Local Matters: A Defence of Dooney's Café and Other Non-Globalized Places, People, and Ideas


201 pages
ISBN 1-55420-005-9
DDC C814'.54





Reviewed by Allison Sivak

Allison Sivak is a librarian in the Science and Technology Library at
the University of Alberta.


This collection of essays on globalization bears out the author’s
contention that he is a writer who avoids tried-and-true ideology and
questions the most basic assumptions. In the book’s first essay,
“Specificity,” he states that in order to respond to a post-9/11
world in a truly global way, one must “examine the specific textures
of local life and to read its landscapes and civilities against those of
people living in, say, Kabul or Basra or Kigali.”

Fawcett fulfills that goal in essays on subjects ranging from where
Marshall McLuhan went wrong, to traffic speed bumps in the neighbourhood
and the aesthetics of environmentalism, up to the pointlessness of verse
versus the importance of poetry. As he works his way through the
complexities and assumptions of globalization, Fawcett refuses to clear
a simple path to his thought process. He has little time for what he
considers intellectual laziness. He freely acknowledges contradictions
in various political and moral dilemmas. When he runs up against a
philosophical brick wall, he admits it. He doesn’t pretend to tie up
loose ends. As he sees it, democracy is a difficult, messy, clumsy, and
sometimes slapstick process.

Fawcett believes that a critical education and a worldview that
incorporates specificity and curiosity are the keys to changing the
world from a confusing, painful place to one where democracy becomes not
a state of being, but a tool

we use every day. The probing questions he asks in this book will
encourage readers to vigorously challenge the “facts” of a
globalized world.


Fawcett, Brian., “Local Matters: A Defence of Dooney's Café and Other Non-Globalized Places, People, and Ideas,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 21, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/17880.