Culture

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 »

Friends-less

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 »

Darkest two hours

Featured image We went to see Darkest Hour last night. The film portrays Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) in May 1940. When Neville Chamberlain stepped down, Churchill became Prime Minister on May 10 and became Great Britain’s war leader. In Five Days in London: May 1940 (1999), John Lukacs focused on these events and took us into the cabinet meetings portrayed in the film. Stick with Lukacs. The film reduces Churchill to a »

Weekend reading

Featured image I want to take the liberty of drawing attention to weekend reading of special interest without commentary from me. I recommend: • Douglas Murray, “The Russian Revolution, 100 years on.” Murray looks back at what Communism wrought and decries its continuing appeal. NRO has posted Murray’s recent cover story along with sidebars by Anne Applebaum, David Pryce-Jones, Noah Rothman, Roger Scruton, and Radoslaw Sikorski assigning notable books for extra credit »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll draws on painful personal experience to declare NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL GOOD MEN…is not just a typing exercise! She writes: On an hourly basis, we learn of another woman making accusations of sexual harassment, assault, even outright rape. Other women claim to be “uncomfortable” or offended by a hand on a shoulder, a pat on the back, any human touch. I come from a warm “touchy” »

Bottom, er, Story of the Day

Featured image Every time I hear some liberal say they wish Twitter would close down President Trump’s Twitter account, I ask, “Why would they want to do him such a big favor?” (Of course, I know Trump uses his Tweets to great—as well as not so great—effect, but given how crazy it drives libs I like to confuse them with misdirection as often as I can.) Well lo and behold: Twitter employee »

George Bush’s speech

Featured image Last week, George W. Bush delivered an address decrying the rise of nativism, bigotry, and incivility in recent years. The former president did not mention the current one by name, but it is clear that he had Donald Trump mind. Whether Bush blames Trump for the rise of all three phenomena — nativism, bigotry, and incivility — is less certain. I suspect he does. Construing Bush’s speech as an across-the-board »