Joe (Guiseppe) Mercurio is truely a Renaissance man. Manager of Bar Mercurio's L'Espresso, he has created Salon L'Espresso: on the third Thursday of every month for $20 you get a glass of wine, buffet appetizers and the opportunity to participate in civic discourse.
Or perhaps, it is more like civil discourse. After watching a video which explored myth in modern society, the group of some 30-40 people got into discussion, overseen by the video's presenter - who reminded me of Bob Barker with a microphone. Neither heavy disagreement nor high intellectualism was allowed. Of course, we're Canadian, so we don't get into disagreements.
Ultimately whole event was sort of like literary dinner theatre.
But at times I felt that the Salon could have been more. Part of my issue was with the presenters: when I called him on the fact that of the 3 myths presented for discussion, 2 where Greco-Roman (the third was from Aboriginal from Australia) I was told that "it was easier." The presenter went on to say that he did not know much about the myths, which begs to question why he was doing the topic in the first place.
The other problem I had was the direction of the discussion. We really did not go into much depth about modern myth. But that was due the participants not wanting to go that way. What the Salon needed was young blood (at 36, I think I may have been one of the youngest persons there). Considering the fact that L'Espresso is located in a U of T residence, you would think that there would have been more grad students attending. Perhaps Joe should have put out an invite to the Classics or the Semiotics departments?
Food for thought.
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