Points Of View

Paperback | October 5, 2004

byRex Murphy

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His millions of fans will hear Rex's voice in every line of this wide-ranging selection

Rex Murphy left his outpost home in Newfoundland to go to university at the age of 15. Since that time (including a spell at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar) he has been writing and talking. His skills in that area have made him Canada’s most-watched TV commentator – with an opinion spot on CBC-TV’s “The National” – while his speeches have earned standing ovations from coast to coast. And, always, his audience wants to know “When will you put this in a book?”

The answer is “NOW.” Here, Rex has selected the best from thirty years of writing and speech-making – a variety that reveals the range of his mind. Here you’ll find tributes to people as apparently unlinked as Joey Smallwood and William Shakespeare; book reviews that turn into instructive essays about other places in other centuries; hard-hitting attacks on politicians and other malefactors that will have you cheering as you read; hilarious satires on human folly; and gentle memories of Newfoundland and its people.

You will close this book with a sense of a wide-ranging intelligence and fascinating mind at work.


From the Hardcover edition.

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From the Publisher

His millions of fans will hear Rex's voice in every line of this wide-ranging selectionRex Murphy left his outpost home in Newfoundland to go to university at the age of 15. Since that time (including a spell at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar) he has been writing and talking. His skills in that area have made him Canada’s most-watched TV c...

Rex Murphy is the weekly commentator on CBC-TV’s “The National;” the host for many years of CBC Radio’s “Cross Country Checkup”; a weekly Globe and Mail columnist; and a very successful speech-maker at dozens of conventions each year.From the Hardcover edition.

other books by Rex Murphy

Canada And Other Matters Of Opinion
Canada And Other Matters Of Opinion

Paperback|Sep 7 2010

$17.34 online$22.00list price(save 21%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 8.9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:October 5, 2004Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771065280

ISBN - 13:9780771065286

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The LoonieThe Canadian loon is not a happy bird. The bird has four separate calls, which are the tremolo, the wail, the yodel, and the hoot. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the tremolo sounds like a crazy laugh and is used for a variety of purposes, such as to signal alarm or worry or to denote annoyance.The loon, which we informally called the loonie, is also the official Canadian one­dollar coin. It’s not a happy bird either. It unfortunately does not wail or yodel or hoot. Considering its current value, it should. You might say it comes to our pockets without any preliminary warning. But it shares with its woodland namesake the ability to inspire melancholy and, for the holders of any great number of loonies, this same capacity for instigating great annoyance.Another citation from the encyclopedia informs us, and I quote, “loons have difficulty taking flight.” I don’t know how much of a naturalist Paul Martin is, but I suspect he’s familiar with this characteristic. Diving is what loons and loonies do. And at roughly sixty cents to the real dollar, our loonie is as good at going underwater as any of the great banshees of the northern lakes.We should wonder at any sovereign state that names its fundamental currency after a crazy cheap bird. The Americans go for better birds when they name their coins. The eagle is a noble creature. It doesn’t hoot or wail or yodel. The eagle flies. Their bird is an artist of flight. Ours, a fish with feathers.And their coin is in the same category. The eagle is real money. It’s ten imperial American dollars. The loonie, our loonie, is essentially a fat quarter, well on the way to being worth a thin dime. It’s a ridiculous currency, embarrassing to ask for, embarrassing to receive. It’s all weight and no value. All jingle and no juice.People suspected the loonie was the wrong way to go from the beginning. A coin is always that, just change. When we dropped the one-dollar bill, it was really an admission that the Canadian dollar wasn’t worth its own ink. Same thing with the deuce or the two-dollar bill which has an even more irritating name than the loonie. It’s just a damn toonie. If we were to go by the names, Romper Room is in charge of the Canadian Mint.In all this downward turbulence, Canadians have adjusted. Our pennies are useless. Our quarters are dimes, and I’m not sure what the nickel is for any more, except as a recurring disappointment at parking meters. The five­dollar bill is really our one dollar bill. We all know this. It’s just not official. And we know too that the sad loonies and toonies are only a step away from the Monopoly board.So when the loonie goes down in international markets, we have no one but ourselves to blame. You cannot name, I repeat, you cannot name your fundamental currency after a sad, tawdry, cheap bird with a reputation for craziness to boot and expect the international money markets to do anything but smirk and put it on the endangered list. The Canadian dollar is worth sixty cents. Is this a country or the world’s biggest discount house?–The NationalFrom the Hardcover edition.