Wegierski: A Poisoned Imagination? Examining the excess of “late modern” imageries in various subgenres of the fantastic

This article looks at so-called late modern societies – especially America and Canada – that, it could be argued, have become increasingly influenced by an excess of dark and disorienting imageries, especially in the various subgenres of the fantastic.  Among the most prominent and absorbing of these subgenres are fantasy role-playing games (RPG’s) such as Dungeons and Dragons, launched in 1974. D & D arose from a convergence of interest in historical boardgaming, medieval miniatures gaming, and the huge popularity of Tolkien’s Lord of the […]

Wegierski: The need to challenge bad art

There is a popular revulsion to much of contemporary art on the basis that it simply does not measure up to the art of earlier times, nor does it have a real connection to common, but often highly profound, individual and social experiences. However, there is no “quick fix” for the problem of bad art. If, for example, one merely argues that there should be no government funding for art, what of the undeniably worthy parts of the art world that are supported by government […]

Wegierski: Private colleges could revive the humanities in Canada

Humanistic studies, or what are called the liberal arts (those studies, ideally speaking, that befit truly free men and women, and prepare them for a life of reflective freedom and civic responsibility) have faced an increasing crisis in current-day Canada. Philosophy, classics, literature, and history are the traditional focus of the humanities, although it is possible to carry out studies with a humanistic emphasis in other areas, such as political science, sociology, psychology, library science, and journalism. The liberal arts in Canada face a multi-pronged […]

Wegierski: Getting the Canadian Right, right

There is now occurring a major debate about the shape and future of conservatism in Canada, in the wake of the defeat in the October 2019 federal election, and the resultant leadership race in the Conservative Party of Canada. Andrew Scheer, although he was able to reduce the Trudeau Liberals to a minority government (a plurality of seats in the House of Commons), has proven to be a highly ineffectual leader. There are three main groups in Canada that do not understand what the Canadian […]

Wegierski: The passing away of traditional Canada

On November 2, 2019, I attended the Annual Alumni Dinner of the University of Toronto Schools (UTS), which I had attended for six years in 1973-1979 (Grades 7 and 8, and four enriched /intensive years of high school). (Four years at that time was clearly also an accelerated program, as Grades 9-13 were then standard in Ontario.) 2019 was the 40th anniversary of the Class of ’79. UTS had been founded in 1910 as a “model” school for gifted male students. (The plural in the […]

Wegierski: Structural issues of the Polish-Canadian community

Mark Wegierski argues that the Polish-Canadian community must somehow build up significant infrastructures – or find itself fading away. Mark Wegierski argues that the Polish-Canadian community must somehow build up significant infrastructures – or find itself fading away. It has to be said at the outset, that the lack of meaningful intellectual and cultural infrastructures for the Polish-Canadian community is particularly troubling. While the work of professor Tamara Trojanowska, who taught Polish Language and Literature at the University of Toronto has been considerably helpful (such […]

Wegierski: Exploring social alternatives through eclectic media — looking back twenty-five years at a 1994 game and magazine about U.S. civil conflict

Mark Wegierski examines Crisis 2000: Insurrection in the United States!   This magazine and game somewhat ironically appeared in the month when the democratic process was supposedly going to deliver a major change in the direction of the American polity – the election of a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, as well as the Senate, with Newt Gingrich becoming the Speaker. However, as has so often happened since the 1960s, the promised (or feared) putative “conservative revolution” never really took place. As far […]

Wegierski: Comparing the Texts and “Realworld” Contexts of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings and Frank Herbert’s Dune

R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973) and Frank Herbert (1920-1986) have written works that are among the greatest achievements of the literature of the fantastic, or speculative fiction. I have used these two terms as a bridge expression for the rather distinct genres of fantasy and science fiction. Tolkien’s works are often collectively called “the Middle-Earth legendarium” or, more generally, the Arda mythos. Frank Herbert’s creation is commonly called “the Dune universe,” or, more colloquially the “Duniverse”. In this presentation, I will be looking mainly at J. […]

Wegierski: Canadian Thanksgiving 2019 – how bountiful is Canada for most of its citizens?

Mark Wegierski argues that the extent of Canadian prosperity has been exaggerated. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. Canada is certainly a country which has been blessed with great material bounty. However, these new troubled times may be appropriate for some somber reflections for both Americans and Canadians. There has been a perceptible downward trend in the Canadian standard of living and quality of life, especially when compared to the United States. The weak Canadian dollar is a very visible symbol of […]

Wegierski: In Search of a Voice for the Polish-Canadian Community

Mark Wegierski describes the unhappy weakness of an attenuated European fragment-culture in current-day Canada. It can be seen today that there are no opinion journalists in any major Canadian newspapers, and very few comparatively well-known authors of books of English-language literary fiction, genre fiction, or works of social, political, or cultural commentary in Canada, who could be identified as belonging to the Polish-Canadian community. Until a few years ago, a person comparatively well-acquainted with the community could probably think only of Eva Stachniak and Irene […]