Culture

Shallow waters at the intersection of Obamacare and the culture

Featured image Everyone, I think, understands why President Obama is enlisting pop personalities in his effort to get younger Americans to sign up for Obamacare. I doubt that the president relishes being mocked, however mildly, by a bratty comedian. But desperate times call for desperate measures and, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, Obama must go to war using the culture we have. But relying on an idiot culture means mingling with idiots, which »

Triumph of the Phil

Featured image Not having done our homework, we went to the film Philomena over the weekend. We made a mistake. We shouldn’t have gone. It’s not just one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, it’s also one of the most detestable. From beginning to end, it is an attack on the Catholic Church for crimes fabricated out of “true events” involving Philomena (Phil) Lee, played by Judi Dench. The Washington Post’s »

A Star Wars Interlude

Featured image It was inevitable that someone would offer up a Facebook “Look Back” video for Darth Vader (below), but the real news is the insider revelation that the destruction of the Death Star in Episode IV was clearly an inside job.  I expect Rosie O’Donnell will be all over this story any moment now.  Excerpt: THE KID WHO TOOK THE SHOT JUST HAPPENED TO BE NAMED ‘SKYWALKER.’  Yep, same as our »

Once Again: Jimmy Who?

Featured image John’s notice of the passing of Sid Caeser a few days ago included the clip of Ronald Reagan on “What’s My Line?,” where of course the panel had to be blindfolded and Reagan had to disguise his voice because he would have been instantly recognized.  I think I knew Reagan had done this, but I had never seen the episode. But it reminded me: Jimmy Carter appeared on “What’s My »

The Antidote for Crunchiness

Featured image Walking around downtown Boulder the other day on Pearl Street, I ran into the “Condom Squad,” which, as you’ll see from the nearby photo, consisted of fetching young ladies in tight black leggings  (the winter uniform of coeds these days) passing out massive quantities of free prophylactics, just in case there are any stray bananas that need covering up from the winter cold.  A “fitting job” I would say.  (Note »

Down With “Downton”!

Featured image So George Will doesn’t like Downton Abbey.   I have to say I found DA boring after a few episodes, and quickly lost interest.  But Will, who, as a baseball fan, has a high tolerance for slow speed stories, finds DA to be a simile for our Progressive/Administrative State: It is fitting that PBS offers “Downton Abbey” to its disproportionately progressive audience. This series is a languid appreciation of a class »

SNL’s Lorne Michaels: Liberals Lack a Sense of Humor

Featured image It isn’t news to any conservative that most liberals have a deficient sense of humor, which is what makes the light bulb joke about feminists so accurate. (How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb? “That’s not funny!”)  But it ought to be worth something when Lorne Michaels, the long time producer of Saturday Night Live, ratifies this, in this month’s New York magazine interview (note especially what »

Obama gets “Mad Men” wrong

Featured image President Obama’s State of the Union address was highly forgettable. In my opinion, its only memorable line was his reference to the television show Mad Men. It was, in any case, his most tweeted line, according to Tevi Troy. Obama delivered the line in decrying alleged wage disparities between men and women. He said: “It is time to do away with policies that belong in a Mad Men episode.” Tevi, »

Bottom Story of the Day: Coffee Capers

Featured image There’s a story in the front section of today’s Wall Street Journal that seems perfectly suited to Hinderaker’s beat: “Towns Fret as ‘Bikini Baristas’ Draw Crowds.” “Bikini” or “lingerie” coffee stands have caused a stir across the Northwest, a region already crowded with drive-through coffee outlets operated by mainstream companies such as Starbucks and Dutch Brothers. According to a consumer website that functions as a guide to kiosks, more than »

Fifty Years On: Still the Best [With Comments by John]

Featured image It was fifty years ago that The Beatles took the U.S. by storm, culminating in their February 9 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show (supposedly the most watched TV show in American history at that point).  Here’s a short highlight reel And here’s “The Rutles” spoof (and if you’ve never seen The Rutles, well, order it on Netflix tonight.  I’m convinced The Rutles was the Inspiration for This Is Spinal »

Hollywood Decides It Doesn’t Like Guns

Featured image Harvey Weinstein and Meryl Streep are planning to make an anti-gun, anti-National Rifle Association movie. Weinstein told Howard Stern that “they’re [the NRA] going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.” Somehow I think that isn’t going to happen. But meanwhile, you can’t help wondering, is anyone more violent than the anti-gun crowd? Deadline Hollywood has a breathless story about the prospective film: The title will be »

The Americans: Check It Out!

Featured image A couple of weeks ago Scott linked to an article in the Wall Street Journal about the top television shows of 2013 in our Picks. My wife followed the link and learned about a series neither of us had heard of, called The Americans. She thought it sounded intriguing–it’s about Soviet spies living under cover in the U.S. during the 1980s–so we bought Episode 1 and watched it. Then we »

What Obama watches

Featured image The New York Times has produced an article about the television viewing habits of President Obama. The piece, by Michael Shear, is called “Obama’s TV Picks: Anything Edgy, With Hints of Reality.” Take away those hints, and this sounds like his presidency. According to Shear, Obama enjoys watching Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Homeland, The Wire, Modern Family, House of Cards, and Parks and Recreation. This »

The Next Action Hero Candidate?

Featured image One of my favorite moments from the Reagan years was the time Reagan was asked during a press conference for his thoughts about Clint Eastwood’s election as mayor of Carmel.  Reagan said he never thought anyone who had acted with a chimp in a movie could ever make it in politics.  Heh. What about movie action heroes?  I always thought it remarkable that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura were both »

What to do about weed

Featured image David Brooks and Ruth Marcus both oppose the legalization of marijuana, but for somewhat different reasons. Marcus opposes legalization (which has occurred in Colorado and Washington State) because our society, and in particular our children, will be less healthy with another legal mind-altering substance. She cites the American Medical Association, which has recommended against legalization because: Cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern. It »

The Age of Snowbama

Featured image I have enjoyed both installments of The Hunger Games on film so far without knowing anything about the books from which they are derived or anything else that might help to get a bead on them. Watching Catching Fire — the second of a projected four films — over the weekend, I wondered about the politics of the series. I know the books predate the Age of Obama, but the »

Top10 2013 top 10 lists

Featured image Who doesn’t like a good year-end retrospective top 10 list? I certainly do, and I thought readers might appreciate a sampling of the best, with only a little cheating on my part. Let’s take it from the top: 1. Ilya Shapiro Obama’s top 10 constitutional violations of 2013. 2. Peter Wood, The highs and lows of 2013: NAS picks higher ed’s top 10 stories. 3. D.G. Myers, 10 worst prize-winning »