Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

Featured image In the interest of anger management therapy on a day that calls for it, I’m taking the liberty of reposting this tribute to a great song with an unusual story behind it. From Ella Fitzgerald to Fran Landesman to T.S. Eliot and Geoffrey Chaucer, here we go: There are a few torch songs that lament the coming of Spring. This time of year, if you’re tuned to one of the »

The trans moment

Featured image I have lived through the evolution of attitudes toward homosexuality, but never signed on to the ideology of homosexual rights culminating in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision. At least it took a while. One could see it coming. By contrast, the transgender movement has ascended “at meteoric speed.” So writes Sohrab Ahmari in the invaluable Commentary essay “The disappearance of desire” (from the magazine’s forthcoming April issue). He adds: “Transgenderism »

Tragedy at the Pathway Home

Featured image Yesterday a vet and former patient at the Pathway Home at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville in northern California took hostage and then murdered the program’s executive director, Christine Loeber, Dr. Jen Golick, the program’s clinical director, and Dr. Jennifer Gonzales, a psychologist with the Department of Veterans Affairs in San Francisco. The Pathway Home lost two-thirds of its leadership team yesterday. Only the director of development and communications remains. »

Videos of the Week

Featured image Yesterday, in honor of International Women’s Day (because I guess National Women’s Day would be too Trumpian??), I offered up this mischievous tweet: Of course I had in mind something like the Lady Ghostbusters remake that was a total bust. But guess what? Someone beat me to the idea. (Language warning—but if you’ve seen The Big Lebowski, you already know that): Meanwhile, Remy has a new one out this week, »

Hollyweird [Updated]

Featured image Last night marked the 35th consecutive year of my Not Watching the Academy Awards, and from early news reports it appears that 20 percent of last year’s audience are following my example. Ratings are at their all-time lowest ever. Host Jimmy Kimmel apparently made a lot of jokes about Trump, conservatives, the NRA, and in support of the #MeToo movement, which is pretty cheeky for someone who hosted The Man »

About those roses

Featured image I wrote here at length about The Subject Was Roses almost ten years ago after I saw playwright Frank Gilroy’s grandson Sam Gilroy on stage at the Moore Theater in Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center. Meeting up with Frank Gilroy when he visited Dartmouth in 1971 for a screening of Desperate Characters, a film he had produced and directed as well as adapted from Paula Fox’s esteemed novel, was one of the »

Vlad & him

Featured image Yesterday in “Facebook footnotes” I posted the Facebook ad promoting the protest produced by the friends of Vladimir Putin against President Trump outside Trump Tower in the immediate aftermath of the election. The creative efforts of the Russians toiling away in the troll factory did not go for naught. They attracted Michael Moore to the event. The Daily Caller takes a look back at the action via the tweet below »

A green thought in a green shade

Featured image I await Roger Kimball’s commentary on the official portraits of President and Mrs. Obama unveiled today for display in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Speaking as a layman, I can say that I find Obama’s portrait unflattering and unaesthetic, so perhaps it fits in some sense. I can also say that it put me in mind of Andrew Marvell’s great metaphysical poem “The Garden,” which I have not thought about »

Terry Teachout recommends

Featured image Yesterday on Twitter Terry Teachout — my favorite critic, of theater for the Wall Street Journal and at large for Commentary — commented on The Third Man, the compelling 1949 film. If you are a fan of the film, you will undoubtedly recall that it was written by Graham Greene and features a chilling star turn by Orson Welles. Terry touted the film as a scrupulous study in moral complexity. »

Darkest two hours revisited

Featured image I gave my quick take on the highly praised Churchill film Darkest Hour in my post “Darkest two hours.” By contrast, Steve Hayward declared the film “great” in this post and put it in the context of other depictions of Churchill on film in a valuable Weekly Standard column. In praising the film, Steve joins other esteemed Churchill experts who have written about it (Larry Arnn, Victor Davis Hanson, and »


Featured image I tried a few times back in the 1990s to take in an episode of Friends, but just couldn’t get through it. It seemed an entirely mediocre offering, and I could never understand why it was so popular, except I suppose as a prequel to the super-charged self-absorption of the coming of age millennial generation. At its peak it attracted as many as 52 million viewers. But maybe I have »

Crudity in the Oval Office

Featured image Has everyone here heard the classic tape of President Lyndon Johnson ordering pants over the phone from the Hagar Slacks people? I have the YouTube version of it embedded below, but before you listen to it be sure that hot coffee and all other liquids are far away from your keyboard, and that children are out of the room. If you’ve never heard this, you’re in for a real treat. »

Make Hollywood great again

Featured image I watched NBC’s broadcast of the Golden Globe awards last night with morbid fascination to soak in the self-love and the self-praise of the Hollywood crowd. The hours spent in psychotherapy seem to have paid off big league, though introspection was nowhere in evidence. The sexual harassment panic featured as a motif. My favorite moment was Halle Berry’s appearance as a presenter in the obligatory black gown with the voluntary »

Sabo: We All Knew

Featured image I’ve never met the California street activist who goes by the name Sabo. He is, I believe, a Hispanic former gang member who discovered conservative principles and has become the conscience of southern California. The Golden Globes, which I take it are some sort of movie awards, are coming up, and Sabo is on the case. He highlights the issue of sexual harassment by liberals, and the complicity of the »

Thank you…

Featured image Christian Toto is the proprietor of Hollywood in Toto. He posted his year-end 10-best list yesterday, with Thank You For Your Service leading the parade. Of the movies I saw in 2017, Thank You For Service was the only one that moved me, shook me up, taught me something I didn’t know and made me want to learn more, all while increasing my gratitude and respect for the service to »

Garrison Keillor’s “erasure” — an update

Featured image Michael Barone takes up the case of Minnesota Public Radio’s erasure of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and “The Writer’s Almanac” broadcasts from its website. Barone shares my unhappiness, and that of Rod Dreher, that Keillor’s work has been flushed down the memory hole because of the author’s sins. Barone notes that Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was a criminal, quite possibly a murderer, yet he created great art. Indeed, »

Garrison Keillor flushed down the memory hole

Featured image After Kevin Spacey was excised from the upcoming movie All the Money in the World (his scenes to be reshot with Christoper Plummer), I modestly proposed that Hollywood remove and reshoot Spacey’s scenes in Beyond the Sea and The Usual Suspects, and destroy all copies of American Beauty — that hackneyed attempt at a takedown of suburban America. This expungement, I said in jest, was the required remedy for Spacey’s »