Entries by J.J. McCullough from 02/2013

Media Bites: Just Another Royal Pain In the Butt From Britain

| Posted 02.04.2013 | Canada Politics

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpg Over in merry olde England, Prime Minister Cameron (enlightened progressive that he is) has been pushing hard with this idea that princesses with brothers should be allowed to become queen, and that monarchs should be permitted to marry Catholics. Not our problem, right? But ah, here's where you're wrong.

Media Bites: Why Canadian Politics Isn't Netflix Material

| Posted 02.07.2013 | Canada Politics

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpg The fact that Canada has spent a decade creating nothing comparable to House of Cards, Game Change and many more political dramas is a shame, but hardly surprising. We're a plucky lot -- and certainly no slackers in the world of entertainment -- but this is one realm where we're hopelessly out-gunned. There's never been (and never will be) a compelling Canadian political drama for one simple reason: Canadian politics is not interesting. "Yes sir, we'll get right on that, sir" isn't the sort of dialogue from which compelling scripts are made.

Media Bites: How Do We Solve a Problem Like the Senate?

| Posted 02.11.2013 | Canada Politics

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpg It's unfair to judge an entire country by its worst failing. Brazeau might not be the Senate's most representative member, but in a nation whose potential for success remains perennially suppressed by the tyranny of timid ambition, the Senate is surely our most representative problem.

Media Bites: Holy Logic May Work Against Canadian Cardinal

| Posted 02.14.2013 | Canada

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpgIt's a testament to the massive ego of this modest nation that our media's efforts to provide a "Canadian angle" on international news -- once little more than a dash of local context at the end -- now routinely overshadows the core story itself. The Canadian press has been endlessly fascinated with the possibility that a Canuck archbishop named Marc Cardinal Ouellet might be the next to occupy the throne of St. Pete. if Cardinal Ouellet does win, it won't be using the same criteria this country uses to choose prime ministers. Not everything in life is as Canadian as we might like.

Media Bites: Why Obama Is More "Canadian" Than Stephen Harper

| Posted 02.18.2013 | Canada Politics

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpg The belief that American politics are so fundamentally right-wing, and Canadian politics so impossibly, incompatibly liberal by comparison, is one of the most well-rehearsed lines in the preening party game that is modern Canuck nationalism. As Tabatha Southey writes in the Globe, however, this uncritically accepted thesis is becoming harder and harder to defend in the age of Obama and Harper. Even if you believe a Canadian Tory is only as conservative as America's most liberal Democrat, you gotta concede there's a point where even slow-mo conservatism begins to pile up.

Media Bites: the Office of Religious Controversy

| Posted 02.21.2013 | Canada Politics

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpgOn Tuesday, the Harper government announced the creation of the Canadian Office of Religious Freedom, tasked with the humble goal of "promoting freedom of religion or belief around the world." It says something about the obsessively, nervously secular character of Canadian politics that it's possible to stir up religious controversy merely by acknowledging religion exists. Regardless of how often we good, secular Canadians do it, exercising freedom of religion is also the world's ultimate calibration test of all other freedoms.

Media Bites: Justin Trudeau Is More Than His Bloodline

| Posted 02.25.2013 | Canada Politics

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpgC'mon, give Justin Trudeau a break. Sure, he's overrated, but overrated-ness cuts as hard as it coddles; pricks as much as it praises. As a result, J-Tru gets not only the gushy fawning of fans but also the exaggerated disdain of critics. Justin's bloodline is one asset in his arsenal, but he deserves to (and will) sink or swim on more than that. To tie his prime ministerial suitability to his surname exploitation, or to presume that all his strengths, handicaps, quirks, and annoyances flow from it, is to excuse a lack of deeper introspection from a party that could really use some.

Media Bites: Have You Heard of the Laurentian Consensus?

| Posted 02.28.2013 | Canada Politics

2012-04-27-mediabitesreal.jpg Is Stephen Harper's government legitimate? Welcome to the question that's preoccupied the folks running the media outlets. Said folks, who live disproportionately around the St. Lawrence, are supposedly trapped in a "Laurentian Consensus" of closed-minded self-righteousness.