Looking through an unusual lens at Ronald Reagan

Movie Nights with the Reagans provides an intimate look at a presidency that continues to influence the political landscape

Looking through an unusual lens at Ronald ReaganLovers of both movies and politics will want to check out a new book Movie Nights with the Reagans by Mark Weinberg. Published by Simon and Schuster, it’s an intimate, heartfelt remembrance of what it was like to share regular weekend movie nights at Camp David in the 1980s with President Ronald Reagan and first lady…

Great White North? How about great Trump snub?

Trump doesn’t want to come to Canada, doesn’t need to come and will gain nothing by coming. Not that we should care

Great White North? How about great Trump snub?Canada often has a different perspective than the rest of the world when it comes to relations with the United States. We see and feel things that might pass unnoticed in other countries. Whether this is because of our one-sided perception that we enjoy a ‘special relationship’ with the U.S. (Americans largely reserve that phrase…

Roseanne brings the blue-collar perspective back to TV

A grossly underrepresented sector of popular culture gets a loud, sarcastic but sympathetic voice

Roseanne brings the blue-collar perspective back to TVLater this month, Roseanne returns to ABC after a 20-year absence. In a nine-episode run starting on March 27, the trials and tribulations of the working-class Conner family of the fictional town of Lanford, Ill., will take centre stage once again. The Hollywood Reporter asks pointedly in a recent headline: “Is TV Ready for a…

Hollywood feeds a fascination with guns that borders on pornographic

As movie stars rush to denounce gun violence, their industry has perpetuated the mythology that such carnage is as American as apple pie

Hollywood feeds a fascination with guns that borders on pornographicEver since actor John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., in 1865, there has been an uneasy relationship between the worlds of entertainment and politics. Of course, no one would equate a political murder with the kind of everyday protesting that usually marks the spot where actors and politicians…

Waiting for the next inevitable mass murder

Too many Americans love their guns too much to ever surrender them simply because a law says they must

Waiting for the next inevitable mass murderLast week saw yet another school shooting in the United States. It has led to the now predictable and oft-repeated reactions on all sides. The public and politicians alike offer prayers, condolences and, frankly, precious little else in the way of concrete plans of action. Highlighted are the always-poignant stories of isolated acts of sacrifice…

Trump: no retreat, no surrender

State of the union address makes it clear the president won't abandon his core principles … or his rhetorical flourishes

Trump: no retreat, no surrenderDonald Trump’s first state of the union address sent a clear message that the president is not prepared to compromise on his fundamental and core beliefs. His long-stated mantra has been to “put America first” and to “make America great” again. If anyone thought he was going to abandon either of those guiding principles to…

Coarsening of public life a reflection of the times we live in

Should we really be surprised – let alone shocked – when our political leaders bring the language of the streets into the corridors of power?

Coarsening of public life a reflection of the times we live inAh, the words we use – do they define us or merely reflect the times we live in? If it seems that the way we speak is becoming less elegant – not to mention less educated – then it might simply reflect the consistent coarsening of society instead of a sign of demons possessing the…

Finding enlightenment in the dark

Twenty years after Montreal's devastating ice storm, some life lessons remain indelibly carved in a survivor’s psyche

Finding enlightenment in the darkClose your eyes and imagine a modern city that magically exists underneath the surface of the earth. Further imagine that the surface above it is frozen and crusted over with ice. Now, picture what would happen if, through some force of nature – or the special effects of a science fiction movie – that city…

America: a nation in a perpetual tug of war

Does the United States still aspire to be a force for good or has it crossed over to the dark side?

America: a nation in a perpetual tug of warThis is the time of year for reflection, re-evaluation and standing in line to see the latest Star Wars movie. In past instalments, Star Wars has always been about the battle between good and evil, light and dark and the blurring lines at play between those two absolutes. But that conflict is not just applicable…

Men are not a collective, but I’ll apologize anyway

Men are not like the Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation who operate as a single entity with a hive mind

Men are not a collective, but I’ll apologize anywayIt’s a bad time for men. Well, all men who aren’t Justin Trudeau. As a feminist, the prime minister will always enjoy absolution and be above the fray. For the rest of us, it’s been a few weeks of witnessing daily and very public shamings of men based on their behaviour towards women in the…
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