exclusives | March 03, 2016

Lavin Weekly #28: Ibbitson, Gino, Kim, & Thompson

1. John Ibbitson Reports on the Long Overdue Pardon of Thousands

Up until 1969, homosexual acts were illegal in Canada. Men were thus convicted of criminal offences (yes, criminal!) for consensual acts of intimacy. One man in particular, Everett George Klippert (1926–1996), was not only convicted, but also declared a dangerous sex offender. Although he was not a pedophile, nor dangerous in any way, he was nevertheless awarded a sentence of life imprisonment—the only man to ever receive such a designation for being gay. Today, the Trudeau government plans to review such cases, issuing much-needed pardons to the thousands of men convicted and imprisoned—and specifically to Klippert, who spent ten years in jail before being granted parole. Lavin speaker John Ibbiston has reported on this development—and on Klippert’s long, posthumous redemption—for The Globe and Mail. As he argues in the video below: “There are still men, alive today, who carry the burden of having been convicted. They deserve a pardon. I believe they deserve an apology.” You can read Ibbitson’s work on this long-overdue reconciliation in “Trudeau to urge pardon …”, “Canada’s swift shift from criminality …”, and, for subscribers, “The long, late redemption of a Canadian …” (And in other recent Ibbitson news, we’re happy to announce that his Stephen Harper was shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing).

2. Francesca Gino Offers Inspiration for Returning—and Sticking—to Faltering Resolutions

Around this time of year, it’s common for our ambitious New Year’s resolutions—eat better, hit the gym, volunteer, read more books!—to fall by the wayside. But there’s no need to despair! According to Francesca Gino, all we need is another ‘temporal landmark’ to get back on track. Writing for Scientific American, Gino reports that the first of the month, or other dates that wipe the slate clean and offer a fresh start (birthdays, anniversaries, and so forth), are great points to restart a commitment. But she also gives other tips on sticking to the plan: “One way to boost our commitment to our goals is to make a clear contrast between our present shortcomings and our hoped-for outcomes,” she writes. “For instance, research has found that when people who intended to quit smoking first wrote about their desired personal future and then wrote about the negative aspects of their current reality, they were more effective at kicking the habit than people who only wrote about their imagined future success.” As the author of Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan, she’s maybe the authority on organizing your life to meet priorities, and avoiding the common distractions and procrastinations that often derail our most important goals.

3. Christine Sun Kim Explains ‘Sound Etiquette,’ Identity, and Accessibility in Paper

If you can hear, you probably haven’t given much thought to ‘sound etiquette’—by virtue of our hearing, most people know to modulate the noise they make to match our surroundings and circumstances. But for Christine Sun Kim, being deaf means knowing how, or when, to make noise isn’t so natural; thus she’s especially sensitive to how sound can impact our behaviors, and our culture. In a substantial interview with Paper, the TED Senior Fellow and sound artist talks about sound as obstacle, and as invitation. “I didn't really have an awareness of sound until I became a sound artist,” she tells the publication. Dealing with noise as a deaf person, and artist, comes with its own unique challenges: “I've always thought of the art world as a safe place, especially for me as a visual artist, because I'm deaf and feel like I have strengths with visual art, but now having to think about how I could incorporate sound into my art was a little bit scary ... I had always made my mark as a visual artist, so it was completely new territory. But it’s kind of ironic because as a visual artist, I feel like I never actually found my real voice ... It wasn’t until I started delving into the world of sound that I found my voice.” The interview investigates the changing state of text vs. audio on the Internet, how her Asian American culture has influenced her work, and much more. For now, check out Kim’s Game of Skill 2.0 below—a piece referenced in the interview.

4. Derek Thompson Explains How Liberal Millennials Need to Start Voting (If They Want Actual Change)

In his recent piece for The Atlantic, senior editor Derek Thompson lists the most common political beliefs found among millennials. First, they’re liberal (“Even leftist. Flirting with socialist,” Thompson writes). Second, they’re more liberal than their folks on social issues, like “gay rights, immigration, and marijuana.” Moreover, they have an “aversion to establishments and labels” (despite supporting Democrat candidates, that is). Thompson pins this decided affiliation with the left on the dismal economic situation they’ve found themselves in: with a “rise in student loans, the rise of youth unemployment, the fall in wage growth, and social unrest,” educated liberal millennials are “gutted by great expectations.” However—and here’s why we haven’t seen profound, lasting change of the status quo, or at least not yet—“voting among people under 30 in non-presidential elections is hovering around its lowest rate in the last half-century.” Millennials, quite simply, do not vote like older people do. Thus, as Thompson argues, “To change the country, America’s young revolutionaries have to do something truly revolutionary: They have to convince their friends to vote like old people.” Watch the video below for more insights into this educated, liberal cohort, and how they can transform their powerful bark into a genuine bite.

For more information on booking keynote speakers John Ibbitson, Francesca Gino, Christine Sun Kim, or Derek Thompson for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.