Monthly Archives: October 2010

Shaking up the elites

Within a week the American political landscape will be altered almost as dramatically as Toronto’s would have been had — to take an absurd idea — Rob Ford become mayor. Oh, that actually happened in Toronto. This could start to get exciting.

I am sure Republicans will regain the House of Representatives and probably also the U.S. Senate. This is not where the smart money is but I am not the smart money. I am a pundit. However, my prediction of a Republican victory in the Senate is not the product of wishful thinking nor is it a prediction of a Republican victory. To begin with, I do not regard electoral victories as transcendent or permanent. I grew up when the world really seemed to be going up the spout, and was delighted to see Thatcher, Reagan and John Paul II emerge. But when I read my friend John O’Sullivan’s The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World, a convincing argument that we can’t possibly be in the mess we’re in now, my reaction was: if those three changed the world, it sure changed back fast. Continue reading

Too much information

So now we’ve all seen pictures of Russell Williams in stolen lingerie and read ghastly details of his murders and other sex crimes. Have we learned anything about the nature of evil?

I hope so, because we have surely been on a trip through hell this week and if we did not go there to learn something important we may be suspected of disgraceful voyeurism. Indeed, my initial reaction to this week’s news coverage was that it was lurid and grotesque. Permit me to quote the tee-up from this very newspaper on Monday: “It’s not yet clear whether anyone, least of all Williams himself, will offer any insight into his state-of-mind. The case promises to draw reporters and columnists from across Canada and the U.S. (The Citizen is sending a team of seven to cover the sentencing.)”

How many journalists does it take to type “He was convicted of unspeakable sex crimes and sentenced to life with no parole for 25 years”? Continue reading