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From the archives

Liberal Interpretations

Making sense of Justin Trudeau and his party

Clock Watching

The nuclear threat lingers still

Spending Power

Can compassion and efficiency be combined in the use of public funds?

J.R. McConvey

J.R. McConvey is the author of Different Beasts, a collection of stories.

Articles by
J.R. McConvey

Long Story Short

Two novellas make the case October 2022
We are living in an age of contraction. Driven by digital communications, dominant forms of media are getting shorter. The average YouTube video is, according to the Pew Research Center, twelve minutes long; meanwhile, the average retention rate fluctuates around 50 percent — meaning six minutes is a sweet spot for our hacked attention spans. Brevity is no longer the soul of wit so much as the tiny window through which wit must…

The Long Grind

As the novelty wears off July | August 2022
At some point, an invasion becomes a relationship, even without the invaded party’s consent. If an occupying force can dig in and avoid defeat, the two sides will begin to adapt and to develop the conditions of a shared long-term existence. These wars of attrition can lead to several outcomes, but they often grind to a messy stalemate — and a transformed…

Here There Be Monsters

When falsehood can look so like the truth January | February 2022
Let’s start with a frightening tale: Year after year, in a grand ballroom, the literati came together to celebrate the best writing of the day. Here — amid the whimsy of feted storytellers and the intoxicating sizzle of champagne — they believed culture was made. Yet they were deceived in their merriment, for the abominable fiends and howling phantoms they thought were confined to the dark streets and cold woods beyond the gilded walls…

Guardians of the Galleria

Where have all the heroes gone? November 2021
It’s been a bad few decades for reality. In the early 1990s, shows like Cops and Rescue 911 began conflating truth and scripted life. Then, around the turn of the millennium, the explosion of reality TV made the word “reality” mean exactly its opposite. From there, it’s only gotten worse: the unknown…

Queen of Queen’s

The woman behind the writers June 2021
It’s always the chance word, unthinkinggesture that unlocks the face before you.Reveals the intricate countriesdeep within the eyes. The hiddenlives, like sudden miracles,that breathe there.— Bronwen Wallace At the end of the current ­academic year, one of Canada’s most quietly effective creative writing programs is losing its heart. Carolyn Smart has run the undergraduate courses at Queen’s University — coded CWRI — since she took over from Bronwen Wallace in…