WHAT GOES AROUND

1. It’s Tuesday, October 20, 2015.

2. It’s a lot warmer than when I almost froze in my seat at Citi Field on Sunday.

3. Americans often forget that Canada is a different country. So trying to read something from yesterday’s election results into U.S. politics is foolhardy.

But here’s a thought: Canadians appear to have gotten tired of a kind of negative vibe that was coming from the Conservatives and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He had a chilly relationship with President Obama, wasn’t a big believer in climate change and thought confrontational politics was the way to go.

It wasn’t. The Liberals, led by the relatively young Justin Trudeau, swept into power with what most observers believed was a positive message about the country and its future.

Canadians have every reason to see a bright future. So, by the way, do Americans. That’s not the message you’re getting from the Republican candidates, and that could very well be their undoing.

President Obama won twice with a theme of hope, and now so has Prime Minister Trudeau. The next president is likely to have done the same.

4.    Up until this weekend, even the people who lived in his Jackson Heights apartment building were likely to have forgotten George Bell, who died in July of last year.

But the power of good journalism is such that Mr. Bell is now unforgettable, thanks to a terrific story by N.R. Kleinfeld of The New York Times. The story describes the circumstances of his death in his cluttered apartment, who he was and how the details of his solitary life were wrapped up. 

In the process, it showed how much work is involved in wrapping up those details.

The story certainly leaves an impression. It’s a reminder of how many people live by themselves, especially in a place such as New York. It reanimates the fear some of us (I raise my hand) hold about dying alone.

There are issues raised by a story such as this one. One letter to the Times complains that Mr. Bell’s privacy is invaded by the story. And John Hockenberry’s public radio show this morning heard from people distinguishing from living alone and being lonely, with so many saying that they prefer living by themselves and feel anything but lonely.

It’s thought provoking and inherently sad, because it involves death. It’s also uplifting in a strange way. I strongly recommend it. I think it will stick in your mind for awhile. (Read it here)

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