Northrop rolling over in his grave

I just heard from someone associated with the Northrop Frye Festival that our good friend Al Hogan over at the Times & Transcript doesn’t seem to like the event. Apparently, he thinks its a bit too elite for his taste. So, we can expect almost no T&T coverage of what is most likely Moncton’s top festival of any kind.

Sending top writers into schools to excite and engage with kids about reading and writing in the most illiterate province in Canada.

Sound’s a bit to elite for me.

Although, my wife is constantly pointing out the large number of spelling and grammer errors in the T&T so possibly Al wants to keep things as dumb as possible around here.

If anybody has any insight into this, I would like to hear it. If this is true, Al Hogan has to be removed. It’s one thing to prop up a government. It’s one thing to slam and criticize everything City Hall does. But to ignore and be outright hostile towards one of the events that is helping to shape a cultural renaissance in Moncton – that is outside the bounds of any rational thinking.

I can’t believe the Irvings are supporting this guy. I am sorry, but I can’t. I realize he is towing the line and not mentioning the Irvings in any negative way – or any way really. Stories about the Irving’s are non-existent in the T&T.

But that should not justify having such a malcontent at the helm of the main English language newspaper in the region.

I don’t know. Can I be sued for this? Is it slander? I just continue to be overwhelmed by the actions of this newspaper editor. I think he represents a barrier to the future growth of Moncton. I really do. He purposely blinds people about the true state of the New Brunswick economy. He glosses over serious social and demographic trends in New Brunswick in favour of pulpy, good news stories. He hammers City Hall with reckless abandon. He picks and chooses what is/isn’t newsworthy based on his narrow ideological view of the world. The Northrop friggin’ Frye Festival is massive news and every Monctonian should be intimately aware of it and encouraged to join in.

Yee haw. Let the lawsuit commence.

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0 Responses to Northrop rolling over in his grave

  1. Anonymous says:

    Depends what you mean by ‘suing’. They can sue you, but whether they are successful or not is the point. Bennett launched a lawsuit against the conservation council of New Brunswick for a letter to the editor. Ironically,the people who printed the letter were not named.

    In Waterloo a woman was sued for posting photographs on the internet of labour safety violations. She even had full support of government, who she notified at each photographed event.

    They are called SLAPP lawsuits, simply designed to shut people up. THe thinking is, people will shut up rather than face the court costs, which can last for years.

    To be brutally honest, I haven’t seen the numbers, but I’m thinking there isn’t a HUGE following to this blog, meaning that it isn’t worth the negative press that it would generate from CBC and perhaps CTV or global, or even grassroots on the net. If that many people don’t see it, then I doubt they care.

    But I do agree, since you posted that comment on city hall I have noticed just how badly they slam them. I suspect its transference, meaning if people get riled up enough about municipal politics or local concerns, they’ll forget about larger ones.

    As for the Northrop Frye festival, well, that was hearsay unless we see some quotes from him, so we can’t as yet hold that against him. Keep in mind that Mr. Frye HATED Moncton, and hated every time he came back to the city for exactly that reason-there was no culture.

    He does have a point, but festivals like this are the attempt to change that. New Brunswickers aren’t really noted for their esprit d’cors. The only real culture on a societal level I’d point to is acadian culture, which is very noticeable if you make any kind of effort. There are several very famous acadian writers, poets, and singers, but as said, our culture seems to think that fruity stuff takes away from time we should be working!

    Even David Richards books are primarily concerned with poverty and ‘getting by’ rather than other larger themes, which I suppose could be the most accurate portrait of NB life there is.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I should mention that I agree somewhat. There is always ‘folk’ culture, but Frye never thought that made a ‘literature’ unless its discussed endlessly over wine and cheese. Folk art and writing is designed to turn ‘critics’ into artists. Critics absolutely hate that, unless they can control the artistic discussion then they ARE elitists.

    If you look, there are actually many aspects of culture that simply dont’ count as culture to Frye and his ilk. It IS quite elitist to turn one group of practitioners into a class of creators, with another group the priests who explain their divine pronouncements to the masses who are supposed to gaze in awe at their brilliance.

    That is utter horseshit, and most of the artistic innovations are made in science or else by folk artists. I was interested to discover that musicologists come from all over the northeastern states to attend the miramichi folk festival. In fact, an entire genre exists only there, called ‘talk at ye’s’ which are sort of acappella poetry readings. Very interesting stuff which, if we had a functioning media and educational system, we’d all know about and celebrate (and even practise).

  3. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of Al Hogan, but more specifically Irving, this was only covered in Acadie Nouvelle:

    “J D. Irving shaved a forest which it had promised to protect. The daily newspaper Acadie Nouvelle reports that Irving proceeded last month to a white cut in a model forest of five hectares. This forest had been given to the autochtones of Bouctouche at the time of a ceremony in 2003.

    The forest counted 300 year old specimens. For generations, the autochtones practised a traditional management there, cutting only the trees which they needed. According to the spokesman of Irving, Mary Keith, an error of cartography is at the origin of this blunder. Negotiations are in hand between the indigenous community and the company, which hopes to be repurchased.”

    Finally, I saw a website called “”, if they haven’t been sued I don’t think you have much to worry about.

  4. Nancy says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been devastated over the lack of coverage given to the festival, for which countless hours of work are donated by a little army of volunteers who would very much like to see reading and writing and a celebration of words come alive in little old Moncton. I was Rolling Stoned to death last summer by this same newspaper- this editor appears to have very narrow tastes and an even narrower mind. Thank you so much for expressing what so many of us feel about this rag that most continue to buy for the obituaries….

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful Nancy! The T & T is an awful newspaper, with so many pages but so little content. A new editor must come on board! I personaly think that the T & T is the worst newspaper in the province and this Literary Festival episode shows how stupid the decision makers of this “media” are incompetent.

    Send one or two journalists to cover this Festival and stop your love affair with Bernard Lord, please. Try to be a real media!