Marco den Ouden
Marco is the published author of two books on investing in the stock market. Since retiring in 2014 after forty years in broadcast journalism, Marco has become an avid blogger on philosophy, travel, and music He also writes short stories.
P.J. O'Rourke's Brilliant Treatise
P.J. O'Rourke passed away on Feb. 15th after a battle with lung cancer. He was one of America's greatest humorists and certainly one of the smartest. He will be sorely missed. This is a review I wrote of his "Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics" which I reviewed when it first came out in 1999.
The Founding of Canada: Part 3
This third and final installment of my short history of Canadian Confederation concludes with a discussion of the influence of John Locke's ideas on the fathers of Confederation, contrary to the prevailing notion that Canada's roots are predominantly Tory. If you missed them, you can catch up with Part 1 and Part 2.
The Founding of Canada: Part 2
The first part of this three part series took us from the British victory over the French at the Plains of Abraham in 1759 to the War of 1812. Today's installment takes us to the end of the Rebellions of 1837-1838 and Durham's Report. The next installment will conclude the series with the Constitutional Conferences of 1864 and the adoption of the British North America Act in 1867. Click here if you missed Part 1.
The Founding of Canada: Part 1
Canada has been shaped by its history. The story of Confederation is one not often discussed today, but it is instructive in understanding Canada’s culture and politics. We’ll start our journey after the British conquered Quebec, defeating the French at the Plains of Abraham in 1759.
Thomas Bowdler, Political Correctness and Scrabble
Our son came to visit back in 2018 and, as is our wont, we played many a game of Scrabble together. We play open book with a dictionary at hand, The Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary. I have an old, slightly battered Second Edition which came out in 1993. My son thought this was a bit outdated and surprised me with a gift of the latest Sixth Edition which includes many new words including emoji, facepalm, bitcoin and listicle. One of the current controversies is over the addition of "ok". Scrabble rules don't permit capital letters or proper names. The word used to be spelled OK but the spelling has been liberalized in recent years to permit ok in lower case. This is anathema to conservative purists but a boon to more liberal players who always are on the lookout for new two letter words.
If Dogs Could Think and Speak
My wife and I first met Rufio on our first trip to Australia in 2015 when we went to visit our daughter and her fiancé. We had seen pictures before, of course, but meeting this rambunctious Keltie cross was a treat. Rufio was a happy dog who loved people and who loved to go for walks. I learned early not to say the word "walk" because Rufio would fairly jump out of his skin with excitement.
Index to Marco den Ouden's Posts at Vocal
Below you will find a complete index of my articles, stories and poems at Vocal, the writers website. They are categorized by topic for your convenience. Some posts are listed in more than one category. This page will be constantly updated as new articles and stories are posted.
In Praise of Political Apathy
My children are both non-voters. They have little to no interest in politics. To them it is a big waste of time. They have more important things to do - like develop careers, enjoy the company of friends, have a good time and just live their lives.
Freedom is a State of Mind
The American Declaration of Independence is famous for one line in particular—We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
Probably the most famous iteration of the saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is that in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The film features a writer with writer’s block who takes his family with him to an isolated hotel where he has taken a position as the off-season caretaker. He is working on a play but when we finally see the words he has typed, it is that phrase repeated over and over and over again. Jack descends into full madness as he attempts to murder his family.
An Atheist Celebrates Christmas
The Promise is a marvellous book, the sequel to Chaim Potok's best-selling first novel The Chosen. Both deal with the clash of cultures, the Orthodox Jewish world and the straight-laced world of Hasidism in The Chosen where the friendship of two boys is tested by conflicts between their fathers. And the clash between Orthodoxy and modernism in The Promise.