Rick McGinnis

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Time for a digital reset

BY RICK McGINNIS Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements You have to assume that Ronald Diebert was being provocative by calling his book about the internet in a time of social and political crisis Reset. Presented as a series of lectures this past year in the middle of the unfolding coronavirus pandemic, the title evokes the concept the “Great Reset” – [...]

2021-02-22T19:18:37-05:00February 22, 2021|Rick McGinnis|

Blacks lives matter

By Rick McGinnis The first question you have to ask when holding all 600-plus pages of Barbara Amiel’s Friends and Enemies: A Memoir in your hand is: Who exactly is this book meant for? You might imagine that it’s an attempt to correct the story of her husband Conrad Black’s trial, conviction and imprisonment. But Black himself attempted to do that with [...]

2021-01-12T11:37:11-05:00January 11, 2021|Rick McGinnis|

Class dismissed

Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements By Rick McGinnis The recent Netflix adaptation of J.D. Vance’s 2016 memoir Hillbilly Elegy begins with a flashback – a vignette of working-class life that resonated with me, perhaps more than with most viewers. We begin with a montage where the camera glances over scenes of life in ramshackle rural Kentucky, the “hill country” where [...]

2021-01-08T14:17:52-05:00January 6, 2021|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

It’s getting harder to be an artist

Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements By Rick McGinnis Artists don’t have a monopoly on bad ideas – there are plenty of those to go around, and in any case a bad idea from a politician is far more dangerous than one coming from a painter. But when artists have bad ideas, I can’t help but wonder if they know how [...]

2020-12-12T12:05:16-05:00December 10, 2020|Rick McGinnis|

Instagram, the ignored social media platform

Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements By Rick McGinnis The term “social media” wasn’t in widespread use over 10 years ago, when I started writing this column. Back then we still worried about television and the general amount of “screen time” our children were spending on increasingly smaller and less expensive devices. Re-reading my old columns, like almost every exercise in [...]

Canada’s China-like Cultural Revolution?

By Rick McGinnis While our collective anxiety was being ramped up amidst stories of plague and rioting, 2020 reached deep into its awful cornucopia this summer with a reprise of cancel culture. That apparently ceaseless turkey shoot, insuring that anyone employed in politics, the arts, academia, journalism and science – so far agriculture, fisheries and forestry seem immune, but the year isn’t [...]

2020-12-06T15:57:33-05:00October 18, 2020|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

Lockdown musings and the future normal

Amusements Rick McGinnis It has been more than eight weeks now since we were told not to leave the house. At this point I’m not sure if I’m more dumbfounded that this even happened, or that the majority of the world, at least for the sake of appearances, agreed so placidly (at first) to put their lives on hold. If [...]

2020-06-11T15:46:59-04:00June 11, 2020|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

Sheltered in place

Amusements Rick McGinnis As I write this, it has been five weeks since life as we knew it ended. This sounds like the first line of a post-apocalyptic novel or the rough draft of a sci-fi movie script. If you’d e-mailed it back in time to me two months ago it might have triggered a panic attack, so I would [...]

2020-05-26T13:52:14-04:00May 26, 2020|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

Enjoy the decline

Like anyone given to binge-watching shows on streaming television, I recently tore through three seasons of Babylon Berlin, a Netflix series set in the ominous, waning years of Weimar Germany, just as the roaring, manic 1920s tumbled into the dismal 1930s. It’s the most expensive non-English TV drama ever filmed, with the first two seasons costing €40 million, most of it spent [...]

Papal fiction

Amusements Three years ago I was asked to write about HBO’s The Young Pope, which was expected to be a sucker punch attack on the Catholic Church and the papacy. It turned out to be a startling but surreal story that sympathized with a youthful and charismatic new pontiff who planned to reverse the Church back past the liberalizations of [...]

2020-03-11T07:08:02-04:00March 11, 2020|Religion, Rick McGinnis|

Two Popes disappoints, Messiah intrigues

The film The Two Popes stars Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict XVI and Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Jorge Marlo Bergoglio (later Pope Frances). You don’t expect to see religion being treated with respect or insight in popular media these days. For religious people that attitude might be paranoia, though it’s helpful to recall the old maxim that you might be [...]

2020-02-06T20:04:47-05:00February 7, 2020|Announcements, Features, Movie Review, Religion, Rick McGinnis|

Science as saviour and enemy

The worst argument I ever had with an old and dear friend was about Darwin. It only occurred to me later that – like almost any argument we have today where someone expresses even a scintilla of doubt about Darwin, “Darwinism” and the theory of evolution – we were really arguing about God, and whether even a suggestion of the divine was [...]

2020-01-17T13:59:57-05:00January 17, 2020|Announcements, Features, Issues, Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

Is nostalgia overrated?

Amusements Rick McGinnis We have a curious relationship with the past. It’s often presumed that things were better then, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. And while no one but a tiny minority advocates a return to any pre-industrial point in human history, there has been a palpable longing for one recent period in history that’s lingered since before that [...]

2019-12-11T05:37:28-05:00December 11, 2019|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

No simple solutions to social media challenges

Amusements Ten years ago, when I started writing this column, nobody was really frightened of the internet. My first column for The Interim was about the fear of communications technology, opting out and cutting the cable  – but the villain was television. “Every year it seems like a new study is published linking TV viewing with obesity, poor marks, diminishing attention spans [...]

2019-11-15T19:58:03-05:00November 15, 2019|Announcements, Features, Issues, Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|
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