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|

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|
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