Culture

A Black Victor Hugo?

Featured image A controversy has erupted in France over the renovation of a statue of novelist Victor Hugo that portrays him as a black man. The New York Times, always quick to jump on any racial angle, is on the case. And Steve Sailer has an excellent post that pulls it all together. First, the controversy, as described by the Times: The statue of Victor Hugo has loomed outside the city hall »

Money Talks, In Spanish

Featured image A political reality in today’s world is that the Left has vastly more money than the Right. That is certainly a problem, but the more important question is how each side deploys its resources. We have just emerged from an election cycle in which vast amounts of money were spent on both sides, in most cases inefficiently if not entirely fruitlessly. Some years ago, Glenn Reynolds proposed that the Koch »

Word of the year

Featured image The AP hasn’t gotten around to correcting its headline over the story reporting the word of the year according to Merriam-Webster. At the moment the headline reads: “What headline? ‘Gaslighting’ Merriam-Webster’s word of 2022.” That “What headline?” can’t be right, can it? This must be the AP’s “Mush from the wimp” moment. Speaking of mush from the wimp, I give the Biden administration credit for the rise of “gaslighting” to »

Persecution and the art of Dave Chappelle (2)

Featured image We are awash in a wave of anti-Semitic hatred and violence that is coursing through the black community and elsewhere. I heard it in the troubled musings of Kanye West and wrote about in “Anti-Semitism for Ye — but not for me.” The December Commentary features Elliot Kaufman’s deep backgrounder “O Ye of Little Faith: The Anti-Semitism of Kanye West.” Over the weekend comedian Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live »

Persecution and the art of Dave Chappelle

Featured image Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live last night. In his opening monologue, Chappelle held at painful length that “the Jews” control the world but that this can only be said out loud ironically — because, you know, “the Jews.” It was an unsubtle performance that might be funny if you are on board with that particular “point of view.” Then it might be hilarious. I caught up with video of »

Merrily We Roll Along

Featured image Lonny Price’s Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened is one of my favorite documentaries. If you’re a Sondheim fanatic, you will recognize the title of the documentary as a play on one of the songs in the legendary Sondheim flop Merrily We Roll Along (book by George Furth, produced by Hal Prince). Price himself played one of the leads in the show. The film is a riveting and »

At the struggle session

Featured image Over at the University of Minnesota Medical School, one probably shouldn’t be seen with books such as Arthur Koestler’s novel Darkness at Noon or Fan Shen’s memoir Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard. It might reflect an inclination to think for yourself and other such bourgeois indulgences. I’m thinking that they missed a few strokes at this year’s white-coat ceremony for new students. The video below is a »

My Son Hunter

Featured image I shelled out $21 to buy Breitbart’s new film, My Son Hunter. It is the story of the Biden crime family, as documented on Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop, brought to life. It is not a documentary; rather the film is a fictionalized version of the story. As Gina Carano, playing a Secret Service agent, says at the beginning: “This is not a true story…except for all the facts.” So, how »

High and low

Featured image TCM is in the middle of its annual Summer Under the Stars festival featuring blocs of films with favorite actors and actresses. At the moment they are running films starring Randolph Scott that continue through tomorrow morning. You may want to set your DVR tonight for Ride the High Country (1962, directed by Sam Peckinpah). Regardless of the star, every film played this month demonstrates the superiority of the old »

Cancel Culture Comes to Ancient Egypt

Featured image Angel Blue is an African-American opera singer, who I assume is very good. She made news a few days ago when she walked out on a production of La Traviata being staged by the Verona Theater because–not in her opera, but in a different production at the same theater, Aida–a Russian singer was slated to play the title role in “blackface” makeup. The Telegraph reports: A renowned Italian Opera theatre »

Happy Independence Day? [Updated]

Featured image I am so old, I can remember when liberals at least pretended to be patriotic. And some of them really were. George McGovern, for instance, was a legitimate World War II hero, flying a B-24 Liberator in combat. He was wrong about many things, but he wasn’t wrong because he hated his country. Fast forward to now. We have been seeing poll data for some years, indicating that liberals generally »

Woke Hollywood, Broke Hollywood (UPDATED)

Featured image Buzz Lightyear (voiced by the great Tim Allen, one of the few right-leaning stars in Hollywood) became an iconic character in the Toy Story series of films, but the new standalone Buzz Lightyear movie, with Buzz voiced by Chris Evans instead of Allen, has bombed at the box office, perhaps because it decided to go fully woke by prominently featuring a lesbian relationship. As Kyle Smith puts it, “today Hollywood’s »

England’s Amber Heard

Featured image Queen Elizabeth is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee–70 years on the throne. After a lifetime of integrity and faithful service, the queen is naturally popular. Current surveys have Elizabeth at 81% favorable and 12% unfavorable. One wonders who the 12% are–IRA terrorists, maybe? Of the royal family, Prince William and Duchess Catherine score next at 74/10. Prince Andrew is the least popular royal, with a 5% approval rating. I don’t think »

Another word about Midge

Featured image Wilfred McClay is the formidable historian and a leading light of our intellectual life. On May 17 he is to be recognized with one of this year’s Bradley Prizes — this one — along with Glenn Loury and Chen Guangcheng. Bill wrote me last night: “That is such sad news about Midge. I loved that woman She had more soul in her little finger than any seven other people. I »

VDH’s favorites

Featured image The daily Hoover Institution email alerted me to the Victor Davis Hanson show podcast on VDH’s favorites — favorite movies, favorite novels, favorite TV shows, favorite ancient Greek writer. Who could ask for anything more? The only problem with it is that it isn’t longer. Hoover linked to the podcast posted here at VDH’s Blade of Perseus (embedded above). I don’t think it’s much of a plot spoiler to disclose »

Did “Glee” Lead to Glum?

Featured image I had a long conversation once with one of the most important behind-the-scenes leaders of the long drive to legalize gay marriage—one of the most shrewd and sophisticated (and therefore realistic) leftists I’ve ever met. He was candid and direct in dismissing the efforts of the Human Rights Campaign Fund—actually he held HRCF in contempt—and other high-profile and self-congratulatory activist groups. He said the two most important things that made »

Comedy in the age of tolerance

Featured image The brilliant Michael Ramirez manages to smuggle several jokes into his editorial cartoon today (posted here on his Substack site. You’ve the title. You’ve got the bodyguards. You’ve got comedian Dave Chappelle barely visible in the background. You’ve got the comedian’s putative conformity to the tyranny of the times. (Chappelle actually took his life in his hands with his performance at the Hollywood Bowl.) And you’ve got the drawing. Comedy »