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Ted McCoy

  • Lana Del Rey’s American dream

    Two of America’s best songwriters released new albums during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first was Bob Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Ways, a deep-dive into the sickness of American society. 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 difficult and 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.

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