puck classics

Colder this week in Toronto, but mostly it’s wet. A mist of rain, or a rain of mist, one of those, on the way down to Toronto library headquarters today on two pressing investigations:

1. The debate over mandatory visors started up again almost immediately during the Toronto-Philadelphia game on Monday night after Mikhail Grabovski’s stick snicked Chris Pronger’s eye. Sifting the yays and the nays in today’s Globe and Mail, James Mirtle talks to Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke. He thinks defencemen should have to wear shields, no question. All the players, though? “I’d want to hear the GMs on the larger topic,” he says, “but I think I would support Homer.”

Enigmatic, to be sure, but then I guess that’s Burke. Homer was supposed to have been blind. And I guess it’s possible that he had an opinion on eye protection, somewhere. At the library, all the Illiads are tied up, as it happens, so I guess it’s The Odyssey I’ll start with. More to come on this.

 2. Not far from Classics to Hockey — down past the broken-down photocopier, squeeze through the line-up for internet time, take a left at the other photocopier (needs toner), that’s it, you’re there. Except that they’ve got Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s new book shelved over in Violence, for some reason. Back out past the copiers, in by the guy at the table looking for somewhere to plug in his laptop — that’s it. The Legitimization of Violence, Deciphering Violence, Enough Bloodshed, The Politics of Regret, Violence-Proof Your Kids Now, Guns And Butter — this could be the Hockey aisle after all. Maybe not Guns And Butter. Okay, here we go: here’s Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature (Viking). He’s arguing, apparently, that hockey violence has been steadily declining over the years, to the point where the game now is the most peaceable it’s ever been. He’s got — it’s an 800-page book he’s put together here. This should be good. Stay tuned.