The Age of Bewilderment: 

Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century 

Published in 2018 by Signal, an imprint of Mclelland & Stewart Ltd, Canada.

Yuval Harari & 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
By Kate Orland Bere 
Copyright November, 2020


Photo by Xu Haiwei on Unsplash

50 Shades of Grey:
Triple Holy Merde: the loveless fuck

Once, more than 20 years ago, my husband and I, not yet married, spent an entire two week period over Christmas quite ill with a virulent flu. Never have I been so ill and for so long. While gradually growing less sick but still not entirely well, one evening we watched a “B” horror film entitled “Dolls” to distract ourselves from our misery. Dolls was entirely camp — retardedly funny – particularly as the satire was unexpected.

Kate Orland Bere
Copyright 2012


Khashoggi’s Voice

Photo by Cassi Josh on Unsplash

In the fall of 2013, I ventured overseas to teach writing while writing a book in Saudi Arabia. Six years later, I returned with a much-altered political consciousness. Having lived in the USA for a decade in the ‘90’s, I had wanted to move to the extreme right of center to understand  – what does a totalitarian ethos do to one’s consciousness over time? 

 In a totalitarian world, decisive acts continuously manipulate and control the public, while at the same time the impact of these controlling manipulations, beyond the intended ones, usually have far greater implications: on that particular economy, on the function of the society, the culture-at-large – in fact, on the complete societal system. Simultaneously, in a totalitarian system  – which in the KSA has been accompanied by an entirely destructive welfare system – people do find ways to subvert that absolute authority. However, this subversion often occurs at a definitive cost to the individual and collective positive growth of Saudis themselves. 

Photo by Tamara Bitter on Unsplash

Basalt and Me

Rocks do indicate change. Perhaps this is why when we marry, custom has it that we trade rocks to prove our imperfect human love for one another in hopes that it will last as long as basalt or obsidian or granite. Diamonds are a 10 on a geologist scale; basalt is an 8 or a 9.

My basalt rock that I hold in my hand I picked from my beach – or the beach I chose to call mine, although I own no portion of it in any legal sense. I own it in memory only from my childhood escapades on its shoreline, and my sojourns here as an adult. But I am comforted to know that for as long as I exist in a limited form of democracy such as currently exists within the national boundaries where I have found myself a citizen – that is, the nation Canada — I may visit the shore freely, legally – at least, to any public beach.

By Kate Orland Bere
Copyright 2012 / Revised 2023