Christopher Olson

  • Local Artists Don’t Want Your Bright Ideas to Die

    Good ideas don’t die; they get placed in a shoebox or are relegated to the furthest corners of your laptop’s RAM.

  • From A to Zines

    Expozine 2010 to Put Print Media on a Pedestal

    Enough has been written about the death of print media to fill a Kindle. But like the common cold, Rasputin and the Road Runner, print media refuses to go down easy.

  • Unintelligent Design

    Shitty Analogies are for Assholes

    Analogies are like a fish without a bicycle… no, wait. Analogies are like tadpoles without a tricycle… Ah, forget it.

    The point is that analogies, at best, can be an effective means of compacting a complex scientific set of rules into something that’s understandable to the layman. At worst, they can get someone so lost in abstraction that you can get them to believe just about anything.

  • A Print You Can Believe In

    In 2008, graphic artist Shepard Fairey did what hours of attack ads and millions of campaign dollars couldn’t: he energized people about politics. Fairey’s Obama “Hope” poster likely helped launch the current U.S. President into public office. And he did it for free.
  • Medium as a Megaphone

    You attend a lecture and everything is going well, until you come to the dreaded Q&A. Don’t get me wrong, you value the presenter’s opinions and relish ­­the chance to see them go off script.

  • The Writers’ Way

    Someone once said that the first job of a writer is to give their work away—which sounds like a pretty bad business model, now that I think about it.
    It’s a poorly written cliché that writers struggle with their art, and when they’re not jamming their heads against the keyboard in frustration, they’re having just as pleasant a time at finding a steady source of income.

  • Much More Than You Wanted To Know About Sex

    The next time someone stigmatizes a transgendered person, or someone whose sexual orientation is different than theirs, tell them to take a moment to consider the incredible sexual diversity of life on Earth.

  • Modern Mythmaking

    Montreal author Claude Lalumière knew he was an atheist by age 10, as did graphic artist Rupert Bottenberg.
    But neither of them quite knew how to reconcile their beliefs—or lack thereof—with their obsession with cryptomythology and ancient superstitions.

  • Animal Sacrifice

    Why Science Makes Animal Testing Ok

    It’s tough to oppose animal cruelty—the surest sign of aberrant and antisocial behaviour you’re ever likely to find outside of cruelty to one’s own kind—and yet still support animal testing. But that’s exactly how I feel.

  • Rage Against the Drum Machine

    Why Montreal’s SuperFossilPower Won’t Part With His Casio Keyboard

    “I think that computers will be able to do things that up until now in history would have been seen as only in the realm of possibility of humans.”
    Drum machinist and founder of the one-man band SuperFossilPower, Tyler K. Rauman, could easily be talking about advances in cybernetics, or the event horizon in which artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence.

  • Mental Health Misrepresented

    Three Misconceptions of the Mentally Ill

    I have a mental illness.
    There, I said it.
    While that might be the most versatile New Yorker cartoon caption you’ll ever find, I’m hard pressed to find a situation where I could admit that and not face immediate stigmatization.

  • Dungeons & DeLoreans

    Tad Williams Brings the Fantasy and the Sci-Fi to Con*Cept

    The only consistent element in author Tad Williams’ life has been change.

  • Quick Read

    Watch

    What if the Internet were to gain sentience? What questions would that raise? Would it result in a ‘Big Brother’ society in which free thought is curtailed? What are the implications for flesh-and-blood consciousness? Can self-awareness truly exist without the chemical makeup of the human brain?

  • CEASE Art Collective Drops the Velvet Rope

    There’s a downside to Montreal’s vibrant artistic community—its cup runneth over. For this analogy, just pretend the cup is gallery space.

  • Quick Read

    L (and things come apart)

    Henry, the quiet and unassuming protagonist of author Ian Orti’s L (and things come apart), rents the flat above his cafe to an enchanting and mysterious woman by the name of L.

  • A literary first aid kit

    Palimpsest magazine mixing up the magazine format with multimedia

    In a dying print culture, magazines like GQ and Wired have attempted to make their mags more multimedia–with barcodes that can be scanned by cell phones to have stories sent to your inbox or holographic displays of Robert Downey Jr. or the Enterprise appearing in your laptop’s built-in webcam.

  • It’s all true

    Jeff Miller makes the jump from zine to paperback

    “When I was making the zine, I never let the impermanence of the medium change the way I wrote,” said Jeff Miller of the 15 years he spent writing his Ghost Pine zine. “I would always make sure that it was not just good enough, but as good as it possibly could be, which I think is one of the only ways to grow as a writer.”

  • Andrew Piper predicts the future of the printed word

    Books have survived the gramophone, radio, television and the audio-book. But will they survive the iPad?

  • No objectivity in war reporting

    Where does censorship start? Does it begin with the government cracking down on what’s allowed to be reported on? At the editor or publisher’s desk? Or does it begin and end with the journalists themselves?