Rick McGinnis

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Media elite unplugged

Media elite unplugged

Last month I wrote about the unease and apprehension that the internet and social media have inspired, within society and even in the precincts of Hollywood. The story so far is that, after marvelling at the massive new fortunes made by entities like Facebook and Twitter, we’ve begun worrying that moving parts of our social and emotional life online might not be healthy for us, and definitely won’t do ... (Continue reading)

Social dysfunction

Social dysfunction

No one’s really sure who coined the term “social media,” but there’s a loose consensus that it came about almost 20 years ago, in and around AOL and the small but vital nexus of tech companies that were busy birthing the internet as we know it today. What no one seems to dispute is the idea that, with social media, something wholly new had been brought into the world, ... (Continue reading)

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The broken culture

Amusements Rick McGinnis Critics are used to playing Cassandra – lamenting the fallen state of the world and prophesying its woeful future, all while giving you the latest news on gross-out comedies, reality television or the state of young adult fiction. As such, you can be forgiven if the latest prediction of cultural calamity strikes you as more than one too many, inspiring more yawning than hand-wringing. That’s my ... (Continue reading)

Boyhood cannot escape the emotional facts

Boyhood cannot escape the emotional facts

I was sitting on a midway ride recently, waiting for the lights to start flashing and the machinery to start hurling us around when I realized that my life might not actually get better than this moment. I was with my family, near the end of a lovely day at the end of our summer vacation, and it felt like a line was drawing itself around the moment to ... (Continue reading)

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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