My Dad passed away on Monday, December 3. Earlier today, December 10, his funeral was held at St. Edward’s Catholic Parish in Duncan, BC. My brother Todd and I had the honour of eulogizing our incredible father. And while words can’t possibly sum up Dad’s impact and legacy, here’s what I chose to say when it was my turn at the mic.

September 2018. When Dad went off of his chemo treatments, all he wanted to do was spend time with his family. His week-long visit to Ottawa in September was his last such trip.

I’ve thought a lot about what to say today — about how to honour Dad’s memory and legacy.

Like Todd, I could talk about his deep commitment to his church; the strength he drew from his love of…


I’m a big fan of dishing out unsolicited advice. It’s the prerogative of the lesser-known writer, I suppose. Open letters. Unsolicited advice columns. Blog posts that nobody will read. That, my friends, is my proverbial jam.

But then every once in awhile, someone will come along and actually ask what I think about something. Blind squirrels finding nuts and all that. …


A little more than a year ago I got a message from Josh Greenberg, the director of Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication. I’d gotten to know Josh over the past few years, mostly over Twitter, and I’d asked him once about part-time teaching gigs at the school; he graciously explained that I likely wasn’t qualified given my lack of advanced degrees.

Lucky for me there’s a grey area.

Josh was dealing with a last-minute vacancy for a summer course in a field he knew I had some experience in. Did I want the job?

Yes. Yes I did.

I…


Or, if you prefer, the post I almost entitled “Two life affirming insights gleaned from Lin Manuel Miranda’s hit musical ‘Hamilton’” except that seemed too linkbaitingly brandjackulent

Over the course of my (admittedly still nascent, in the grand scheme of things) career I’ve tried, often, to articulate exactly what it is that underlies all of my various pursuits. I’m a comms guy, yes, but I’m also a writer, speaker and teacher.

It took me time to even embrace some of those labels, somewhat disparate as they are, let alone find the thread of commonality.

And then Lin Manuel Miranda dropped Hamilton on us. And then my brilliant colleague Maddie tipped me off to the Hamilton soundtrack. …


Those more familiar with my regular, every day “Joe Boughner” online presence may not know (or care!) that I also write for a hockey parody blog and maintain a second Twitter account for my sports musings. There isn’t much of a wall between the two personas, frankly, but I’ve found it convenient to compartmentalize slightly.

There’s a lot about online sports fandom that leaves me unsettled, especially around the treatment of women, minorities and any other marginalized groups. …


Hey guys.

Don’t worry, I’m one of you. I know I’ve been gone awhile but here’s my card.

Though if I’m being honest, gents, I’m a bit ticked at the brotherhood right now. It’s only recently come to my attention that there’s a vast feminist conspiracy afoot. That, in and of itself, would be enough of a revelation to bring me down. But now I learn that many of you are not only aware of this plot but you’ve been staging counterstrikes?

I thought we were bros, bros! I didn’t get a single fucking memo!

But, lucky for you, I’m…


One might even say alright if that wasn’t the sort of tired cliche that immediately leads to eye rolling and general disengagement.

It would come as little shock to those that best know me to learn that I’ve always felt that I’m not particularly adept at adulting.

Oh sure, I’ve checked a lot of the boxes. Married. Kid. Mortgage. Car payments. Life insurance. The ability to tie a tie. I even know I should have a will but don’t, just like most proper adults.

But I’ve always felt like a good size chunk of me is still flailing around in some sort of protracted studenthood. I am far more comfortable in a pair of cords and a hoodie than I am in…


My city got attacked today. It seems so dramatic a thing to write but it’s hard to say it any other way.

A gunman attacked a solider on sentry duty at the National War Memorial then stormed Parliament Hill. These are two of the most iconic locations in my city.

I’m lucky, I guess, in that I work in the far west end of the city — a dozen kilometres or more from today’s chaos. My wife was at our home even further west than that. My daughter’s school went into a light sort of lockdown but the threat was…


a love letter to ambiguity and equivocation

For a medium that, some days anyway, seems to be powered by irony, the internet’s ability to foster and facilitate the exchange of black | white thinking is nothing short of staggering.

I suppose one could argue it’s an inevitable byproduct of a platform that perpetuates the reinforcement of basic principles. It’s easier to seek out likeminded points of view when arguments are simple and without nuance.

It’s also likely a reflection of the culture of linkbaitery that followed in the wake of the rapid democratization of publishing and dissemination of content. Buzzfeed lists and Upworthy shares would lose some…


apologies in advance if this breaks the internet

So. What exactly is a writer?

I mean, in its purest and most literal definition, any being capable of putting pen to paper (either literally or metaphorically) could lay claim to the title, no? By this meager interpretation, most everyone I know is a writer. So that’s hardly a useful definition.

Maybe it’s got something to do with being published in some way; having one’s works replicated on some mass scale.

Granted, whereas access to the tools of publication used to be confined to a select few, these days any monkey with a keyboard and internet access can theoretically…

Joe Boughner

Music, family, politics etc. I direct comms and public affairs @ACFOACAF and sometimes teach stuff to folk. Speak only for myself here.

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