As I approach 75, I’m having a commonplace experience for my age. I live with a brain that’s beginning to dump previously secure memories – names, the contents of books I read long ago (or all too recently), events, whatever. If you’re of a certain age yourself, you know the story. Recently, however, I realized that this experience of loss, like so much else in our world, is more complex than I imagined. What I mean is that such loss also involves gain. It has turned my mind to, and made me something of an instant expert on, one aspect of 21st-century America: the memory hole that has swallowed up parts of our all-too-recent history. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox In fact, I’ve been wondering whether aging imperial powers, like old men and women, have a tendency to discard what once had been oh-so-familiar. There’s a difference, though, when it comes to the elites of the aging empire I live in at least. They … [Read more...] about ‘The bleeding wound’: Afghanistan and the implosion of America
Games like age of empires
On a visit to Beijing in October, I was often asked whether US Vice-President Mike Pence’s recent harsh criticism of China marked the declaration of a new cold war. I replied that the United States and China had entered a new phase in their relationship, but that the “cold war” metaphor was misleading. During the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union targeted tens of thousands of nuclear weapons at each other and had virtually no trade or cultural ties. By contrast, China has a more limited nuclear force, annual Sino-American trade totals a half-trillion US dollars, and more than 350,000 Chinese students and 3 million tourists are in the US each year. A better description of today’s bilateral relationship is “cooperative rivalry.” The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox Since the end of World War II, US-China relations have gone through three phases that lasted roughly two decades each. Hostility marked the 20 years … [Read more...] about The cooperative rivalry of US-China relations
caption “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.” source New Line Cinema Over the past decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has built an expansive set of films while raising the critical and commercial expectations for ongoing movie series. But extensive film franchises have been around for awhile, and several older series, like the film adaptations from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth books, have received more positive critical acclaim on average than Marvel’s. And some are only getting better as time goes on, like “Mission: Impossible,” which reached its critical zenith with “Fallout.” Stretching from the first James Bond film, 1962’s “Dr. No;” to the latest MCU and “Star Wars” entries; this list we compiled from Metacritic data ranks prominent film franchises by their average critical reception (derived from the critical scores for each movie in a franchise). Note: Metacritic … [Read more...] about The 27 greatest movie franchises of all time, according to critics
By Jonathan Forani Special to the Star Fri., July 27, 2018 You won’t find these neighbourhoods on tote bags in boutique shops. You can’t buy maps of their streets woven into pillowcases. They aren’t on Vogue magazine’s “coolest” neighbourhood lists. At least not yet. These are some of Toronto and the GTA’s most underrated blocks, where homes often still sell for under $1 million, where tourists don’t always wander, but where Torontonians can find plenty to satiate their inner urban explorer. This week: MIMICO Where: South of the Gardiner Expressway down to the lakefront covering much of Humber Bay shores, east of Islington Ave., west of Park Lawn Rd. When: Mimico has had many lives. Once a police village in the early 1900s, then a town of York County centred around Dundas St., and later municipalities of Etobicoke and Metropolitan Toronto before the 1998 amalgamation. Article Continued Below What: … [Read more...] about Mimico one of the GTA’s most underrated neighbourhoods
Spare a thought, kind reader, for those of us tasked with covering the Koreas. You file a story one day; next day, it is last year’s news. One surprise development follows another like a line of dominoes collapsing in overdrive. And the story straddles two time zones. You cover the news from Asia, then – wham! – something breaks in Washington. The key players on this manic stage are North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and, of course, US President Donald Trump. Making a crafty play on the sidelines and staying very relevant is Chinese President Xi Jinping. Looking lonely in left field are Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox Since New Year’s Day, we have had (deep breath): Kim’s surprise January 1 message; North Korea’s Olympic attendance; the offer of an unprecedented summit with Trump: Kim’s surprise … [Read more...] about Singapore summit: Who is the playmaker in this game?