Culture

The Porgy and Bess experience

Featured image Even if you love the music of George and Ira Gershwin, as I do, you are highly unlikely ever to have seen a faithful production of Porgy and Bess. Productions of the opera are few and far between; they become events. I was therefore excited to attend a showing of the Metropolitan Opera’s Porgy and Bess at a local theater participating in Fathom Events programming this past Wednesday. It’s the »

Halftime for halfwits

Featured image I haven’t thought about Hunter Thompson or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in a long time, but I thought about both while watching the Super Bowl halftime show yesterday. I was thinking of this quote from Thompson’s classic: “The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the sixth Reich. The ground floor is full of »

You Can’t Cancel Fried Chicken!

Featured image A predictable dustup over sexism has arisen in Australia over a KFC ad that has caused KFC to apologize and pull the ad. This has had the predictable effect—millions more people around the world have seen this ad (funny that the oh-so-woke Guardian would embed the ad—I’m sure it was just an oversight by a junior editor), which we are proud to share with Power Line readers—only 15 seconds long: »

Most-read at the New Criterion

Featured image Over the weekend Roger Kimball sent out an email to New Criterion subscribers flagging the magazine’s top 10 most-read articles in 2019 (not all were published in 2019). The top three are all by Northwestern University Professor Gary Saul Morson and generally accessible. Indeed, I think we featured the top two on Power Line. They represent profoundly humane learning and reflection. In case you missed them, here are all 10 »

Analyze this

Featured image I avoided watching the Golden Globe Awards show last night because I hate political diatribes by Hollywood morons, but I am sorry I missed the opening monologue by Ricky Gervais. Speaking ironically, he belittled his monologue as “just jokes.” Gervais, however, inflicted some serious pain — the faces of the audience looked like those in the audience at the beginning of Springtime for Hitler in Mel Brooks’s The Producers. The »

My movie of 2019

Featured image My movie of 2017 was Thank You For Your Service. The film introduced me to the astounding book by Washington Post editor David Finkel, the second of two he has written based on the soldiers he met while embedded with 2-16 Infantry Battalion during the surge. What I found most haunting in the film came straight out of the book. I recommended the movie and the book here on Power »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll has a tip: MIDWAY! DO NOT MISS IT! She writes: I really do not go to movies in a theater. We are appalled by most of the braindead twits in Hollywood and do not care to help pay for their relentless attacks on everything we value – America, masculine male men, the military, cops, fossil fuels, Christianity, observant Judaism, the rule of law, capitalism, free speech, secure borders, »

The Crazy Chronicles (2)

Featured image • This installment of our Crazy Chronicles begins with the always reliable Amanda Marcotte of Salon, who believes that “Hallmark movies are fascist propaganda.” No, really—that’s what she thinks: Running down this year’s schedule of Christmas movie offerings is like a trip into an uncanny valley of shiny-teethed, blow-dried heteronormative whiteness, with only a few token movies with characters of color. It’s like watching “The Stepford Wives,” but scarier, since »

NBA television ratings plummet

Featured image These days, televised sports on Christmas center on the NBA. Five of its games were shown today. College football took the day off. So did big time soccer. There were a few college basketball games on television, but none of note. For me, this nearly meant a day off from watching sports on the tube. I caught only the last ten minutes of the NBA’s marquee game between the Clippers »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image This morning I want to revisit a few of the secular pop songs that seize on Christmas in one way or another for their own artistic purposes. Last year I added three more selections to the lineup. I’d like to stick with it again this year. These are my selections in chronological order of release along with my notes on them. In the video below Johnny and Edgar Winter perform »

Iconic beauty dies

Featured image Sometime in 1969, John Hinderaker and I fell in love with the same woman. Her name was Anna. Unfortunately, Anna was already married, and for the second time. Previously, she had been the wife of Jean Luc Godard, the French film director in whose movies Anna beguiled us. Anna Karina died last week at the age of 79. Her artistic legacy includes not just the Godard films — such as »

CRB: Breaking Bad (& more!)

Featured image The Claremont Review of Books has just published its new (Fall) issue. I reviewed the issue in galley to pick out four pieces to feature for Power Line readers, but have been authorized to let you in on a secret. The magazine has moved to a new site with a new URL (claremontreviewofbooks.com). Celebrating its twentieth year of publication in its second life, the editors have made the new issue »

Peloton Girl Revisited

Featured image A Peloton is an exercise bicycle with an online component. I am hazy on the details, but there is a screen where you can connect with instructors or participate in a group ride. Peloton recently released a Christmas-themed commercial in which a husband buys his beautiful young wife a Peloton for Christmas. She is overjoyed, and a year later they watch video documenting how the Peloton has improved their lives. »

The Best Years of Our Lives

Featured image When I walked into Spaulding Auditorium to see The Best Years of Our Lives as an undergrad, I had never even heard of the film. When I walked out three hours later, I couldn’t believe I had never heard of it. It is a great film with a lot of truth and a big heart in it. TCM is playing the film as part of its Veterans Day lineup on »

Peter Collier, RIP

Featured image I am deeply saddened to note the passing of my friend Peter Collier at the age of 80 on November 1. Mark Tapson has posted an obituary here. Lloyd Billingsley adds a remembrance here. I first met Peter in 1989 or 1990 when he came to the Twin Cities with David Horowitz to promote Destructive Generation: Second Thoughts About the ’60s. Having just finished reading the book the day before, »

Close encounter of the Glenn kind

Featured image Encounter Books commissioned Ben Weingarten to interview Glenn Reynolds in connection with Glenn’s Encounter Books pamphlet The Social Media Upheaval (video below). Episode 5 in the Close Encounters series, the interview takes up Glenn’s belief in the need to use antitrust laws to break up collusive big tech companies and his response to libertarian critiques of such a plan as well as the corrosive impact of social media on its »

“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 »