July 18, 2019

Now Playing

Juliet Naked
(Reviewed September 21, 2018)

An amusing but slight adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel which can laugh at its characters without precluding the possibility that they may laugh at themselves

Won't You Be My Neighbor?
(Reviewed September 20, 2018)

Did Mr Rogers’s extraordinary capacity for love end up producing a generation of haters?

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

ENTRY from June 25, 2019

Yesterday was a red-letter day. Yesterday I read what I have been waiting and hoping for years to read in a major media outlet. And not in just one such outlet but two, quite independently of each other! Here’s what Ryan Clancy, writing in The Wall Street Journal had to say:

Many Americans have this quaint idea that the job of our elected leaders is to try to pass legislation that makes a tangible difference in improving people’s lives. Much of our political class and media don’t seem to agree. They prefer politics as performance art and virtue signaling and never miss an opportunity to take something an opponent said, twist it and present it in the worst possible light. Democrats talk about Republicans — and vice versa — not as fellow citizens to be debated but as enemies to be destroyed. Increasingly the same thing is happening within the parties, as purists and pragmatists battle for primacy. . . .The rule is a ritualized cycle of outrage and denunciation that never ends and makes our government and our lives worse. It’s no wonder Americans have such a low opinion of our politics and politicians.

Could it really be that the media, even if only in this admittedly exceptional corner, were finally waking up to the damage that their obsession with scandal was doing to our politics?
  Full Entry

Media MadnessBefore there was Howard Kurtz’s Media Madness, there was mine — now, alas, out of print but still available while supplies last for the cost of shipping and handling. Send $5.99 to me in care of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1730 M Street, Suite 910, Washington, D.C. 20036

Honor, A HistoryAlso available, now in paperback and Kindle version, 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

Irony of Ironies May 31, 2019.
A parody of news coverage becomes self-parody and no one seems to notice — From The New Criterion of May, 2019 ... Full Article

Avenging reality May 7, 2019.
Isn’t the fantasy craze, now more than 40 years old and crazier than ever, just a little bit, um, childish? — From The Washington Examiner of May 7, 2019 ... Full Article

Make-believe worlds April 30, 2019.
Nowadays it takes Fake News to make news — From The New Criterion of April, 2019 ... Full Article

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