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 »

Kanye’s Conversion

Featured image You likely have heard about Kanye West’s new album, “Jesus Is King.” West apparently has converted to a quite traditional style of Christianity. This is not surprising in itself, as most African-American churches are conservative, but some, like Andrew Walker at National Review, think it may be important: “Kanye West’s Conversion Could Be a Cultural Wrecking Ball.” One of the songs on Jesus Is King is “Closed on Sunday.” It »

Psycho, WaPo style

Featured image The subsequently revised Washington Post headline over the obituary of the killin’ caliph is a headline that will live in infamy among those who follow the mainstream media with a gimlet eye. In the eyes of the Post, the maniacal murderer was an “austere religious scholar.” The Post headline aptly reflected the Trump derangement that has gripped the Post and its peers. If Trump had something to do with al-Baghdadi’s »

Judy Miller remembers Mr. Jimmy

Featured image Judy Miller is the former New York Times reporter and author of the gripping memoir The Story. We hosted Judy for three days this past summer; I read her memoir to get a better handle on her distinguished career and the Pulitzer Prize she picked up along the way. I couldn’t put the book down. Judy is a meticulous reporter of diverse interests and a natural storyteller as well. The »

Things only Dems can say

Featured image Someone could write a classic book on things only Democrats are allowed to say. The word “lynching” is one such word, as we learned in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing. We were reminded of this immortal truth again yesterday when President Trump used it in a tweet alluding to the procedural irregularities in the impeachment “inquiry” to which he is now subject. There is a larger lesson here. Only Democrats »

Doral, there we go

Featured image President Trump abruptly backtracked late last night and announced he would scrap plans to hold next year’s G-7 gathering of world leaders at the Trump National Doral in Miami. “Based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020,” he announced on Twitter late Saturday. “We will begin the search for another »

Down and out in Santa Monica

Featured image I’m tied up on personal matters in Venice Beach and Santa Monica through this weekend. The scene has deteriorated considerably since I was here in 2011, when I filed this report: We spent the weekend at a family wedding in Santa Monica, California. Just after I started in the private practice of law in 1981, I was assigned to work on a major project that took me out to the »

Secret history of the exclamation point (2)

Featured image Thinking about the advances in comprehension made possible by punctuation, I wondered about the exclamation point. When was it invented? Looking for help on the history of punctuation, we can turn to Keith Houston. Houston wrote the 2014 book Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks. Houston has a good summary here. Ashley Timms also has a good summary here. According to Houston, the exclamation »

Rewriting Tony Bennett

Featured image The Wall Street Journal has adapted Charles Kesler’s editorial in the forthcoming issue of the Claremont Review of Books — we’ll be getting to a few highlights ourselves next week — into the column “California’s biggest cities confront a ‘defecation crisis'” (subhead: “Lawmakers ban plastic straws as a far worse kind of waste covers the streets of San Francisco and L.A.”). Having turned one of the most beautiful cities in »

Read The GOAT!

Featured image Roger Simon has self-published his new book, called The GOAT. It is the story of a middle-aged screenwriter named Dan Gelber, who bears a striking resemblance to Roger himself, and who, following an injury suffered while playing tennis and a resulting botched operation, has the opportunity to say goodbye to his old self (mysteriously disappeared at Mount Everest) and return as the youthful Jay Reynolds, a man with no history »

On The Hunt, Trump Gets Results [Updated]

Featured image I wrote here about the bizarre movie The Hunt, in which liberal elites hunt and murder red state “deplorables.” Sort of a wish-fulfillment fantasy for the left. The film was to be released next month, even though advertising was pulled after the El Paso and Dayton shootings. But that was before President Trump weighed in on Twitter: Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and »

Time stops in Dallas

Featured image Rich Lowry draws our attention to the Twitter thread beginning with the Tweet below. “What an amazing moment,” Rich comments in the headline. I’m at the airport in Dallas, waiting for my flight home to DC from El Paso, and something incredible is happening. — Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) August 8, 2019 The thread concludes with the video of the news report below. It captures the moving moment at Dallas’s Love »

Misrepresenting Woodstock

Featured image The music festival at Woodstock 50 years ago was a big deal. There had never been anything quite like it in America before — not in terms of size or caliber of performers (though Monterrey Pop might not have been too far behind in terms of the latter). But with the 50th anniversary approaching, it was inevitable that precincts of the mainstream media would make Woodstock out to be more »

Civil War as Entertainment

Featured image Universal Pictures has produced a film called The Hunt (originally titled Red State vs. Blue State), which begins with rich liberals capturing “deplorables” from red states to hunt down and murder. If you lived in Dayton, Ohio, you might consider this a realistic premise, although I don’t think that is what the filmmakers had in mind. This is the trailer; if I interpret it correctly, the “deplorables” fight back and »

“Fiddler” on tour

Featured image Three months ago I bought tickets to last night’s performance of the national touring show of the 2015 revival of Fiddler on the Roof. Directed by Bartlett Sher, the show concludes its run at the Orpheum Theater in Minneapolis this afternoon and evening. The tickets were a Mother’s Day gift to my wife. I went down to the box office to select the seats, but the pickings were already slim. »

Bring Back the Pledge!

Featured image On June 17, the City Council of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb, voted unanimously to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings. A city council member tied the decision to “some racial equity initiatives going on in the city of St. Louis Park” and suggested that the Pledge is political: [He] added that the meaning behind the tradition had changed since 1980, when city officials began saying »