CANADA'S GOVERNOR-GENERAL stirred the media pot last week. Michaelle Jean, the snazziest politician since John Kennedy, was photographed skinning a fresh-killed seal and then eating a slice of its heart. It was a big story up North. The European Union Parliament had just banned the import of sealskin – by a huge margin – because of the alleged cruelty in the manner in which seals are dispatched. This kind of thing drives the Inuit people crazy. They are fighting to save what they can of a great hunter culture, and squeamishness posing as compassion seems a calculated affront.
So when Governor-General Jean appeared two days later at a high school gym in Iqaluit, Nunavut, the crowd roared. She could do no wrong. I say this as an eyewitness (even though Gretchen Dykstra has warned me not to let this blog become a travel journal). The day after the speech in the gym, our tiny group of Inuitophiles joined a hunting party that, yep, killed and sliced open a young seal. And we sure had to swallow some seal heart.
NGO Management: Pres, Heinz Center for Science, Economics & Environment (biodiversity; carbon pricing; green tech) • Exec Dir, JM Kaplan Fund (conservation, urban transport, historic preservation, immigration, US and overseas • Exec Dir, Intl Physicians for Prevention Nuclear War (Nobel Peace Prize) • Exec Dir, Five Colleges, Inc, Bay State Charitable Trust, Citizens Union of NYC, New Alchemy Inst. Prog Dir, Nathan Cummings Foundation (agriculture, transportation, fiscal policy).
Communications: Founder/Editor, LibertyTree.org, GothamGazette.org, WeLoveTheIraqiInformationMinister.org. • Freelance writer, editor, graphic designer. Articles on land use, architecture, military history, sports.
Harvard College, Harvard Law School, Peace Corps.
Father of Benjamin Nugent (author), Annie Baker (playwright), and four minors. Husband of Kati Kormendi (actor, writer).