My town hall boasts two flag poles. One flies the requisite Stars and Stripes. But it is the companion pole standing next to it that stirs the local blood. This one flaunts the colors dearest to a well-appointed community that congratulates itself on its civilized progressivism. Ukraine’s bicolor tops the second pole. It is paired with the rainbow colors of the LBGTQ Nation. The duet proclaims the town fathers’ common purpose: celebration of those chic causes that thrill The Better Sort. Continue Reading
Veterans Day has lost its sting.
The seismic shock of World War I reverberated through American art and culture in ways forgotten now. Yet every generation needs to stare into the chasm between the cataclysm’s ambition—”the War to end all wars”—and its harrowing reality. Forgetful people embrace the illusion that this time, this battlefield, this clash of arms—especially one waged by proxy with someone else’s blood—will be the one to make the lion drop at the foot of the lamb.
Veterans Day brings to mind John Singer Sargent’s Gassed (1918-19), an anguished glimpse of the human cost of that enduring deception. Continue Reading