Mythos & Marginalia

life notes; flaws and all

j.g. lewis

original content and images ©j.g. lewis

a daily breath...

A thought du jour, my daily breath includes collected and conceived observations, questions of life, fortune cookie philosophies, reminders, messages of peace and simplicity, unsolicited advice, inspirations, quotes and words that got me thinking. They may get you thinking too . . .

Mondays are just young Fridays

It wasn’t about age; it is still about the music.
   I, and an almost-full arena, took in a spectacular concert last night as The Who played Toronto.
   Augmented by a full orchestra, the timeless British band gave us two hours of absolute magic; full of the sonic glory you expect from guys who have, at several points in history, proved that rock and roll is what it is.
   The Who could have spent the evening simply trotting out a career’s worth of hits, but instead opened with a string of compositions from the rock opera Tommy. Later in the night we were treated to a solid set from Quadrophenia. Both albums go well back into the ‘70s.
   Of course they played, and played well, the songs that many people know more from the CSI television series, but several of the big hits where left out (they did not play I Can See For Miles my absolute favourite song ever), but that was okay. Last night was all about the music.
   I’ve long considered The Who to be mostly about Pete Townshend, the guitarist who wrote much of the band’s catalogue. Now, at 77 years of age, Townshend is still in fine form. But so is lead singer and front man Roger Daltry, 78, singing and screaming in a manner that defies age.
   I’ve seen the band a couple of times in my lifetime, and chances are I will not have the opportunity to see them again. This may be The Who’s last tour, but then Townshend said he would quit touring in 1982.
   So there is hope, and there is still the music.

10/03/2022                                                                     j.g.l.

 

Giving Into Time

Gardens across the city are looking tired.

The flowers and foliage have for months been growing, blooming, celebrating the glorious sunshine and making our days on this big, beautiful planet ever more enjoyable.

But, come October, even the most curated gardens and manicured lawns are showing signs of wear and tear from the dipping nocturnal temperatures, lack of rain, care, or even neglect.

The cycle from spring, through summer, and now autumn, becomes more obvious each day. Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, once-boastful geraniums and hydrangeas are giving into time.

I can’t even find a dahlia anywhere.

Our landscape is getting darker.

The colours of flowers we count on to fill our lives will soon only be available in photographs, florist shops, or bouquets of the day at the market. We take it wherever we can, whenever we can, but we will wait patiently for next year’s gardens to bring back the everyday joy as the cycle will begin once again.

10/02/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

Truth and Reconciliation

truth
comes at a cost

honour
those who have already paid

respect
the process

healing
takes time

forgiveness
takes even longer

 

In Canada, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the Survivors of residential schools, the children who never returned home, and their families and communities.
Orange Shirt Day is an indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter- generational impacts of residential schools and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.

09/30/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

I'm like a pencil;
sometimes sharp,
most days
well-rounded,
other times
dull or
occasionally
broken.
Still I write.

j.g. lewis
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.

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Less Of An American Tradition

Posted on March 13, 2019 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

Family-owned Levi Strauss & Co. is preparing for an Initial Public Offering that is intended to increase market share by raising the capital to expand its presence.

The iconic American brand patented the blue jean in 1873. Sales of the market have been declining for years, and Levi’s has also been challenged, within the denim category, by more youthful companies like the Gap.

The Levi’s IPO comes at a time where Gap is adjusting its business model. The company recently announced it was restructuring in North America, and closing some its Gap, Old Navy, or Banana Republic Stores.

I have always liked, and have always worn, Levi’s. It was my brand of choice through high school and beyond. Yes, I did go through a designer jean phase (like everybody else), then ventured over to Gap (especially through my ‘dad jeans’ stage), but I always found my way back to Levi’s.

For me, it was more than familiarity; and especially about long-lasting quality. I’ve got a pair of Levi’s that are a dozen years old, and still have a lot of life left in them. The 505s feel good, and they look good. Blue jeans always look better with age.

I used to like that the jeans, up here in Canada, were made in Canada. The San Francisco-based company had manufacturing facilities in Winnipeg and Montreal up until a few decades ago.

It was also a company with a big corporate heart. Levi’s supported HIV/AIDS programs since the early ‘80s when HIV and AIDS was, essentially, a death sentence. The company was there for its employees and the greater community. The Levis Straus Foundation has pumped, and continues to pump, millions of dollars into support and research.

How can you not say that Levis Strauss & Co. is not a good corporate citizen?

Yet, while the clothing company puts back into the community, globally, it (like other manufacturers of consumer goods) has also retreated from the communities it once offered employment to. Levi’s has increasingly gone offshore or shipped its jobs to Mexico. Now, less than 1 per cent of the company’s products are a ‘Made in U.S.A.” series of 501 and 505 jeans.

All that remains is the all-American image.

“Our jeans have become an American tradition, symbolizing the spirit of the west to people all over the world,” reads the history lesson silk-screened on the inside pocket of my newest jeans. “Progress is sewn into everything we do, from how we make our clothing to how we care for people and the planet.”

There will become even less of an American tradition once the stock has been sold to interest’s outside of the Haas family, descendants of Levi Strauss himself.

Shareholders, being shareholders, always demand higher dividends and greater return on investment. The quality and quantity of American tradition will further be eroded. In all likelihood, production will be moved, eventually, to countries known for low labour costs and inhumane sweat-shop practices as Levis Strauss & Co. continues to move from made-in-America to lost in America.

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