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|

9/11: What is life worth?

Rick McGinnis: The 9/11 terrorist attacks thrust a lot of questions that were lingering in the background two long decades ago to the forefront. Like what does revenge mean when your attacker isn’t a country? And what do you do when pursuing revenge makes you the caretaker of places and people that war has destabilized and devastated? It has taken us 20 [...]

2021-09-09T19:22:09-04:00September 10, 2021|Rick McGinnis|

The world on a screen with Theodore Dalrymple

Rick McGinnis: Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements Theodore Dalrymple is associated in my mind with a small group of conservative writers whose columns I have been reading in American and British magazines, newspapers, and websites for at least two decades – men such as the historian Victor Davis Hanson and the economist Thomas Sowell. I’m not sure how much this [...]

2021-09-01T12:14:52-04:00September 3, 2021|Rick McGinnis|

How I fell in Love with classical music

Rick McGinnis There’s an uncommon moment recalled in Norman Lebrecht’s bitter but celebratory 2007 book The Life and Death of Classical Music where the classical music industry, such as it had existed for just over a century, finally died. It was a dinner in a London restaurant in December of 2004, a small retirement party given for Peter Alward, the head of [...]

2021-07-15T11:36:03-04:00July 15, 2021|Book Review, Rick McGinnis|

No Canada

Rick McGinnis: Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements At the risk of repeating myself, we are being promised an end to lockdowns, though depending on where you live the timetable may vary. Attempting to spin sluggish vaccination numbers, Canada’s government has promoted a “one dose summer” that differs in no substantial way from last year’s no dose summer, but the news [...]

2021-06-12T10:22:07-04:00June 12, 2021|Rick McGinnis|

Can we return to normal?

By Rick McGinnis Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements The end of lockdown is in sight, or so they tell us. There is, of course, the little matter of vaccinating the majority of the population – easier in some countries than others, apparently. Then there are ongoing debates about just what privilege immunity confers – the speed with which we’ll be [...]

2021-05-10T19:02:14-04:00May 8, 2021|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

A woke world without forgiveness

By Rick McGinnis In the first decades of the 19th century, upstate New York became known as the “Burned Over District,” a hotbed of spiritual revival that gave birth to an explosion of religious sects and utopian communities. Usually evangelical and often millenarian in nature, these included the Shakers, the Mormons, the Millerites – who would in turn produce Seventh-day Adventists and [...]

2021-04-15T12:16:36-04:00April 15, 2021|Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|

The boomers are not OK

By Rick McGinnis Interim writer, Rick McGinnis, Amusements The “OK Boomer” meme – a condescending, dismissive internet catchphrase that’s supposed to be generational kryptonite when employed by millennials against anyone over 55 - is not new. OK Boomer began, as far as we know, on either reddit or 4chan – the very nerdy, largely boomer-proof online bulletin boards that are lumped [...]

2021-03-09T09:51:38-05:00March 8, 2021|Columnist, Rick McGinnis|

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 [...]

2020-12-10T16:34:38-05:00November 8, 2020|Announcements, Features, Rick McGinnis, Society & Culture|
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