Rick McGinnis

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World’s end: enjoy the decline

Rick McGinnis: Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements There’s an evergreen appeal to books about the world going to hell. There might be better or worse times to tell a story about civilization falling apart – the ‘30s and ‘70s were ripe for it; the ‘60s and ‘90s not so much. We’re in one of those doomsaying boom times again. I [...]

2023-03-30T11:03:38-04:00March 30, 2023|Reviews, Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

Too much information and little lies

Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements Rick McGinnis: Ten years ago, journalist Leah McLaren wrote something that would come back to haunt her: “I have a secret to tell you: The best confessional writing isn’t the truth.” The first sentence of an article published in Chatelaine magazine, it was a reflection back on a career writing about herself and her experiences [...]

2023-02-14T14:08:56-05:00February 14, 2023|Rick McGinnis|

The curse of the mummy’s tomb is credulity

Rick McGinnis This year has been the half-century anniversary of a lot of things. I recently wrote about the 50th anniversary of The Godfather, but the significance of this cultural event wouldn’t become important to me until much later in life. More crucial to my world when I was eight years old was the Treasures of Tutankhamun exhibit, opened at the British [...]

2022-12-22T17:18:00-05:00December 22, 2022|Rick McGinnis|

Don Vito’s world

Rick McGinnis: We have been living with Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Godfather for 50 years. Even more than the Mario Puzo book on which it’s based, what book can hope to resonate in what has become an increasingly visual, post-literate society? Coppola’s film has had a profound effect not just on movies, but on how a first world society built on [...]

2022-10-12T10:38:58-04:00October 12, 2022|Reviews, Rick McGinnis|

Don’t worry, be unhappy

Rick McGinnis: Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements Nearly 15 years ago, Emory professor Mark Bauerlein wrote The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future, a warning that the cohort just making their way out of the educational system were going to wrack havoc on civic and cultural life. It joined a library of books [...]

2022-08-04T10:30:40-04:00August 4, 2022|Reviews, Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

Better chains: Making citizens into serfs

Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements Rick McGinnis: There’s a fallacy that history and progress march in lockstep, and that we are constantly moving forward to an ever better place; it’s the appeal to novelty, which favours the new over everything else, if only because the errors and dangers of the latest idea have not become apparent. Citizens in a thriving [...]

2022-06-03T14:46:13-04:00June 3, 2022|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

No fun: what went wrong with us?

Rick McGinnis: Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements I’m sure it’s not just because I have COVID as I write this, but I’ve found it hard to escape the sensation that modern life – society, culture, whatever you want to call it – is a lot less fun that it used to be, even if the circumstances of the last two [...]

2022-06-24T10:00:06-04:00May 17, 2022|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

Lost decade: Taking back the ‘90s

Rick McGinnis: Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements The ‘90s don’t get a lot of love. The last decade of the 20th century is often seen as a kind of pregnant pause – a political and social interregnum between an event that put an (apparently) full stop on the conflict that had shaped much of the previous century (the Cold War) [...]

2022-03-07T17:06:46-05:00March 7, 2022|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

‘No place like home:’ Sci-fi gets scared

Rick McGinnis: Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements If you want to feel bad about the future, the best place to start is modern science fiction. This probably isn’t where it was supposed to be going, but it’s where we are now, based on the most popular and acclaimed sci fi literature being published. A previous column discussed recent sci fi [...]

2022-02-10T09:49:31-05:00February 10, 2022|Reviews, Rick McGinnis|

Future shock: why is sci-fi so dystopic?

Rick McGinnis The biggest news since the tentative re-opening of movie theatres is the smashing success of the movie Dune – nearly $400 million worldwide for a film that only tells the story of half the novel it’s based on, and which was delayed for release for a year during lockdown. Critics are predicting the movie could create a franchise to overtake [...]

2022-01-12T12:07:32-05:00January 12, 2022|Reviews, Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

The progressive roots of today’s political culture

Rick McGinnis A year of sometimes arbitrary restrictions on our livelihood and liberty has got people talking about rights and citizenship and government authority again. There are, of course, people who have been constantly talking and writing - and warning us - about the encroachment of the state and unelected bureaucracy on our lives, and Ronald J. Pestritto is among them. A dean [...]

2021-12-01T10:07:14-05:00December 1, 2021|Rick McGinnis|

Artificial intelligence will lead to dystopia

Rick McGinnis Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements Late this summer The New York Times published a story on Disney’s latest generation of animatronic attractions at their theme parks. Disney’s animatronic performers are a series of creations that go back to 1963 and the opening of the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland; they include the talking Abe Lincoln that debuted at [...]

2021-10-28T11:36:06-04:00October 28, 2021|Rick McGinnis|

How to fix politics

Rick McGinnis Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements Nobody asked for it, but Canadians are voting today in a federal election that only the prime minister wanted. In that spirit I’ve decided to publish a modest list of improvements to our elections, and the whole system of government that seems to intrude ever more closely into our lives these days – [...]

2021-09-20T13:55:56-04:00September 20, 2021|Rick McGinnis|
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