Culture

Mad Men signs off with class and aplomb

Featured image The final episode of Mad Men, the long running hit cable show, aired last night. If you haven’t seen it but plan to, read no further. Mad Men is an overrated show, but that’s mainly because no television show could be as good as gushing liberals deem it. Why do liberals love Mad Men so? I think it’s because it tells them that America in the early 1960s was not »

“Ferguson” actors can’t handle the truth

Featured image I wrote here about the staging in Washington, DC of a portion of “Ferguson,” a play based exclusively on the testimony presented to the grand jury that declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson. The full play is scheduled to debut tomorrow in Los Angeles. However, the Daily Caller reports that this week several actors quit the production because once they read the script, they felt it didn’t portray Michael Brown »

Shakespeare: The Ultimate Dead White Male?

Featured image In my first public lecture at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2013, perhaps no passage excited a more furious response from some members of the audience than this: It turns out that at a shockingly high number of universities—though not this one—it is possible to take a degree in English without having to take a single course on Shakespeare, which strikes me as absurd as taking a course »

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

Featured image I haven’t been posting much the last couple of days because I have been in my home town, Watertown, South Dakota. BISCO (the Business Industry School Coalition), a local organization that promotes a “progressive and meaningful relationship among business, industry and schools,” invited me to speak at their annual lunch meeting. They thought it would be fun to hear about Power Line and related subjects. I said sure. Before that »

Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens, and feminism

Featured image The Camille Paglia interview in which she recalls being denounced by feminists for taking too soft a line on the Rolling Stones song “Under My Thumb,” coupled with Steve’s reporting on “sexual paranoia in academe,” reminded me of an article by the feminist rock music critic Ellen Willis that appeared in the New Yorker more than 40 years ago. The late Ms. Willis, whose voice I miss, argued that “Under »

Who Will Replace Jon Stewart?

Featured image Jon Stewart is retiring from Comedy Central, possibly to run for office as a Democrat. Stewart is a liberal who devoted pretty much his entire show to bashing conservatives, although he occasionally trained his fire on Democrats, thereby obtaining an undeserved reputation for objectivity. So who will replace him? Comedy Central could make a truly bold move and replace Stewart with a Republican, but of course they won’t. The monopoly »

HBO’s “Girls”: Really, Really Stupid

Featured image Liberal activist Lena Dunham has a show on HBO called “Girls.” I have never seen it, but it enjoys a niche popularity. It’s nothing like “Game of Thrones,” say, but apparently a decent number of people watch “Girls,” mostly, it seems, to laugh at how obnoxious the characters are. But liberal critics love “Girls.” If you Google a bit, you will find that one of the words most often associated »

At Last, the Kind of Inflation Americans Care About!

Featured image As of today, more Americans can tell you the NFL’s rule for the inflation of footballs than know how many Congressmen are in the House of Representatives. And which was more eagerly awaited, this year’s State of the Union speech or Bill Belichick’s press conference this morning? It isn’t even close. The extent to which Americans’ interest in sports exceeds their interest in politics is extraordinary. Over the years, some »

Great thinkers revisited

Featured image With the focus on last year and the new year, we might take advantage of the holiday or the long holiday weekend to refresh our acquaintance with the great thinkers. The Great Thinkers site is produced by the Center for Constitutional Government; it builds on the Conversations with Bill Kristol to introduce viewers to “the great thinkers of Western [political] thought.” The site seeks to aid students and other interested »

What Americans Really Cared About In 2014

Featured image Or what they tweeted about, anyway. Twitter provides a fascinating, objective look at what people are discussing. Tracked over the course of the year, it tells us a little about the news, and quite a lot about us. People may claim to have lots of high-minded interests, but what are they actually talking about? Donald Sterling. Here it is: 2014, as documented on Twitter. Click to enlarge: The results are »

Bedford Falls or Pottersville?

Featured image Novelist Anne Morse has written a sequel to Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Her novel is called Bedford Falls. NRO has posted an interview with Morse. Like the classic film, her novel, she says, reminds us of our obligations to family and community — the “little platoons,” to borrow Edmund Burke’s phrase. The Morse interview reminds me that nine years ago, I wrote a Weekly Standard column called “Bedford »

My take on the campus “rape culture”

Featured image I agree with John that there is no “rape culture” on college campuses. But I also agree with Joe Asch, the proprietor of Dartblog, that sexual assault, or, at a minimum, serious sexual harassment, is a real problem at colleges and universities. I base my conclusion in part on conversations with a dozen or so current college students or recent grads. Not all of them see the situation the same »

Think Hollywood Is Unpatriotic? You’re Right

Featured image As you probably know, Sony Pictures was hacked, allegedly by someone in North Korea, and a lot of data has leaked into the public domain, at least some of it via Gawker. Among the documents that have become public are Sony marketing materials in Power Point form that show how the studio intended to promote various movies. This one is for “Captain Phillips,” a relatively rare hit for the studio. »

For Bergman fans, tonight’s the night

Featured image When director/screenwriter Ingmar Bergman died in 2007, John Simon took to the pages of the Weekly Standard to declare him “Cinema’s Shakespeare.” Writing about Bergman in the context of his favorite films, Simon had celebrated the qualities he found: the “adultness,” the “seriousness,” the “sense of tragedy but also of mirth” characteristic of “great works of art…though they go about achieving it in different ways.” Some of Bergman’s “different ways” »

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 »