Culture

SpongeBob survives

Featured image Stephen Hillenburg died at the age of 57 this past Monday at his southern California home of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). James Freeman (WSJ’s Best of the Web) and J.J. McCullough (NR) paid tribute to Hillenburg as the creator of the immortal cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times obituary also salutes Hillenburg’s work. Two of my three daughters were fans of SpongeBob and the Nickelodeon series in »

Our cold civil war

Featured image Our friend Charles Kesler is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a recipient of the 2018 Bradley Prize. I wrote briefly about Charles and posted the text of his Bradley speech along with the video here on Power Line. Imprimis has now adapted Charles’s lecture at Hillsdale this past September 27 into the essay “Our cold civil war.” »

Merry *ckin’ Christmas!

Featured image We haven’t heard much about the “war on Christmas” in the last few years. That’s a good thing. But the general decline of our culture assaults us everywhere, and Christmas is not immune. So you might say I was shocked, but not really surprised, to see an ad for this sweater on the ESPN site: I thought I might be misconstruing the message somehow, so I sent an email to »

The complete Billy Jack

Featured image Whatever happened to Billy Jack (the character) and Billy Jack (the movie)? As TCM host Ben Mankiewicz explained last night, the movie was a hugely profitable hit upon its release in 1971 and its rerelease in 1973. You’d think it might be ripe for a remake in the pathetic dream factory churning out the dreck today. TCM retrieved Tom Laughlin’s entire Billy Jack oeuvre from its archives. All told, we »

Sammy Davis: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Featured image I don’t recall a time when Sammy Davis, Jr. was not a celebrity along with the rest of the Rat Pack. Although I learned as a teenager that he had overcome obstacles galore on his way to the top — I read his memorable autobiography, Yes, I Can — the story stopped with his marriage to May Britt, and he left out a lot of the pre-Britt story in any »

Et Tu, Taylor?

Featured image I have long admired Taylor Swift. Beginning as a teenager, she has been a positive influence on a generation of fans, mostly young girls. My three daughters have all been major fans, and I enjoy her music. Or I did, anyway, until she abandoned her country roots for the more boring world of pop. All together, I would guess my daughters have seen Swift in concert at least ten times. »

Misunderstanding the world

Featured image Rukmini Callimachi is an outstanding reporter for the New York Times. She lets her story tell itself in “A Dream Ended on a Mountain Road: The Cyclists and the ISIS Militants.” Bruce Bawer expands on and explicates Callimachi’s story in the PJ Media column “Death by entitlement.” Biking in far-flung places around the world, the young couple portrayed in Callimachi’s story are murdered by ISIS terrorists who mow them down »

A note on “Invisible Man”

Featured image I just finished reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison for the first time. I found it to be a challenging, gripping, entertaining novel of the first rank that I want to commend to your attention. Published in 1952, it remains an incredibly timely novel. It lends further support to the contrarian case Jeffrey Hart makes in When the Going Was Good! that the 1950’s represented a high-water mark in American »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll finds no limits in THE THIRD RAIL. She writes: For decades now, we have heard that the “third rail” in politics – untouchable without inviting electrocution – was the Social Security System. And now a different sort of Third Rail has been grabbed. The lovely daughter of the President of the United States, communing with her beautiful baby, no less, is called a “feckless c*nt” by another woman. »

How to watch a movie

Featured image We need help learning how to watch a movie just as we do learning how to read a newspaper or a book. In its short history the art of film presents a wealth of riches. It’s easy to enjoy a good movie, but appreciating the art requires an education. Titus Techera has arrived to lend us an eye in a series of movie podcasts that celebrated their first anniversary with »

Going Postal Revisited

Featured image Anyone remember the phrase “going postal”? It arose from the spate in incidents starting in the 1980s when disgruntled former postal workers, in at least 11 separate incidents, returned to a postal facility and shot up the place, killing 35 people according to Wikipedia. The phrase became common currently for workplace violence which spread beyond post offices, and sometimes the phrase was used casually, as in “I just might go »

Does anybody really know what time it is? (Minnesota edition)

Featured image Courtesy of the Democrats’ media adjunct, Minnesota state representative Ilhan Omar must be the most famous such officeholder in the history of the universe. Omar is the first Somali elected to our state legislature; she touts herself as “the highest-elected Somali-American public official in the United States.” That’s not too high. Riding the Democrats’ look at me identity politics, however, she’s going places. See, for example, the 11-minute video Omar »

The other summit

Featured image The New York Post brings a keen nose for news, a deep knowledge of popular culture and a devilish sense of humor to what looks like it might be the front page of tomorrow’s paper (?) that has somehow mysteriously materialized on the Drudge Report. Drudge links to the Post story by Marisa Schultz and Nikki Schwab on the Post’s Page Six section. It’s surely not the biggest news of »

The Final Year, Thank God

Featured image Now playing on HBO is Greg Barker’s documentary The Final Year chronicling President Obama’s foreign-policy team during Obama’s last year in office. It gives us a fly-on-the-wall view of John Kerry, Samantha Power, and Ben Rhodes doing their job through election day and slightly beyond. I watched it last night. Only 90 minutes long, the film began to grate on me as we rounded the corner into minute 2. Yet »

The Obamas move upstream

Featured image Barack Obama wasn’t much of a president. His signature accomplishment may turn out to be paving the way for Donald Trump. Obama isn’t the genius his boosters (with his encouragement) made him out to be, either. I don’t consider him a first rate or deep thinker. If you disagree, identify one of his deep thoughts. Claiming to be on “the right side of history” doesn’t count. Neither does “let’s funnel »

What Kanye can’t do

Featured image Bill Whittle asserts that there is no middle ground on Kanye West: you either love him or loathe him. I think the middle ground may by “don’t know who he is.” In any event, I listened and learned to Bill Whittle explicating the deep meaning of the Kanye kerfuffle in “Kanye West: Racist” (video below). At right around 3:06 Bill reveals a bombshell that would have prompted me to do »

The Latest Battle In the Statue Wars: Stephen Foster

Featured image A famous statue of Stephen Foster, often referred to as the father of American music, has stood in Pittsburgh for more than 100 years. (Foster was a native of Pennsylvania.) It was sculpted by Italian emigre Giuseppe Moretti: Today Moretti’s statue of Foster was carted away by Pittsburgh authorities: A 118-year-old statue of the “Oh! Susanna” songwriter was removed from a Pittsburgh park Thursday after criticism that the work is »