Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jews who become journalists often have to decide how much of their background they wish to share with the audiences who follow them. Once upon a time, Jewish folks in media hid their heritage, often going to air or choosing bylines with anglicized names. Easier, after all, to avoid the issue entirely and preserve your career aspirations in a world that still believed in the same anti-semitic lies that allowed the Holocaust to happen with virtually zero global opposition. Fast forward to today and we'd like to think that things are different, that we're somehow better than the xenophobes whose attitudes toward Jews once defined so-called mainstream thought. After a week where synagogues across Canada received racist letters and a year where anti-semitic incidents extended a multi-year trend upward, that thinking would clearly be wrong. Somewhere along the line, we've normalized hatred of all kinds. We've allowed racist screeds on walls, foreigners, outsiders and anyone else "not like us" to taint so-called mainstream public thought. We've allowed the vermin who perpetuate these thoughts and actions to emerge from the shadows where they belong, and we've allowed them to resume their once-unthinkable actions with virtual impunity. On our watch, we've allowed racism to flourish once more. So here I sit, a Jewish journalist, with a smartphone in my hands and a rising sense of dread in my soul. I suppose I could stay silent and not risk the possibility of an unseen boss in a corner office calling me to task for "risking the brand" or some other corporate-ese nonsense. I guess I could allow others to raise their heads and their voices. That might help me keep my job for a little longer in an industry that happily "restructures" more of us into parking lots every time a new season rolls around. But it would do little to help my soul. Which is why I won't stand silent as Jews stand threatened in a country that can supposedly do better. Or why I won't wait for someone else to chime in as the supposed leader of the free world signals to his white supremacist base of support. I'm pretty sure a lot of Jews and non-Jews alike stood silent in the 1930s. We know better now.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

8 crazy nights. 1 candle in an apparent rush to end it all. Every year, this moment, when the last candles are lit, and slowly fade to darkness, I feel more than a little vaklempt. Somehow, we need to do more, not just as Jews, but as citizens of this crazy, damaged, gorgeous, unpredictable and miraculous planet, to find the light and keep it lit. It doesn't matter which imaginary being you worship: This should touch all of us. Who's in? #ldnont #Chanukah #hannukah #holiday #chag #sameach #festival #light #lights #hope #future #Jewish #tikkun #olam #repair #the #world #london #ontario #canada

So I'm in the CTV parking lot in Scarborough and I randomly happen to come upon my friend's car (I remember people's cars...another thing that makes me weird, but I digress.) So I do what any photographically-obsessed doofus would do: I take my smartphone out and snag a few artsy pics of it before a) the late-afternoon light fades, b) my fingers get too cold to shoot, and c) the security team detains the weird guy shooting random pics of employees' vehicles. In the end, I got to (quickly) shoot a lovely set of wheels, and to the best of my knowledge he's still my friend. I also learned that a bit of dirt can tell a really compelling story - seriously, this is one glorious machine, made even more so because it wears the signature of day-to-day use so elegantly. If you do one thing tomorrow, please look at dirt - and the things it adorns - through a different lens. There's beauty there. Just take the time. Thanks, @philthyfoodguy! #ctv #ctvnews #Toronto #Scarborough #studio #mothership #home #car #auto #automotive #photography #ontario #canada

We lost this little guy a year ago today, and not a day goes by that I don't think about him, and the indelible imprints he left on us. Despite all he had been through before coming to us, he had the biggest heart and the sweetest soul. Miss you, Frasier. Always know you're loved. #ldnont #actofdog

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Light always banishes darkness. It was true thousands of years ago, and it's true today. Chag sameach, happy Chanukah, and happy whatever-you're-celebrating. Because we all deserve inspiration, warmth and family. #ldnont #Chanukah #Hannukah #candles #light #history #cherish #it #london #ontario #canada

Woke up not only to a region covered in snow, but to social media streams crammed with complaints about it. I find it amusing given puny humans' complete powerlessness when it comes to influencing meteorology. We can predict it, model it and maybe explain a bit of the why. But we can never change it. So as I watch a Norman Rockwell-esque scene play out on the other side of the window, I find myself thinking about the fun our puppy is about to have as she rediscovers what snow is and how much she loves to a) bound through it, b) stick her little Hershey Kiss-like nose deep into it, and c) roll around in it until her brown fur turns white. Gentle suggestion for the day: Embrace the snow - and life. Because we never get enough of either. And there's no sense devoting our spirit to things we can't change, anyway. #ldnont #snow #day #storm #onstorm #weather #wx #nature #naturephotography #landscape #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #dslr #nofilter #nofilterneeded #photooftheday #instagood #monochrome #black #white #london #ontario #canada

Sunday, December 03, 2017

One last look at the studio before I head for home for the night. It's been a busy, productive Sunday here, with lots of great TV being produced by some of the smartest people I know. #blessed #ldnont #ctv #ctvlondon #studio #studios #TV #tvlife #media #medialife #london #ontario #canada

I took a pause on my way out the door after an interview (watch tonight's CTV National News) because the sky seemed to be asking for a moment. It's been doing that a lot lately, and far too many times I've convinced myself I was too busy to grab the camera and remember the moment. Not this time. I stood alone in the parking lot beside the studio, awestruck by something I'd been missing far too often. Something tells me this needs to change. We're never too busy to have our breath taken away; never too busy to feel humbled by our staggeringly beautiful planet; never too busy to stop time so we can drink it all in. My only question, then, is what scene or moment will be enough to stop YOU, as well? Please do tell! #ldnont #sunset #ctv #ctvnews #ctvlondon #sun #weather #wx #cloud #clouds #painted #sky #tree #trees #silhouette #london #ontario #canada

What, you don't line your peanut M&Ms up on the table before you eat them, too? I thought this was the law. Or something #ldnont #nutrition #nutritious #breakfast #food #foodporn #sugar #peanut #junkfood #stilllife #always #shoot #london #ontario #canada