The call for fiction labels on historical dramas says more about us than it does the programs

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Recently, Netflix felt the need to respond to calls for a “fiction warning” to be added to its popular series The Crown. According to the BBC, “the streaming giant said the series has always been billed as a drama.” Therefore, Netflix stated it has “no plans, and see no need, to add a disclaimer” to the program.

The Crown is hardly the only historical drama Netflix and other entertainment companies have produced over the years. Each has taken liberties with historical events to keep us glued to the screen.

Take Netflix’s series on the Medici family of 15th century Florence…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

As monuments to the Confederacy fall and police caught on tape using excessive force against people of color are facing swifter investigations and justice than they have historically, it’s possible to dare to hope that America is finally ready to deal with the poisonous fruits of its racist past.

However, while the anger we witness daily on the streets is both understandable and long overdue, anger alone is no cure for either racism or any of its associated ills. Nor is it sustainable. These past few years have been nothing if not exhausting. …


How considering a brick changed my perspective

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash

I was about fifteen when I first read Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values. Growing up in a conservative Mormon community practiced in the art of discouraging anything beyond very narrow deviation from the norm, a book title that included both a reference to an exotic eastern religion and motorcycles seemed to walk right up to the line without stepping over it.

In all honesty, I cannot say that I remember where I first heard of Pirsig’s book or that I had any real inkling what to expect upon reading it. However, I…


The left’s ongoing failure to have a serious discussion about evidence is an open invitation to the right to weaponize sexual assault allegations

Image for post
Image for post
Source: Wikimedia.org

For a number of reasons, I didn’t vote for Joe Biden in the primary. I filled in the circle next to another candidate’s name on my absentee ballot. That’s totally irrelevant but sadly must be stated upfront just to get some of the former Vice President’s harshest critics on both the right and the left to keep reading.

In fact, for purposes of this article, Joe Biden could be any public figure. Replace Joe Biden’s name each time you see it with Bernie Sanders’ name, or the name of your favorite public official, then imagine that person being accused of…


Government will be focused on basic maintenance for months and that’s going to produce profound change.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

Stimulus, by definition, is intended to get an economy going again. It puts money in the pockets of people not just to allow them to survive but to spark the consumption that has been central to the growth of the modern global economy for over a century.

It should go without saying that during a crisis on the scale of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the old rules don’t apply. Even assuming governments were able to completely replace paychecks with aid delivered through benefits like unemployment insurance payments and tax credits, the ability to spend this money at the local mall…


Unfortunately, we’re too money & celebrity-addled to notice

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by King’s Church International on Unsplash

It looks as though I may have some new neighbors shortly. The soon to be former HRHs (a.k.a. Duke and Duchess of Sussex) may be moving to Vancouver Island in the not too distant future.

As far as I can tell the locals are taking the news in stride. This should surprise no one. Even though the City of Victoria is named after Prince Harry’s great-great-great-great-grandmother and its hockey team is named the Royals, people around here are generally as ambivalent about royalty as people can be.

But whether the resigning members of the Royal Family move up the road…


Why effectively addressing problems like climate change means breaking the West’s dualism habit

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

People like to think a lot about their place in the universe. This trait of ours is responsible for everything from our university philosophy and science departments to the self-help section at the local bookstore. It’s the reason I’m writing this article and lies at the root of every author’s motivation to get out of bed in the morning.

Of course, from every other creature’s perspective, it also appears they’re at the center of things. However, because only a small handful of species are thought to even approach our level of self-awareness, we feel comfortable assuming that none of them…


The political and philosophical debate surrounding healthcare & other universal programs should begin by acknowledging there will be trade-offs

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Persuading ourselves that our preferred alternative has no downside is the greatest delusion of all. Coming in a close second is the conviction that the costs of our favored choice will be far lower than they are.

These are common mistakes in political and policy debates. Progressives do their cause no favors when they indulge in them.

Medicare for All (or for all who want it) is a case in point. For its supporters in the US, the argument in favor has seemingly been reduced to some version of ‘single-payer can be all things to all people.’ …


Being present in the here and now requires a willingness to be present in the past and future as well

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mark Basarab on Unsplash

“I am Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, and I have the power to be born a second time. I am the divine hidden soul who created the Gods and gives sepulchral meals to the denizens of the deep, the place of the dead… and heaven… Hail, lord of the shrine that stands in the center of the earth. He is I, and I am he!” ~ Egyptian Book of the Dead

Our conception of space and time is undergoing yet another major paradigm shift. …


Representative democracy is supported by a diversity of views united by shared values

Image for post
Image for post
Source: https://evergreene.com/projects/united-states-capitol-dome-restoration/

Architecture reaches its peak with the dome. The skyscraper overpowers us with its extreme height and the cathedral relies upon its narrowness to draw our eyes heavenward. However, the dome achieves something neither of its main competitors can, an openness that leads our eyes not only up but around.

The qualities of the dome make it a wonderful metaphor for functioning democratic systems. Consisting of a series of arches constructed one after another upon a circular wall, domes are supported by a combination of upward thrust rising from the base and outward tension flowing from the top. Remove the center…

Craig Axford

US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store