Monday, December 21, 2009

Aren't We Enjoying All This Celebrity Death a Little Too Much?

Brittany Murphy's is just the latest public funeral from a year during which we preferred to spend time forgetting famous lives than remembering them. The next thing to die in our culture's selfish hands may be even scarier. Read it here.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Darwin vs. Genesis

On the 150th birthday of The Origin of Species, putting two great works to the readability test. Read it here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why Puppets Are All the Rage

Read it here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Book That Contains All Books

The globally available Kindle could mark as big a shift for reading as the printing press and the codex. Read it here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What's Really Going on With All These Vampires?

From Twilight to True Blood and now The Vampire Diaries, is it vampires that so many American women love... or just gay men? Read it here. Read it here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why are you working so hard?

Americans are hooked on a habit we can't stand, but the recession offers a chance to find out how to kick it before our cultural obliviousness gets the best of us. Read it here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"It's simply that we're no longer new"

he NDP's national director is a big fan of dropping the first word of the party's name, but has he considered the unfortunate acronyms that would create? Read it here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where's Dave Chappelle When You Need Him?

With race relations back on the front burner and all eyes on a bunch of guys drinking beer in the White House, Stephen Marche wonders where all the angry black entertainers have gone. Read it here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Sexual intercourse began in nineteen sixty-three"

Fifty years ago this week, the ban on Lady Chatterley's Lover was lifted, thus changing a culture that treated sex as a preposterous allegory to one overrun with naked videos of sportscasters. Read it here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Messy life, clichéed death for prince of hispters

Demise of Dash Snow, notorious in New York's downtown art scene, marks the end of an era. Read it here.

"We're not robots"

Conservatives once appreciated the complexities of human life, but the Republican line at this week's Supreme Court nomination hearings in the U.S. Senate would make Edmund Burke sigh. Read it here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Diminishing Returns of Getting Even

From Brad Pitt to John Rambo to the Bush administration's torture lawyers, America is growing more sophisticated at revenge with each eye-for-an-eye comedy. Read it here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"You can't negotiate with yourself"

David Miller's koan sums up the new reality of Toronto's garbage strike: When we become our own garbage collectors, we soon find there are truths about our waste we'd rather not learn. Read it here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Tell her what u think of snarky critics"

Novelist Alice Hoffman's 27 angry tweets about a bad review -- including the posting of the reviewer's phone number -- portends an exciting new era of bloodshed in book reviewing. Read it here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Appalled and Outraged"

President Barack Obama's reaction to Iran's Green Revolution was an understatement, but what can he --or any of us -- say? The good guys are silent while the ayatollahs refuse to whisper. Read it here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why We Can't Let the Brunos and Madoffs of the World Play Us Anymore

From Joaquin Phoenix and Sacha Baron Cohen to Jim Cramer and AIG, we need to stop blaming the golden-age pranksters and start getting responsible for our recession-era actions. Read it here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"The prince always goes round the back to wield his influence"

The architect Richard Rogers was understandably frustrated with Prince Charles's campaign against him, but the rest of us should be pleased: Finally, our potential king is acting in a regal manner. Read it here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Crow Procedure

The surgery to give Mr. Dapple the wings of a crow was scheduled to take twelve minutes. Read it here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"They should fuck off"

In his impromptu response to Toronto's request for infrastructure funding, did John Baird speak the truth about Canada's largest city? Read it here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Let me make myself useful"

Matthew Crawford's aim in Shop Class as Soulcraft is the opposite of lofty: To immerse himself in practical, manual work, in auto engines instead of search engines. Why is that such a taboo? Read it here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

"A period of reflection may now be in order"

Such was Oxford's reaction to the battle between two candidates for Professor of Poetry. Let's hope they realize that any poet worth his or her verse ought to be mad, bad and dangerous to know. Read it here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Green Shoots"

You'd be hard-pressed to find men lining up for bread crusts during the current economic downturn, which seems to bear little in resemblance with the Great Depression's trials. Read it here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"All of a sudden, out of the blue, I'm a criminal"

Allegations against Brian Mulroney have never been proven in court - so why did he act like a wrongdoer if he did nothing wrong? Call him a doomer: a boomer with self-destruction in his soul. Read it here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Funny People: Death comes for the sausage king

Funny People has all the makings of your typical Judd Apatow movie: juvenile hijinks, riffs on marijuana and masturbation, Seth Rogen. But it's also about death, and for the king of blockbuster comedy, it could be the beginning of something very serious indeed. Read it here

Saturday, May 9, 2009

"I'd love another NHL team in Canada"

Even the Prime Minister supports Jim Balsillie's plan, as well he should. But however it turns out, every red-blooded Canadian male knows it's really just another opportunity for heartbreak. Read it here.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Where have all the loose women gone?

The days of Sex and the City's influence are long gone. From Tina Fey's fake prude to Sarah Palin's real power play, here's why strong women just aren't that into having sex with you anymore. Read it here

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains"

Just in time for May Day, Karl Marx's famous words came true, not in Russia, China or Cuba but rather in Detroit. But if the people finally did get the power, why do we feel so powerless? Read it here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Never been kissed. Shame... but it's not an advert"

Susan Boyle's arrival into pop culture coincided with the cougar renaissance, and as such the asexual spinster offers a stark alternative to the fortysomething woman as sexual aggressor. Read it here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why people who love conspiracy theories are part of the problem

The difference between the millions obsessed withAngels and Demons and the whack jobs denying 9/11 and the Holocaust says a lot about Obama's hopes for a new era of responsibility. Read it here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Longing for Great Lost Works

From Shakespeare's "Cardenio" to Ovid's Getic poetry, missing texts hold tantalizing possibilities. Read it here.

"If there's something really wonderful, I'll buy one"

With that philosophy, Michael Jackson amassed an amazing collection of fancy crap. Briefly seeing it all on the auction block was a reminder that, under the weirdness, he's actually quite a dull guy. Read it here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How to calm a crying baby

It may be five in the morning, but you've also got Dylan liner notes at your disposal. So relax, and take some advice from a dad. Read it here.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"You'd have to rethink many, many things"

That was Tony Blair discussing his new faith's attitudes towards homosexuality with a gay magazine. Unfortunately for him, there is no third way when it comes to church and state. Read it here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"I think we should thank Mr. Kenney for the publicity"

Indeed, George Galloway won the battle to get his nutty ideas heard, and Jason Kenney ended up looking like the enemy of a raving lunatic. So who really lost? The rest of us. Read it here.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Do some yoga, paint some landscape and run on the beach"

Greg Gutfeld's infamous joke at the expense of our military was just the ugliest example of American television's new wave of humour at the expense of Canada. Too bad it's neither funny nor accurate. Read it here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The demise of the overconfident jackass

How's this for American resilience? Rahm Emanuel and his tough SOB brethren have officially replaced the douchebag. No excuses. Read it here

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Jade Goody views sunset, asks for Coke"

When you sell the rights to your final days to OK!magazine, that's the sort of headline you can expect. It's also the most extreme case of the celebrity culture that's taken over the world. Read it here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"It is not night when I do see your face"

So says Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and when the world sees yet another alleged portrait of her creator, we expect it to reveal something. The Bard's work explains why it never will. Read it here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"I did big wooohoo for Justice Ginsberg"

That was the substance of aU. S. senator's tweet and an explanation of why politicians are taking over Twitter: If you need to talk but have nothing of substance to say, 140 characters are all you need. Read it here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The man who ruined the novel

Alain Robbe-Grillet turned the masses against inventive fiction. Now that he's dead, will experimental writing make a comeback? Read it here.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

"You bring dishonour even to the white shirts you wear"

So snarked Michel Houellebecq to Bernard-Henri Levy, proving once more that there's no literary feud like a French literary feud, and that a terrific insult opens the possibility of genuine dialogue. Read it here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The state of the culture is... scared?

Wall Street isn't the only place with a fearful lack of understanding these days. Whether it's horror in Hollywood or Mumbai, the digital era has become boxed in to the unknown. Read it here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Prophet of the New World, I"

Here's why Louis Riel's defiant stanzas and the battle of the Plains of Abraham deserve to be recited and re-enacted: They're national moments of madness in a country that has precious few of them. Read it here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Canada: Horatio to Obama's Hamlet

We have the best seat in the house for America's dramas, but for them, we barely register – that's something for Britain to think on. Read it here

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The 2009 alternative Oscars

Esquire's tenth annual heaping of praise for Hollywood's most overlooked. Read it here

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"We are here amidst broad public anger"

Pity the bankers who must prostrate themselves before politicians, but reserve some compassion for the U.S. and Britain as they drive talent away from the institutions that so desperately need it. Read it here.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"I acted in a youthful and inappropriate manner"

Michael Phelps's lukewarm apology reminds us that marijuana use has become a normal transgression, that athletes can never be role models and that ordinary stupidity is impossible to keep private. Read it here.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

"We don't want to strike, but we will"

The York University strike won't be the only labour unrest we see in the near future on Canadian campuses unless the issue of dependence on sessional intructors and TAs is addressed by governments. Read it here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Neighbors Without Benefits

America's relationship with Canada has been a wildly fortunate one: What other country in the world has had the luxury of never giving a moment's thought to its neighbor? Read it here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What's so bad about socialism anyway?

Just like they don't really know what the Che T-shirt means, Generation O doesn't really care if you call them — or their new president — socialist. They want answers beyond the message. Read it here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"We have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world"

Barack Obama is the United States' first celebrity president, and he has plenty in common with one the celebrants from his auguration evening, hip hop star Kanye West. Read it here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"There's probably no God"

Atheists have started advertising. The most talked about ad campaign in England, now plastered across the outside of 800 British buses, declares: "There's probably no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life." Read it here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sorry, minus 12 just isn't that cold

Is the water in your eyes freezing? No? Then it's simply balmy. But here are a few tips on coping with the chill, Canadian style. Read it here.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Has the polygamy obsession taught us to love our families again?

It may have started with Big Love, which starts up again this month, but blue-sky depictions of second-wife syndrome in the culture reveal a change in the American home. Read it here