Refreshing conversations and new ideas 

Still loving these views from Mexico.

Still loving these views from Mexico.

Joel’s Journal

February 21, 2019 

I had a really great conversation today about something political. A rarity these days it seems. 

For The Pointer I’m working on a story in regards to a new highway project proposed for the northern reaches of York and Peel Regions. It is really early days of the project, but there’s a lot of history, as previous governments have introduced - and then canned - the project in the past. So, there is a lot of grassroots initiatives in place just waiting to be activated again to fight this planned mega highway should the PC government look to put pavement to earth. 

I connected over the phone with a source who lives in the area. I knew going in that they weren’t in favour of the project, and I expected to hear calls of political corruption and learn many different ways as to why Doug Ford is bad for Ontario. I’ve heard them all about now I think. 

It wasn’t like that at all though. 

It was during this discussion that we came to the conclusion that while there may be valid reasons to attack the exterior motives of Ford and other politicians for building this highway; it’s not the most logical path to success. Success being the ultimate dismissal of the project, which has potentially devastating environmental impacts being directly adjacent to the Greenbelt and the Oakridges Moraine. 

Instead, we should focus on stories that offer alternative solutions instead of throwing barbs. If it’s not a highway to move goods and people through this area, what can it be? Is is rail? Is it widening existing roads and then maybe building another smaller road that connects the existing route? Who knows. 

Either way, plain and simple, it was so completely refreshing, like an ice cold beer after a hard day of work refreshing, to hear opinions that instead of stoking division, actually promoted logic and working together with both sides to find a solution. 


The political climate these days is fucking horrendous. Nobody has conversations or debates anymore about politics or major issues. It’s just here’s my opinion, eat it. Then, oh yeah? Well, that’s shit, here’s my opinion, eat it. 

There’s no changing minds. There’s no original thought. It’s like people see a news clip, a YouTube video, or read a single news story that clicks with a small part of their existing belief system and boom, it’s downloaded it into their brain, and VOILA  their opinion is formed. 

There’s no second guessing, no second source of information, who has time for that?

Seriously, I’m guilty of it to, and I’ve been trying more and more to actually think about the things I believe, and whether I have real reasons for believing them, or if those ideas were just planted in my head by some creative ninja on the Internet. 

Okay, enough. 

Along with the great conversation it was a pretty busy day, a lot of organizing for next week, trying to set up further interviews for ongoing stories, and keeping an eye on email, Twitter and Facebook to make sure I don’t miss any news development. Oh, and I had a dentist appointment. 

I get extremely anxious about the dentist, and generally get a near panic-attack when they lean me back in the chair. That’s not an exaggeration either. Today was okay though. Perhaps it will ease that irrational fear by writing it down?

Last thing, I want to talk about the novel some more. I’ve been making a push in recent mornings to try and get the editing completed. I can feel something in the back of my mind that wants to come out. I think it’s another novel idea, and once that spark ignites I don’t want to have anything standing in the way of my morning writing time. 

I feel like Leonardo Da Vinci sometimes. Not at all in the brilliance and talent category, but more in the running off on creative tangents category. I recently read an interesting article about him, about his painting, his inventing, his sketching, his experimenting…he was all over the place. I don’t know how he kept it all in his brain. 

I’m editing two novel projects right now, working on a non-fiction book. This is along with my daily work for The Pointer, and some passion projects like keeping a journal and making photos. With all that, I feel like with each step I take something small is slipping over the edge. 

Oh, I’m editing that short story written over my Christmas break too. That’s DEFINITELY a passion project. A silly horror story with a Lovecraftian creature stalking an avid runner. I’m super pumped about it. 

Okay, that’s it for now. This weekend should be fantastic! More on that later though. 

Thanks for reading, 


Joel Wittnebel