Culture

Descent of the adversary culture

Featured image Dartmouth Professor of English Jeffrey Hart opened my mind to the great tradition and more during the four years I was his student. A long-time senior editor at National Review, Professor Hart contributed “The secession of the intellectuals” to NR’s 15th anniversary issue in 1970. Thinking of Power Line’s own 15th anniversary a few years back, I returned to that essay. NR editor Rich Lowry kindly arranged for the publication »

Shapes of things (10)

Featured image The suppression of Parler by the coordinated action of Google, Apple, and Amazon was the inspiration for this series. Parler is a leading indicator of what what Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey calls the “full retro” in the adjacent post. In the annals of Orwellian neologism, that is one for the books. Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff appeared for an interview in medias res last night on Tucker Carlson’s FOX »

Homer Canceled

Featured image In the Wall Street Journal, Meghan Gurdon documents the latest stage of our culture’s devolution toward utter stupidity: the cancellation of Homer. A sustained effort is under way to deny children access to literature. Under the slogan #DisruptTexts, critical-theory ideologues, schoolteachers and Twitter agitators are purging and propagandizing against classic texts—everything from Homer to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Dr. Seuss. Their ethos holds that children shouldn’t have to read stories »

Hillbilly Elegy, the movie

Featured image Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance is one the most worthwhile books I’ve read in recent years. It’s a riveting account of Vance’s family as it moved from the hills of Kentucky to an Ohio steel town — Middletown — where it struggled to fulfill some semblance of the American Dream. Hillbilly Elegy is also a sociological study of Middletown and its “hill” population. The story had special resonance for me »

10 favorite films

Featured image I’ve been trying to catch up on reading I skipped in my favorite college courses and revisiting favorite films from years past. I thought just for the fun of it I would serve up my list of 10 favorite films as they occur to me today. When I ran it by a close friend this past Saturday, his only comment was: “How old are you?” Good question! I serve it »

Can Democrats Give Up Identity Politics and White Guilt?

Featured image It is slowly dawning on some Democrats that their uncritical embrace of identity politics and mindless slogans like “defund the police” cost them in this election. Mark Lilla has been trying to warn Democrats about this since Trump won four years ago, though it resulted in Lilla (a committed liberal Democrat) being called a “white supremacist” by several of his Columbia University faculty colleagues. His most recent piece, “When Will »

Mark Steyn Speaks

Featured image As part of last night’s Virtual Gala, American Experiment staff prepared a video on the organization’s achievements over the past year. Unbeknownst to me, the two staffers who produced the gala (including my daughter Kathryn, who is our Event Coordinator), knowing that yesterday happened to be my birthday, reached out to a number of friends, relatives and notables to convey their birthday greetings. They added those birthday best wishes at »

2020: The Summer of Hate?

Featured image One of the legendary milestones of the 1960s was the so-called “summer of love” centered around the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco in 1967, when thousands of “hippies” descended on the town to start their new utopia. Daniel Patrick Moynihan thought the “summer of love” counterculture represented the first heresies of liberalism.  “Who are these outrageous young people?” Moynihan asked. “I suggest to you they are Christians arrived on the scene »

WWE does Antifa

Featured image When I was between the ages of 10 and 14, I used to watch professional wrestling regularly. It was always easy to spot the villains. Sometimes you could even tell them from their names. If a wrestler had a German name, a Japanese name, or a Russian name, he was a villain. If a wrestler wore a hood or mask, that was another reliable sign. Wrestling villainy must keep up »

Get Woke, Sometimes Go Broke [with comment by Paul]

Featured image “Get woke, go broke” is a refrain that I learned at InstaPundit. Unfortunately, it often isn’t true. See, e.g., Nike and Starbucks. Happily, though, broke does sometimes follow woke. A case in point is the Arts and Entertainment cable network. The only reason I know about the TV show “Live PD” is that my daughters watch it obsessively. Or used to, anyway: A&E canceled “Live PD” after the George Floyd »

More Evidence That We Live In a World Gone Mad

Featured image These are a few stories that are not particularly significant in themselves, but illustrate the depth of the madness to which our culture has sunk. First, the beer bottle that looks like a KKK member. A bar in Connecticut has pulled a beer from its lineup after customers complained that the bottle looked like a Ku Klux Klan hood. I assumed this was another instance of people seeing KKK hoods, »

Video Games Join the Propaganda Machine

Featured image I know virtually nothing about video games, but I got this chilling email today from a Power Line reader. First the email, then a brief comment. Long time Power Line reader. I thought I would bring something to your attention that wouldn’t otherwise be on your radar. One of the world’s most popular videogames is “Fortnite”. Played by tens of millions of (mostly) kids on a daily basis, the game »

Say It Ain’t So, Elmer!

Featured image I think “woke” capitalism may be a bigger threat than liberal rioters, looters and arsonists. Politics is, as we all know, downstream from culture, and our culture’s leftward drift has passed Danton and is heading for Robespierre. What prompts this pessimism is a report that a new series of Bugs Bunny cartoons is in production by Warner Brothers and HBO Max. The cartoons have been updated, however, for our “woke” »

The American Story: An introduction

Featured image The American Story podcast has been coming out once a week, every Tuesday, since Constitution Day last year. Each episode is a 6-8 minute story about what it is that makes America beautiful, heartbreaking, funny, inspiring, and endlessly interesting. They are written and recorded by Power Line friend Chris Flannery, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute and contributing editor of The Claremont Review of Books. They are well-conceived, well-written, and »

The McDermott monologue

Featured image In the Wall Street Journal’s weekend Mansion section, Marc Myers interviewed the actor Dylan McDermott to construct the first-person narrative published under the headline “Sitcoms Taught Dylan McDermott Everything He Knew About Family.” McDermott had a stunted childhood. His father was an alcoholic; his mother was murdered when he was five. McDermott’s narrative account opens: My parents married young. My mom was 15 and my dad was 18 when I »

Gimme CRB shelter

Featured image Our friends at the Claremont Review of Books have an important announcement: “With so many here and around the world still confined to quarters, the CRB editors have decided to brighten your detention by making our new Spring issue available free to readers everywhere. No masks required.” No longer the middleman selecting highlights from the issue, I urge Power Line readers to check it out on their own here. As »

Terry Teachout recommends

Featured image With time on our hands, we are revisiting books and movies that may be seen in the light cast by the Wuhan virus or the lockdowns responding to it. Samuel Pepys’s Diaries, Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year and Albert Camus’s The Plague come to mind. A stray reference to Anne Frank prompted me to pull down my copy of her diary along with Francine Prose’s excellent Anne Frank: »