My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

I know what Stephen Harper is reading. Do you?

Now you know.

For you see, Stephen Harper failed to learn a critical lesson of statecraft: never tick off an artist. The problem with annoying an artist, especially someone as influential as Yann Martel, is that artists are, by definition, creative people. And they find very creative, sometimes unexpected ways to get back at those who slight them.

Of course, since the purpose of an artist is to create, and not destroy, Yann Martel came up with a form of ingenious constructive revenge against Mr. Harper. I won't go into all the details, for they are explained on the site. Suffice it to say that the Canadian government did not pay enough attention to the Canada Council of the Arts' 50th anniversary, and that made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

So now Yann Martel has pledged to send Harper a book every two weeks, along with a letter. The books he chooses, he hopes, will offer Harper in his moments of "stillness" suggestions, opportunities, if you will.

I for one think that this is an interesting idea. Certainly superior to publishing a roasting rant about Harper's policies on someone's blog. So it'll be interesting to see what sort of response (if any) we get from Mr. Harper.