…Drinking in the Last Chance saloon?

A flood of e-mails, enough to send desk top and laptop computers into high speed frenzy as they collected and collated for orderly reading the thoughts of Times-Colonist regarding my banishment from its Sunday pages.

A sobering lesson for an old guy who considers social media one of the most dangerous Genies to get out of the 21st Century bottle and “twitterers”, whether prime ministers or pre-pubescent, aptly named. I never thought of myself as a key figure in Twitter or Facebook uprising. But there I was on Sunday, March 30, eating my poached eggs and crisp-fried potatoes and reading a seemingly endless stream –around 100 so far – of e-mails protesting my eviction from pages people pay to read.

Many were from longtime readers writing to a man they had never met but regarded as a “friend.” That happens when readers and writers make regular contact over the years. They may never meet but they get to know each other well.

Last weekend’s wave of correspondence, boosted I understand by a posting on Facebook – which I never use – was turned from high tide to Tsunami. The letters were kind to me, thanking me for the past, solicitous for my future – and angry at the TC for my abrupt dismissal by e-mail.

I  appreciate the thoughtfulness, the compliments, and thank every reader who took the time write, especially ex-MLA’S from both sides of the Legislature with whom I had locked horns over the years . As I wrote earlier, it’s been quite a ride and I’m delighted so many of you enjoyed and remember those times when we held opposing views – but always with respect.

My today’s thoughts on Facebook and the twittering class? Interesting, impressive, powerful, frightening… Before noon last Sunday thanks to the twitterers I was delighted to be receiving e-mails from former readers now living in England, Germany, Australia, and a dozen other countries in between. Incredible. A joy to experience, so why do I remain fearful? Because in evil hands that power, uncontrolled, could wreak great harm. Sometime I feel I may be sipping my single malt in The Last Chance saloon.


  1. I see “The Major” has also been dismissed but they allowed him one last farewell piece that allowed him to appear as though he is going voluntarily.. Since I always thought very little of that particular effort, I’m perplexed how it came to be that he got such treatment and you did not. Very disappointed to see you go but will try to be content with the blogging aftermath.

  2. I assume the irony of that Sunday edition was lost on the editors, or maybe not: the front-page article about depression in the senior population juxtaposed with the summary dismissal of two senior columnists.

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