The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for January 15, 2023

Anthony Perl talks about what recent travel chaos reveals about transportation in Canada, Pico Iyer reflects on the meaning of paradise, Lily Kuo explores what's next for China as 'zero-COVID' ends and Lunar New Year travel begins, we share the story of the original Bambi, and Nora McInerny takes down 'toxic positivity.'
Piya Chattopadhyay is host of The Sunday Magazine. (CBC)

This week on The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay:

What holiday travel turbulence illuminates about Canada's broader transportation landscape

Canadians are demanding accountability for the delays, lost bags, cancelled flights, and poor service they experienced during the chaotic holiday travel season. This past week, airline executives and airport authorities were called upon to provide answers at the House of Commons standing committee on transport, infrastructure and communities. Anthony Perl is a professor of political science and urban studies at British Columbia's Simon Fraser University who has advised governments about transportation policy. He joins Chattopadhyay to offer his take on what these recent problems reveal about Canada's broader transportation landscape, and what needs to be done to improve it moving forward.

Pico Iyer's pursuit of paradise

Almost every culture and religion around the world has some version of paradise. For some, it can be found in simple pleasures, while for others, paradise is elusive. Travel writer and essayist Pico Iyer has spent decades thinking and writing about the concept. He joins Chattopadhyay to discuss his new book, The Half Known Life: In Search of Paradise, which takes readers from the grand mosques of Iran to the empty streets of North Korea and the funeral pyres of Varanasi, India, all to better understand what paradise means to people, and to himself.

What's next for China as 'zero-COVID' ends and Lunar New Year travel begins

China lifted almost all its pandemic travel restrictions this past week, just in time for the busy Lunar New Year season. The country has seen a massive outbreak of COVID-19 cases since it abruptly ended strict mitigation policies in December. Now, with people in China more free to travel, and authorities estimating over two billion trips for the annual holiday, there are fears it may spark another wave – one that could put the undervaccinated and elderly rural population at risk. To understand this moment in China, the implications of its "zero-COVID" reversal, and what calculations the government may be making, Chattopadhyay speaks with Lily Kuo, the China bureau chief for The Washington Post.

Bambi at 100: Not the Disney classic you thought you knew

The story of Bambi turns 100 this year. But as a new translation reveals, the original Bambi bears little relation to the classic Disney animated film. Austrian writer Felix Salten's 1923 Bambi is the story of a young deer, but it's a novel written for adults – and a parable about the persecution of Jews and other minority groups in Europe after the First World War. Translator and folklore expert Jack Zipes tells the story of the original, "existential hero" Bambi... and why he believes the novel still holds important lessons for our world today.

Nora McInerny on rejecting 'toxic positivity' and her new book Bad Vibes Only

Come January, the "new year, new me" mentality can be hard to ignore. But between Instagram influencers suggesting you practice mindfulness to escape burnout, and home decor that demands you have "good vibes only!"... it can all feel like a bit much. Writer Nora McInerny is not just over the relentlessly hopeful attitude that seems to permeate wellness culture and social media these days. She's campaigning against what she and others call "toxic positivity." The host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking speaks with Chattopadhyay about her new book of essays Bad Vibes Only, a funny, unflinching look at how the "good vibes" ethos can sometimes leave us feeling worse off, instead of better.


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