feeling Mirren has come to admire the Queen.  In the interview after the show she talks about how she has studied her speech and her mannerisms in order to portray the Queen accurately. 

Cineplex is doing a great job with theatre and opera “live.” They’re putting on Last Night of The Proms live from the Royal Albert Hall on Sept. 12.