Rick McGinnis

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Enraptured

The rapture used to be top of the list whenever it came time to make fun of “things Crazy Christians believe,” or at least it was until Tim LaHaye published his bestselling Left Behind series of novels. Spawning a burgeoning franchise of further books and movies, it made the rapture of sudden social and monetary interest to the entertainment industry in general, so it’s no surprise that we’re about ... (Continue reading)

Putting the midlife crisis in perspective

Amusements There weren’t a lot of books in our house when I was a boy, but I remember a copy of Gail Sheehy’s bestseller Passages sitting on my mother’s bedside table for the longest time, alongside a copy of I’m OK, You’re OK. There they were: two high water marks of mass market pop psychology that my poor mother probably read desperately, a woman born before World ... (Continue reading)

Four more years

Four more years

“When Toronto voters chose Rob Ford to be their mayor on October 25, 2010, they knew full well they were electing a flawed man.” This is the sentence reporter Robyn Doolittle chose to begin the final, summary chapter of Crazy Town, her book on the rise and (apparent) fall of Toronto mayor Rob Ford, and to give her credit, it shows that she understands the people pejoratively dubbed “Ford ... (Continue reading)

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A thoroughly modern Noah

A thoroughly modern Noah

We are apparently in the middle of another surge of religious films, which is a sure way of telling that Hollywood is losing money and running scared and desperate to pull in the audience they do their best to ignore when times aren’t so lean. Forgive me for sounding cynical, but if you think I’m being bleak, I dare you to name one masterpiece of religious filmmaking made since ... (Continue reading)

Movies focusing on despair

One of the most profound aspects of Christian teaching is the idea of the sin of despair. It might seem either abstract or inapplicable for many people either too commonsensical or faithful than myself, but once the idea behind it became clear to me, it was like a bright, pitiless light came on in my mind, casting light where I had never had the wit or strength to shine ... (Continue reading)

The wonderful middlebrow of Monuments Men

The wonderful middlebrow of Monuments Men

Maybe it’s a good thing, but war movies aren’t anywhere near as popular as they used to be. There is, to be sure, no shortage of violent films doing decent box office, many set amidst vast wars fought in space, or in some wild reimagining of the distant, even mythological past. But dramas set during wars happening in recent memory are thin on the ground; on a scale of ... (Continue reading)

The illusion of glamour

The illusion of glamour

Glamour is a misunderstood word, whose meaning – like similar superlatives such as elite, exclusive, luxury and unique – has been adulterated and weakened, mostly thanks to its overuse by marketers and the media. But unlike those other words, so beloved of lifestyle journalists, realtors and advertising copywriters, glamour is a word that can be evocative and even profound, as writer Virginia Postrel explains in her new book The ... (Continue reading)

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Over-protective parenting not helping kids

Amusements Rick McGinnis Seven years ago, a New York City columnist named Lenore Skenazy wrote a column about letting her nine-year-old son Izzy take public transit home by himself. Within days, she was at the centre of a media furore that saw Lenore dubbed “World’s Worst Mom,” and found herself made a standard bearer for whatever pushback is happening against an increasingly supervised and circumscribed style of ... (Continue reading)

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Pro-abortion article inadvertently shows dark side of abortion

Pro-abortion article inadvertently shows  dark side of abortion

The cover of a recent New York magazine promised so much – far more than I knew it would deliver, but I couldn’t resist. “There are over a million terminated pregnancies in American every year,” it read, under the headline “My Abortion,” “yet few women will ever talk about their experience.” Living in a country where actually talking about abortion is discouraged by governments, regardless of their politics, who seem ... (Continue reading)

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Men on Strike

Men on Strike

The worst part of being a TV critic, I used to joke to my friends, was having to watch television. Like most jokes, it was mostly a statement of fact. The worst thing about watching TV in the last decade or so was a ubiquity of a lazy trope, played for laughs, that cast men as the village idiot of the family. It reached its apogee with shows like Everybody ... (Continue reading)

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Another dreary Fall TV lineup

Another dreary Fall TV lineup

I didn’t watch television for nearly 20 years, roughly from when Knight Rider hit the air to when the first season of The Sopranos debuted. Only a few years after that I found myself – quite against my will – writing a daily TV column for a national newspaper, but as the one-time child who grew up with That Girl and Petticoat Junction in syndication and All In The ... (Continue reading)

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Forgotten conservatives

Forgotten conservatives

Roger Kimball is a well-read man. Reading through his latest book, The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine’s Press, $36, 356 pages), I couldn’t help but envy whatever combination of discipline, habit, choice of profession and luck has let him trawl through the remainder tables of ideas and come up with a collection of essays that, in the most erudite of ways, ... (Continue reading)

Suicide is no dignified exit

Suicide is no dignified exit

Brian Sewell Just a few weeks ago, a British art critic named Brian Sewell described, in an article for the Daily Mail newspaper, how he was going to kill himself. “I shall write a note addressed ‘To whom it may concern’ explaining that I am committing suicide,” Sewell wrote, “that I am in sound mind, that no one else has been involved and, if I am discovered before my ... (Continue reading)

Rediscovering Percy’s Love in the Ruins

Rediscovering Percy’s Love in the Ruins

Last summer, I wrote a column reviewing a trio of films about the apocalypse – two very serious dramas and a low-key comedy that all ended with the extinction of life as we know it. You know – classic summer movie fare. Karl Marx didn’t get much right, but his observation that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, has come into play this summer with the release ... (Continue reading)

A hell of a documentary

A hell of a documentary

In a world where serious books sell poorly and newsmagazines are a shadow of their former selves – if they’re published at all – the documentary film has taken up much of the burden of bringing topical issues and debate in front of the public. While feature films have stagnated, pooling into either numbing blockbusters or a host of increasingly spiritless genres, documentary production has undergone a renaissance, either ... (Continue reading)

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