Culture

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll rubs it in with great dexterity as she wonders IF A CELEBRITY THREATENS TO LEAVE, AND NOBODY CARES, IS SHE STILL A CELEBRITY? She writes: One time, maybe 25 years ago, a male client whose workforce was mostly female was wearing a gag t-shirt at the holiday party where I entertained. He explained that it had been a gift from his wife and four daughters and his employees »

Kellogg’s: Not too gr-r-reat!

Featured image John proposed that readers boycott Kellogg in response to the company’s announcement that it is pulling its advertising from Breitbart. Many readers have responded with messages to Kellogg’s on which we have been copied. I particularly enjoyed this one, which I thought other readers might find of interest as well: I read Mr. Hinderaker’s excellent post about Kellogg pulling its advertising from Breitbart.com. You may remember when the company refused »

Freakout on Broadway shows conservatives should maintain a status apart

Featured image Conservatives critics have written favorably about the musical “Hamilton.” Alexander Hamilton is, after all, a hero to some conservatives. And conservatives are inclined to be pleased any time large audiences are exposed to American history in a manner that doesn’t abuse or demean men like Hamilton. In the case of “Hamilton,” conservative critics found the history presented to be serious and reasonably accurate. Even so, I couldn’t help suspecting that, »

Mike Pence takes the high road

Featured image John has written about what happened when Mike Pence attended the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton” yesterday. First, members of the audience booed Pence when he and his family took their seats. Then, when the performance was over and the Pences were exiting, a member of the cast read a harangue against Donald Trump, on behalf of the cast, that was addressed to the vice president-elect. In response, Trump went on »

Cracks Among the Culturati?

Featured image “Politics is downstream from culture,” Andrew Breitbart liked to argue, and given the near-monopoly of the left on America’s cultural scene (Hamilton hecklers anyone?), the ballot box is the only place where the American people get to fight back. So it is worth taking in instances when the cultural world seems to get it, like this sketch on Saturday Night Live last night about the liberal “bubble.” Just 2:20 long »

Freakout at the YWCA

Featured image I may be mistaken, but I think we can generally count the YMCA/YWCA among the multifarious institutions subservient to the reigning shibboleths and clichés that dictate so much of the way we live now. Consider this message sent out by the YWCA Evanston/North Shore this past Thursday. The reader who forwards the message comments: “It offers both freakout and the sort of political partisanship by nonprofits masquerading as ‘diversity’ and »

Bums For Hillary

Featured image If you ask the average person whose presidential campaign has been crude, vulgar and raunchy, I am sure most would say Donald Trump’s. But this image of singer Jennifer Lopez comes from a Hillary Clinton rally in Miami, not a Trump event. I am anything but a prude, but, seriously? Is this really what presidential campaigning has come to? Can you imagine a performance like this at a Ronald Reagan »

Appropriate this

Featured image Lionel Shriver is an American novelist who lives in London. I will only add that she is a woman because her adopted name Lionel might lead one to infer otherwise (photo below). On September 8 Shriver gave the keynote speech at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival. Her speech opposed the concept of “cultural appropriation.” The Guardian has posted the text of Shriver’s speech here. Shriver elaborated on her speech in the »

Triumph of the witless

Featured image In the video below (warning: adult language) characters who are advertised as “the world’s biggest celebrities” (don’t ask me) urge those who take their cues from morons to “save the day” (November 8) to vote against Donald Trump. The death of Leni Riefenstahl has clearly left a great void. The artistry behind this particular video does not exactly incite a passion to join the crowd or celebrate the triumph of »

My opening farewell to Bonnie Raitt reconsidered

Featured image In August 2002 I went to see Bonnie Raitt perform at the Minnesota State Fair. I’d previously seen Raitt perform in St. Paul at the Ordway Center 1986 or so, I think, but she was obviously drunk on that occasion. ZZ Top was performing at the St. Paul Civic Center around the corner from the Ordway and Raitt kept saying: “Man, ZZ Top. They’re playing next door; I can’t believe »

CRB: Hamilton versus history

Featured image Richard Samuelson is learned in the things that interest me. As an undergraduate I read and admired Garry Wills’s Nixon Agonistes. During my senior year I even raised the money to bring Wills to campus to speak about the imminent presidential election of 1972. Studying American literature with James Cox and Noel Perrin that year, I also read the novel Democracy by Henry Adams as well as Adams’s classic autobiography »

Dereliction of duty in the Persian Gulf

Featured image On the evening in which the capture by Iran of the crews of two U.S. Navy boats hit the news, I happened to be in the company of three retired high ranking military officials. The reaction of all three was the same: the crews were derelict in their duty; heads should roll. The Navy, having wrapped up its investigation of the matter, has reached the same conclusion. Its report finds »

Critique of pure comedy

Featured image In my post “A funny thing,” I briefly discussed comedy. I mentioned Ralph Stanley along the way. Coincidentally, Stanley died Thursday at the age of 89. (Juli Thanki is the author of the obituary published by the Tennessean.) I saw Stanley perform live twice thanks to the Coen brothers (and their musical director, T Bone Burnett), whom I also mention in that post. Alan Griesinger is a Power Line reader »

A Republic, if we can keep our TV shows

Featured image When Scotland was getting set to vote on whether to leave Great Britain, “stay” supporters raised the specter that an exit might mean loss of access to popular BBC television series. The “leave” movement took pains to assure Scots they would still be able to watch such shows as EastEnders, Doctor Who, and Strictly Come Dancing. Scotland voted to stay, so we never found out whether an independent Scotland would »

A funny thing

Featured image Comedy is the realm of pleasure. It represents freedom. It is not moral. It seeks to make us feel good. It serves no higher purpose. Tragedy is the realm of conscience. It represents order. It renders justice. It serves civilization. It seeks to call us to our higher selves. In 1962 Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart mashed up three comedies of the Roman playwright Plautus to create A Funny Thing »

Muhammad Ali: A Dissenting View

I was a big fan of Cassius Clay. Whenever he fought, a classmate and I would tune in on an old radio and cheer him on. One evening, we were at a high school basketball game when it was time for a Clay fight to begin. We slipped out of the game, went to a car and enacted the fight, punching one another, as it was called on the radio. »

America’s honor

Featured image In observance of Memorial Day 2007 the Wall Street Journal published a characteristically brilliant column by Peter Collier to mark the occasion. The column remains accessible online here. I don’t think we’ll read or hear anything more thoughtful or appropriate to the occasion today. Here it is: Once we knew who and what to honor on Memorial Day: those who had given all their tomorrows, as was said of the »