Category: Culture

Trust No One: The X-Files at 25

Aliens, Neanderthals, poltergeists, more aliens, bumbling bureaucrats, cabals, still more aliens, pyrokinetics, artificial intelligence, religious cults, were-creatures, eugenicists, mutants, stoners, more bumbling and malicious bureaucrats, and a few more aliens. Quite the motley crew of characters. Then, after the teaser, the smeared and ghostly credits play, usually with a final thump and the statement: “The […]

Good Riddance, Jerry Springer

When former Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer first signed on the air with his signature TV talk show in 1991, there was little reason to suspect that this was the beginning of a cultural juggernaut. As far as anyone was concerned, Springer was treading a road already traveled by Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, and Sally Jessy […]

Defending Men Who Want to Woo

Modern feminism has achieved its most evil feat to date: causing Henry Cavill, the quintessence of masculine beauty, to fear flirting, lest he be accused of something more sinister. In today’s day and age, when a man opening a door for a woman gets labeled “misogynist pig” faster than you can say “free birth control,” […]

The Strange Decline of H.L. Mencken

Seventy years ago, one of the most influential American journalists and critics was silenced forever. H.L. Mencken suffered a massive stroke in 1948 that left him unable to write, the thing he did best and that defined his life. He lived eight more years but could no longer write with any degree of facility and […]

Does Anyone Remember the Spirit of ‘76?

As spring turned into summer, 1976, I was age 9, living in what I then presumed the norm for America, the rather idyllic and medium-sized Kansas town, Hutchinson (affectionately known in Kansas as “Hutch”). My neighbors were loving, caring, and intelligent. My parish—one of three in town—was led by a devout priest who had immigrated […]

A Lesson on Liberty from the Little House on the Prairie

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) on June 23 announced that the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award would now officially be called the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. This, the ALSC announced, is due to the “inconsistency between Wilder’s legacy and its core values of inclusiveness, integrity and respect, and responsiveness through an award that […]

The Last Intellectual Late-Night Talk Show

Once describing the appeal of his eponymous show in a 2011 appearance on Charlie Rose, Dick Cavett volunteered somewhat coyly that it was the nature of its conversations. Sure, there was the top-of-the-line talent: Orson Welles, Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Robert Mitchum, John Lennon, the list goes […]

Monty Python in the Politically Correct Crosshairs

Then the PC police came for Monty Python, the famed British comedy troupe. On June 19, the Daily Mail headlined a story: “No Joke: Head of BBC comedy says Oxbridge white blokes of Python wouldn’t get on TV now.” The article detailed the politically correct comments of Shane Allen, the BBC’s Controller of Comedy Commissioning […]

Religion is the Salt That Preserves the State

This upcoming Friday, June 29, is the feast day of St. Peter and St. Paul, specifically their martyrdom in Rome. The teachings of both of these men have recently come up in American politics: Attorney General Jeff Sessions mentioned Paul’s writings to bolster the Trump administration’s immigration policy, while pro-immigration advocates have referred to the “love […]

In Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a Consistent Life Ethic Finds a Way

As Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm once warned us, “Oooh! Ahhh! That’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.” That’s certainly the case in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the fifth installment in the long-running dinosaur adventure saga. Some things change, but others don’t. We pick up with Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) three […]