The Library of Jonathan D. Borden

Founded in 1987, now with over 3,000 intriguing volumes from 1820 through 2012, the Library of Jonathan D. Borden is a unique private library based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada open to members only. Three of its most peculiar treasures include a facsimile manuscript of Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis signed by the author’s grandson from 2000, an English travelogue from 1820, and a complete set of the Ninth Edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica from 1875-1889. Jonathan D. Borden has been Librarian of the collection since its inception, which has included every volume given to and purchased by him in the years…

How to Catalogue Books Using the Jefferson Classification Scheme

In 1789, Thomas Jefferson developed the Jefferson Classification Scheme to arrange his own books. He divided human knowledge into 44 broad categories within three fields: Memory, Philosophy, and Fine Arts. All books are shelved by their subject within height groups in order to make the shelf aesthetically pleasing. To browse books on the shelf by subject, first look by height, then follow the Scheme across the shelf. I.   Memory * 1. Antient History * 2. Modern History-Foreign * 3. Modern History-British * 4. Modern History-American * 5. History-Ecclesiastical * 6. Natural Philosophy * 7. Agriculture * 8. Chemistry * 9….

The Concept Behind “Mechanical Animals”

Marilyn Manson, Mechanical Animals Nothing/Interscope, 1998, Cat. No. 90273 MAR1LYN MAN5ON Half of the record is performed by and from the perspective of Marilyn Manson; the band and the man. These songs were written with the intent of expressing the perception both entities had upon their arrival and unexpected acceptance into Hollywood and its glamorous, manufactured culture following their complete change in sound and aesthetic; from gritty, nihilistic abrasiveness to glittering glam and decadence. It was as though it were cinematic; a change from black and white to colour. On the heels of one of the darkest and most confrontational…

They Took the Idols and Smashed Them

On Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (1950) A film-loving audience member upon seeing Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950) on its original release would have been surprised by its acting, its style, its story, and its themes. It would have seemed unpredictable and controversial to that original demographic of viewers, and it certainly would have garnered ample amounts of gossip and buzz. This will be demonstrated by a brief analysis of the careers and styles of two of the film’s main stars including a brief study of how Wilder’s film changed those careers; an analysis of one specimen of the film’s original marketing;…

A View into the Machine

An Examination of the State of Vatican City  “I want to throw open the windows of the Church so that we can see out and the people can see in.” —Pope John XXIII Probably the biggest peculiarity of a tiny nation so steeped in vastly mysterious and arcane tradition, (with each of this nations’ traditions being in itself a peculiarity in comparison to other nations’ modes of government), is not that it is the world’s smallest country—nor even that in spite of its size that it is arguably the world’s most powerful—; it is that it is a state—the last…

The Annotated “Vincent”

VINCENT Words and Music by Don McLean Starry, starry night.[1] Paint your palette blue and grey,[2] Look out on a summer’s day,[3] With eyes that know the darkness in my soul. Shadows on the hills,[4] Sketch the trees and the daffodils, Catch the breeze and the winter chills, In colors on the snowy linen land.[5]   Now I understand what you tried to say to me, How you suffered for your sanity,[6] How you tried to set them free. They would not listen, they did not know how.[7] Perhaps they’ll listen now.[8] Starry, starry night.[9] Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,[10]…

Injecting Champagne into the Veins of Mercurial Statesmen

On the Guatemalan and Chilean Coups d’États “ … [T]his small, maritime banana republic … provided for the maintenance of … the champagne [which] was bubbling trickily in the veins of the mercurial statesmen.” —O. Henry, Cabbages and Kings, 1904 “This is the first instance in history where a Communist government has been replaced by a free one.” —Richard Nixon, on the installation of President Armas in Guatemala, 1955 Within a period of nearly exactly two decades, the United States of America had wielded its mighty Arm of Intervention as it had done before and has not ceased to do…

To Clip the Wings of the Golden Eagle

On the Non-Democracy of Kazakhstan “All the Powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcize this spectre […] and […] ” —Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 1848 …The spectre haunting Europe was for some time no more than the consolidation of pre-existing ideals. It was a mere voice of reform uttered by two German expatriates, whose amalgamation of concepts gallivanted across the Continent wearing a crimson sheet and wielding a gilded hammer and gilded sickle—the peasant-child’s ‘Hallows Eve costume-ball guise. Though, the most efficient way of evoking some revolution—and alteration of man’s governing…

The Perpetual Sabbath: Securing Sunday Shopping in Nova Scotia

“Constitutions are made for men and not men for constitutions.” —Pierre Elliott Trudeau[1]˜ “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” —Jesus Christ[2] “However,” Trudeau continues, “one tends to forget that constitutions must also be made by men and not by force of brutal circumstance or blind disorder. In this arena, more than any other, one must know where a policy leads.”[3] The policy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in the arena of Canadian identity, promulgates the necessity of equality in a government[4] reaching to and effecting its people; it is a policy that …

Zoom Back, Camera!

The ending of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain (1973) like the film itself is significant in its response to the Peace and Love Movement of the early 1970s in which it was made and its associated psychedelia, as well as to the universal quest its viewers have been on ever since. More than any other part of the film does the ending make it clear that one’s destiny is in one’s own hands—for better or worse. A prevailing theme of false quests pervades the film, and culminates in this closing, which finds the Students confronting the falsity of their own…