April 21, 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 April 20, 2018

Perhaps you have noticed, as I have, the advance made upon Charles Krauthammer’s brilliant coinage of the last decade, "Bush Derangement Syndrome," by its latter-day equivalent of Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is that the illness now seems to afflict almost as many Republicans as it does Democrats. Just look at the most recent column by Bret Stephens, formerly of The Wall Street Journal but now with the more ideologically congenial New York Times, which pours contempt on Paul Ryan and other Republicans who have collaborated (I use the word advisedly — perhaps "colluded" would be better) with the President of their own party. He sees them, quite literally, as Quislings:

Among Republicans, Ohio’s John Kasich, Nebraska’s Ben Sasse, and Arizona’s Jeff Flake and John McCain have sought in different ways to offer [an alternative to Trump], without immediate success but with integrity, honor and a sense of the long view. In a party of Pétains they are the conservative de Gaulles of the GOP.

Let’s just ignore the implicit comparison of Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and focus instead on the apparent equivalence being drawn here between loyalty to party and betrayal of one’s country.
  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

Zip ties and media lies March 31, 2018.
Are the two sides of our polarized politics really living in "alternate realities" or does it only seem that way because of their hatred for each other? — From The New Criterion of March, 2018 ... Full Article

What We Talk About When We Talk About Reputation March 26, 2018.
In trying to modernize our understanding of this "elusive concept," a new book loses sight of its historical meaning — From The Weekly Standard of March 26, 2018 ... Full Article

Methods of Madness February 28, 2018.
Donald Trump may or may not be crazy, but he is certainly driving the media crazy -- From The New Criterion of February, 2018 ... Full Article

eResources ©2000-2018 James Bowman