“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
Holidays are for reading. Everything slows on a three-day weekend. It gives us time to read those titles that call to us as we rush past them on an ordinary day. That’s the old reading technology, the kind I love to surround myself with. Then come the blog posts waiting at the bottom of a string of bookmarks in one browser or another. In some respects, the greatest urgency attaches to these. They exist in the ether and might not be there when I want them. Continue Reading
The Brinton phenomenon is essential to grasping the degree of malice toward normality—or heterosexualism as queer theory puts it—that has seeped, like hydrogen flouride, into our culture at the highest levels.
My schadenfreude index skyrocketed when Sam Brinton was arrested for twice stealing women’s luggage. Mainstream staff writers, though, had to do an egg walk. Careful ones reported along the lines of: “Brinton is non-binary. His pronouns are they and them. They is married to Kevin Rieck. I’m cool with that. Continue Reading
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