“Entertainment became the most obvious direct manifestation of freedom that liberalism offered humanity and, at the same time, the most tangible confirmation of the dominant status of the democratic man and his tastes.” So wrote Ryszard Legutko, an eminent Polish philosopher, statesman, and editor of Solidarity’s underground philosophy journal in the 1980s. His more recent The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies continues:
The omnipresence of entertainment was something by which the democratic man became easily recognized: it was his trademark, his coat of arms, his—so to speak—identity card. Continue Reading
Armond White is the movie critic for National Review. In 2010, as then-chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle, he addressed the group’s annual award banquet. Moviedom VIPs attended: Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, others. None liked what they heard.
An essay based on that talk appeared afterward in First Things under the title “Do Movie Critics Matter?”
Most editors and publishers today cut out or limit criticism’s traditional media function. Journalistic standards have changed so drastically that, when I took the podium at the film circle’s dinner and quoted Pauline Kael’s 1974 alarm, “Criticism is all that stands between the public and advertising,” the gala’s audience responded with an audible hush—not applause. Continue Reading
The identity politics industry is on the qui vive to discover symptoms of racism unrecognized until now. Whiteness, a barrier to racial justice, is a malign condition to which “white” people are peculiarly susceptible. Hidden clues are everywhere. None are too absurd to go unexamined by race-stalkers in academia. Even white paint is suspect.
Are there racist implications to the many global uses of the chemical compound titanium dioxide (TiO2)? Has the pigment derived from it — titanium white — contributed to white supremacy? Continue Reading
Harrison Butker kicked the winning field goal for the Kansas City Chiefs at Sunday’s Super Bowl. He is also militantly evangelical in his devotion to the Latin Mass. Put that in the Vatican chimney and smoke it at the next conclave.
I have never watched a Super Bowl game, never knew the teams, never cared which of them won or lost. But this kick came to me the next day and has stayed with me for reasons not limited to football. Continue Reading
The Aquinas 101 Team at the Aquinas Institute has a new video series: “What Would it Mean to Prove God Exists?” An introductory blurb invites you in with this:
Everyone agrees that Aquinas’ famous “five ways” are supposed to be proofs of God’s existence. But what does it take to prove something? Is it enough just to persuade or convince the person you’re talking to? Or does proof require something more?
For St. Thomas the answer is clear. Proof requires something else. Continue Reading