Ramirez speaks

Featured image The Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Michael Ramirez posts his daily cartoons on Substack at the Michael Ramirez Newsletter. He is a conservative whose genius cannot be denied. Thus the Pulitzer. Readers can subscribe here. Michael has also been writing weekly essays for his newsletter that I have posted in our Picks as each one was made freely accessible. Today Michael has posted an 18-minute video essay that is keyed to his »

The Dark Side of Art?

Featured image Cambridge University’s Fitzwilliam Museum has an excellent collection that includes, among others, paintings by John Constable, one of my favorite artists. Like this one: A lovely image of the British countryside, right? Not according to the museum. It now comes with a warning: The Fitzwilliam Museum has suggested that paintings of the British countryside evoke dark “nationalist feelings”. You might think England is a pretty country–I do–but how is that »

Artists Try to Ban Israelis

Featured image The Venice Biennale is one of the world’s biggest art shows. The show has a national focus: Held since 1895 and considered the world’s top art event, the Venice Biennale, which starts in April, gives nations the chance to show off their best artists at national pavilions. That is the hook for pro-mass muder artists to try to boot Israel out: A petition to kick Israel out of the Venice »

I Can Call Spirits From the Vasty Deep

Featured image The Walker Art Center is a modern art museum in Minneapolis. Alpha News reports that the Walker has just hosted a family-friendly demon summoning event: The Walker Art Center held a pagan ritual geared toward families last weekend, with a performance called “Lilit the Empathic Demon.” “Demons have a bad reputation, but maybe we’re just not very good at getting to know them,” an event description reads. The event, which »

A lift too far: South Park edition

Featured image As the Babylon Bee frequently proves, reality is catching up with satire. In November 2019 South Park anticipated the case of JayCee Cooper v. USA Powerlifting. Ramsey County District Judge Patrick Diamond has required USA Powerlifting to recognize Cooper’s self-identification as a woman so that Cooper can compete with the ladies who are weaker than he is. Judge Diamond has found USA Powerlifting liable under the Minnesota Human Rights Act »

Fourteen Ways to Start an Argument In a Bar

Featured image The news is doing nothing for me today, so here is something I have done once or twice before. The following are 14 propositions that I believe to be true. Or at least, I think I do. Each is intended to be fodder for disagreement. Feel free to say “Amen, brother” or “You can’t be serious” in the comments. If this gets a good reception, maybe next time I will »

Suicide of the Met

Featured image I’m going to be in New York for a few days next week. Normally I would spend an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, whose vast collection requires many visits. This time, perhaps not: check out Heather Mac Donald’s brilliant City Journal essay on the Met’s current exhibit, Fictions of Emancipation. The exhibit purports to show, among other things, that Western art that until now has been understood as »

Hunter for sale again

Featured image The New York Post has developed something of a niche in covering Hunter Biden and the Biden family business. I wonder if the Post will be a target in the offensive maneuvers Biden plans to undertake with a little help from his friends. Hunter is of course not only a piece of work, he is a creator of pieces of work. Most recently, the Post reports that Hunter has unveiled »

The Met Gala: Not All Bad?

Featured image The Metropolitan Museum’s annual Gala, superintended by Vogue’s Anna Wintour, is taking place tonight. The event’s theme is “Gilded Glamour,” and as usual celebrities major and minor are being photographed on the red carpet in more or less ridiculous outfits. The Gala is being widely abused in conservative media as out of touch, in view of the fact that Americans are suffering due to Bidenflation and other liberal maladies. It »

Pictures at an exhibition

Featured image I probably learned from reading William F. Buckley as a teenager that a farrago is a confused mixture. I learn from reading New Criterion managing editor James Panero’s Spectator column “Hunter Biden: portrait of the scam artist” that New York Times critic at large Jason Farago gave Biden’s first solo exhibition the full review treatment. The exhibition is entitled The Journey Home: A Hunter Biden Solo Exhibition. Farago reviewed it. »

Canceling Hogarth

Featured image William Hogarth, the 18th-Century British painter and printmaker, was a critic of the milieu in which he lived. In particular, his paintings and etchings satirized the privileged classes of his time. So you might expect him to be popular with contemporary liberals. But only if you didn’t understand contemporary liberals. Hogarth is now being canceled: [A] new exhibition at Tate Britain has suggested that [Hogarth’s] pictures are no laughing matter, »

What is art?

Featured image A few years ago, as I understand it, a group of feminists took over the Manchester Art Gallery. As part of their takeover, they placed new explanatory plaques in some of the exhibition rooms. The plaques, which are still there, riff on the existing ones, but provide a snarky radical feminist spin. Here is an example: In the wake of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, male merchant manufacturers increasingly bought »

“High and Low” revisited

Featured image We went to the current arthouse smash Parasite last week. It is a South Korean film written and directed by Bong Joon Ho. It won the top prize in Cannes earlier this year. The New York Times has raved about Ho and the film in five reviews and articles or features accessible here. Unlike the Times crew, I don’t recommend the film for its insight or uplift. I don’t recommend »

A Racial Incident at a Boston Museum

Featured image I follow a number of museums on Instagram, including Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. That is how I learned about an incident involving the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy. MFA posted this on its account: Throughout the past week, the MFA has implemented some immediate action steps in response to the recent incidents involving students from the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy. We are actively examining our visitor services protocols, »

Bring Back the Golden Fleece!

Featured image Back in the days when some Democrats actually cared about government waste, Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin became famous for his “Golden Fleece” award, which exposed absurd federal spending boondoggles. Since then, the government’s hemorrhaging of our tax dollars has only gotten worse. The same thing is going on at the state level. Democrats consider all spending, no matter how stupid, to be an “investment” and therefore desirable. My home »

The lives of artists

Featured image I agree with Jonah Goldberg that the “The Lives of Others” is the best Cold War movie, at least of those I’ve seen. Now, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who wrote and directed that film, has written and directed “Never Look Away.” I wouldn’t call “Never Look Away” a Cold War movie. It encompasses the Cold War, but also World War II. And the last hour or so of this three-hour »

Resist! In Seed Art

Featured image Today was the last day of the Minnesota State Fair. I wrote about my only afternoon at the Fair, which was mostly spent on the radio, here. Over the years, I have written several times about seed art at the Fair (e.g., here and here.) One might expect a traditional rural genre like seed art to lean to the right, but in fact, when political, it has been an entertaining »