Culture

Clearing my spindle, NR edition

Featured image I have been catching up on the past three or four issues of National Review between breaks in the programming on the NR cruise. Yesterday’s stop in St. Maarten interrupted the excellent programming that is the main attraction of the cruise. When the programming resumed, it kicked off with a panel on feminism featuring NR roving correspondent Kevin Williamson and Christina Hoff Sommers responding to questions presented by Jay Nordlinger. »

Little Green Army Men

Featured image Did you know that there is a Toy Hall of Fame? I didn’t either. It hasn’t been around for too long, so some classic toys are still trying to get in. Reuters reports on this year’s Hall of Fame class: Little green army men finally prevailed on Thursday in their two-year battle for a coveted spot in the National Toy Hall of Fame, joining Rubik’s Cube and soap bubbles on »

The Democrats Bring Out Their Biggest Gun

Featured image This could be a game-changer. The Democrats aren’t fooling around any longer, they are playing their trump card. Kim Kardashian has come out for the Dems, and President Obama, on Instagram. Which is where it counts: I’m standing with President Obama in the midterm election tomorrow! Find out what you need to cast your ballot at IWillVote.com A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Nov 11, 2014 at 5:19pm »

Wanted: One Viking. Must Furnish His Own Sword.

Featured image Today the Minnesota Vikings played the Washington Redskins here in Minnesota. Before the game, several thousand protesters turned out at the University of Minnesota to demand that Redskins owner Dan Snyder change the team’s name. Among them was old-timer Clyde Bellecourt: “We are standing up against this monster team that is here today and to this Jewish person who should know a little bit about genocide,” Bellecourt said in a »

The Catcall Video, and Rape Culture

Featured image I may have been the last person on Earth to watch the “catcall” video that has now been viewed more than 25 million times on YouTube, and seen by many more on news shows, etc. Just in case you haven’t seen it either, here it is. It is two minutes long. Basically, a pretty young woman walked around Manhattan for ten hours while being filmed, and a number of guys »

The Political Failure of Libertarianism

Featured image Sad news out of Iowa yesterday that the Libertarian Party senate candidate, Doug Butzier, was killed in a plane crash. Political junkies immediately speculated that this might well tip the close Iowa senate race to Joni Ernst. I’m not so certain of this; I think a lot of purist libertarian voters might just not vote for a senate candidate at all, or might even vote for the Democrat on the »

It’s only a (not very good) play

Featured image On our recent weekend in New York, we saw two Broadway shows. The first was a revival of the classic musical On the Town, which I thought was spectacular. I wrote about it briefly here. The show is still in previews; it opens officially next week. The second show we saw was a revival of the Terence McNally backstage comedy It’s Only a Play. The show was one on a »

When Old School Meets New Age

Featured image So where have I been all week? You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. So I’ll have to tell you: I was at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, the infamous home of new age spirituality where, I couldn’t help but notice, the “clothes optional” rule is still in effect. (I’ve written before about Esalen here and here.)  I couldn’t resist the chance to unleash my inner Hunter S. »

The Eisenhower Memorial farce

Featured image We have sporadically followed the long, sad saga of the proposed Eisenhower Memorial. The Eisenhower Memorial Commission has now survived 15 years. We have no Eisenhower Memorial, but the commission has a plan (a bad one) and a promotional website. For good and sufficient reason the National Capital Planning Commission rejected the proposed memorial plan earlier this year. The Washington Examiner reported on the NCPC’s rejection in a long article »

Where the NEA Meets the EPA

Featured image Lots and lots of climate news right now, ahead of next week’s UN “Leaders Climate Summit” that no world leaders are attending, but there’s one story out the last few days that deserves special notice: did you know that $700,000 of your tax dollars went to subsidizing an off-Broadway musical about the evils of climate change? Yes, I know, this sounds like a plot to a lame Mel Brooks remake »

Why the NFL should lighten up

Featured image In writing about the NFL’s handling of the Ray Rice matter, my position has been that the commissioner should not be meting out discipline to players for personal misconduct. Non-football related misbehavior should be an issue for the player’s employer (his team) and, in appropriate cases, law enforcement. It also seems to me that if the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hadn’t taken to issuing discipline for personal conduct, he would »

Hath not a Timesman cultural literacy?

Featured image Joe Biden made waves when he referred to “shylocks” in a speech on Monday. He made waves because he didn’t realize the term was offensive to Jews, drawing as it does on Shakespeare’s problematic portrayal of the Jewish moneylender in The Merchant of Venice. The late, great John Gross devoted an outstanding book to the portrayal of Shylock through the ages. The book provides a humane literary and historical education »

Tonight it’s “Christmas in July”

Featured image For readers who might be interested I want to note that TCM is playing the rarely seen comedy Christmas in July tonight at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) as part of its tribute to Dick Powell today. Why should you care? The film was both written and directed by Preston Sturges, a director known for the subgenre of “screwball” comedies that he perfected with what his admirers came to call “the Sturges »

Woodstock Redux

Featured image There seems to be a flourish of 45th anniversary observations of Woodstock going on this weekend, as though it was a slow news period right now.  (Perhaps too many editors and beat reporters are on vacation up in Martha’s and the Hamptons right now.)  Why the 45th anniversary?  Perhaps because of the typical baby boomer fear that a lot of folks won’t make it to the 50th anniversary?  Then, too, »

Boyhood: A brief note

Featured image We went to see the film Boyhood last night, and I want to recommend it to readers who might otherwise overlook it in the film industry’s recurring summer of crud. It’s a movie for adults about time and love and (the modern) family. I am not familiar with writer/director Richard Linklater, but I want to mention his name here as the man without whom the film wouldn’t exist. For whatever »

HBO, Beyond the Pale

Featured image HBO has done some good things, like Rome and Game of Thrones. But this is one of the most appalling things I have seen in a long time. There is an HBO program called “True Blood” that apparently is about vampires–way to be cutting edge, right? In its most recent episode, it featured a Ted Cruz fundraiser at the George W. Bush presidential library. In the clip below, you can »

Berkeley Finally Achieves Complete Utopia

Featured image I checked, wondering if this story was some kind of Onion-like parody site.  (Look: the Los Angeles Times is something of a joke these days; who’s to say they didn’t decide to jump the shark overnight?)  Nope; it appears to be on the level. Berkeley dispensaries must give free pot to poor members, city says Medical marijuana dispensaries in Berkeley must give some of their pot free of charge to low-income »