August 20, 2018

Now Playing

Lady Bird
(Reviewed March 6, 2018)

A delightful and not entirely politically correct movie about growing up as a Catholic schoolgirl in 2002-2003

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
(Reviewed February 22, 2018)

An occasionally amusing parable of guilt and forgiveness whose setting in small-town America, like the prejudices of its author, does it no favors

Darkest Hour
(Reviewed February 6, 2018)

Despite some stirring moments, and a fine performance from Gary Oldman, the movie gets its portrait of a war leader wrong

The Florida Project
(Reviewed November 17, 2017)

A child’s-eye view, and therefore a rather amusing treatment, of social pathologies that are, in reality, not at all amusing

ENTRY from July 12, 2018

President Trump’s visit to Britain today prompts one to wonder if that country is catching the American disease, which is a bio-spiritual ailment called irony deficiency anemia. The left-wing Labour mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has authorized the flight of a giant balloon, tethered in Parliament Square, purportedly representing a caricature of the President as a big baby in a diaper (or "nappy" in British English). The "baby blimp" is then to follow him to Scotland, it is said, before going on a world tour. All this, mind you, without the hint of a smidgen of a soupçon of the self-awareness necessary to see the stunt’s own infantilization of public discourse.

Any regular peruser of the American media would find nothing unusual about this. In last Sunday’s New York Times, for example, Maureen Dowd, a woman who has made a highly successful career out of being "mean" (as she puts it) to people, was blurbed by the paper thus: "America is getting meaner. Is it Trump’s fault or the internet’s or both?" In the column to which the blurb referred, Ms Dowd wrote:

Trump has certainly made political discourse more crude and belligerent. But is he making the whole country meaner, coarser and less empathetic? Or was the pump primed for a political figure like him because the internet had already made America meaner, coarser and less empathetic? Did they happen simultaneously?  Full Entry

Media MadnessMy book Media Madness, is available for order from Encounter Books. Less a polemic than an attempt to understand the origins of the mass media’s folie de grandeur, the book is a warning even to those who are deserting the big networks, newsweeklies and large-circulation dailies not to carry with them into the more attractive world of niche media the undisciplined habits of thought that the old media culture has given rise to. To order this book, click here.

Honor, A HistoryAlso available, now in paperback, is Honor, A History, which was first published in 2006. A study of Western cultural artifacts, from the epics of Homer to the movies and TV shows of today, it is focused on explaining why Western ideas of honor developed so differently from those elsewhere — and especially from the savage honor cultures of the Islamic world. The book then goes on to trace the collapse and ultimate rejection of the old Western honor culture from World War I until the present day and to suggest the conditions that would have to prevail for its revival.

Recent Articles

Principles, Parties, and Polarization June 25, 2018.
The decisions that led to today’s heightened partisanship — from The Weekly Standard of June 25, 2018 ... Full Article

Stormy Weather May 31, 2018.
Yet another media-contrived scandal brought up against him seemingly fails to get the job done against President Trump. What is going on here? — From The New Criterion of May, 2018 ... Full Article

Trying times April 30, 2018.
On some of the recent media outbreaks of utopian thinking and what they tell us about the dire state of the culture — From The New Criterion of April, 2018 ... Full Article

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