Sinéad O’Connor: Farewell to a fearless protest singer
Singer Sinéad O’Connor was not of this world. She was an ethereal talent and fearless activist who existed beyond the margins of respectability and societal expectation. When she died last week at 56, she left behind an artistic and political legacy of struggle and courage against oppression and for the voices of the impoverished, abused, and forgotten people of the world.
Lana Del Rey’s American dream
Two of America’s best songwriters released new albums during the pandemic. The first was Bob Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Ways. The second is Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over the Country Club. Over eleven new songs and one cover, Del Rey presents a starkly different image of America and what it means to exist, navigate, and create in these confusing times.
Resisting education cuts in Alberta: Drawing on recent historical examples
If austerity is to be fought, we need to look at the recent history of labour and student organizing to identify some high points of resistance. History does not necessarily repeat itself, but it does provide lessons that point towards the possibility of alternatives and the belief that another way is possible, even if movements in the past failed to achieve it.
‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’: Bob Dylan confronts history
Who is Bob Dylan in 2020? His new album, Rough and Rowdy Ways, finds him contemplating the tremendous weight of legacy and history and how to make sense of it all. Dylan tackles these questions by immersing himself in that history, becoming both subject and historian, both object of cultural critique and the critic.
Solidarity and trauma in the 24th century: The politics of ‘Star Trek: Picard’
Star Trek is back, and its new series Picard, starring Patrick Stewart, asks explicitly political questions. What does it mean to be alienated from society? What does it mean to be a stranger to yourself? These are old questions, asked in a new way on the canvas of a science fiction series set in the late 24th century.
A post-COVID-19 Canada: Towards decarceration
The disastrous spread of COVID-19 in Canadian and American prisons illustrates the shocking exploitation and harms produced by incarceration. A response to this crisis, and beyond, must move beyond prison reform, and towards widespread decarceration—the rapid reduction of numbers of incarcerated people and subsequent reform of sentencing connected to the criminal code.
The pandemic’s unflattering glare: How the crisis is affecting care workers and prisoners
Multiple and concurrent disasters are unfolding in pockets all across North America connected to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand this particularly in medical settings or in geographic contexts such as the hot spots in Seattle and New York City. But we will also witness disaster in institutional contexts, where a human tragedy is unfolding.