The Walrus - - CONTENTS -

clear vi­sion

“My Life and Death on Opi­oids” (Septem­ber) might be the most sor­row­ful ti­tle ever writ­ten. Chris Wil­lie’s mem­oir takes a reader’s un­der­stand­ing of the opi­oid cri­sis far be­yond the usual. No doubt all ad­dic­tions are unique, but this piece maps the ter­rain in a way I’ve never en­coun­tered be­fore. Wil­lie does pull us out of a cave and into the light. I hope that is where he is now. Layne Cole­man

Toronto, ON

The on­line series on Canada’s opi­oid cri­sis (the­wal­rus.ca/ opi­oids) paints a grim pic­ture. Pub­lic-health of­fi­cials and ad­dic­tions specialists are do­ing their best to pre­vent more deaths. As an ad­dic­tion medicine spe­cial­ist, I’ve heard from many of my pa­tients that when over­dose victims are taken to hos­pi­tal, they are re­sus­ci­tated and dis­charged with­out a fol­low-up. Things will im­prove only when so­ci­ety re­stores the dig­nity of those suf­fer­ing from ad­dic­tion and treats them re­spect­fully. Ashok Kr­ish­na­murthy

Toronto, ON

Vesna Plazacic’s ar­ti­cle about teen opi­oid users (“How Do We Pro­tect Our Kids from the Opi­oid Cri­sis?” the­wal­rus.ca/ opi­oids) high­lighted an im­por­tant com­po­nent of the opi­oid epi­demic. Tech­niques for harm re­duc­tion and pre­ven­tion should be cham­pi­oned wher­ever pos­si­ble, even if this means lim­it­ing some of the free­doms awarded to chil­dren and al­low­ing their guardians greater con­trol.

Tay­lor Match­ett

Ot­tawa, ON

pet peeves

Jason Mcbride’s ar­ti­cle about Es­ther, the In­sta­gram-celebrity pig, and her life on an an­i­mal sanc­tu­ary was hon­est and per­sonal (“Very Im­por­tant Pig,” Septem­ber). Many ar­ti­cles about Es­ther are some­what hol­low or tainted by the “wow” fac­tor of her star sta­tus, show­ing only the fun side of pig celebrity. This one cov­ered all the bases.

Diane Wal­ton

Toronto, ON

Hav­ing spent years work­ing with race­horses, I un­der­stand how at­tached peo­ple can be­come to an an­i­mal. But, while pigs are very smart an­i­mals and are eas­ily trained, that doesn’t mean they make the best pets. Do her care­tak­ers re­ally be­lieve this is the nat­u­ral life of a pig? An­drea Stewart

Cut Knife, SK

Pro­vid­ing sanc­tu­ary to an­i­mals is meant in part to dial down the shame of our om­niv­o­rous di­ets. But, while Es­ther is not treated as food, she is still be­ing used as a com­mod­ity. So­cial me­dia plat­forms pro­vide end­less op­por­tu­ni­ties for the dig­i­tal re­pro­duc­tion of Es­ther, sat­is­fy­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion­ism of her owners and their fol­low­ers, who click their way into what are, in the end, only su­per­fi­cially good acts. Gary Genosko

Toronto, ON

look­ing back and forward

San­dra Martin’s ar­ti­cle about get­ting older (“The New Old Age,” Septem­ber) made me think about how one key to ag­ing well is com­mu­nity. In­ter­ac­tions with fam­ily, neigh­bours, and friends feed our com­plex selves; we want to be seen as val­ued and loved. This is why se­niors’ homes should in­cor­po­rate more cul­tural tra­di­tions and fa­mil­iar, tasty food.

Mar­garet S. Mur­ray

Al­lis­ton, ON

My great-grand­mother lived to be ninety-three; my grand­par­ents lived well into their eight­ies; my mother is still alive at eighty-one. I have al­ways planned for a long life. But my wife, my lover, my best friend, and my con­fi­dante of thirty-one years died a bit over a year ago, at the age of fifty-five—from lung can­cer, even though she never smoked. If I had to do it all over again, I would de­vote more re­sources to the present and fewer to the fu­ture. My rule of thumb at this point is to make mem­o­ries.

Pa­trick Maupin

Austin, Texas

tusk, tusk

In the Septem­ber 2017 is­sue, the ar­ti­cle “Break­ing Through,” about the artist Ge­of­frey Farmer, stated that Gor­don Filewych was the ar­chi­tect lead­ing the re­fur­bish­ment of the Canada Pav­il­ion at the Venice Bi­en­nale. In fact, Filewych was the project di­rec­tor for the re­fur­bish­ment as well as the in­stal­la­tion de­signer for Farmer’s art project. The Wal­rus re­grets the er­ror.

“The time has come,” The Wal­rus said, “to talk of many things.” Send us a let­ter, email (let­ters@the­wal­rus.ca), or tweet, or post on our Face­book page. Com­ments may be pub­lished in any medium and edited for length, clar­ity, and ac­cu­racy.

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