Category: Culture

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 […]

Common Core Is a Menace to Pluralism and Democracy

Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy by Nicholas Tampio, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 216 pages The federal government has been involved in public education since before the Constitution was ratified. In the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 (renewed in 1789), the federal government mandated that land in new territories be set […]

A Little Formaldehyde With Your Milk?

The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century by Deborah Blum, Penguin Random House, September 2018, 352 pages We are living in a time when many see “deregulation” as a goal in itself. Red tape is obnoxious and counterproductive, and government should just leave businesses alone. That […]

This Father’s Day, Remembering Children Who Live Without Dads

Father’s Day spending is forecasted to reach $15.3 billion this year with 77 percent of Americans celebrating the holiday and spending an average of $133 per person, according to the National Retail Federation Foundation. Yet one in three American children is growing up in a household without a father. Major brands such as Home Depot, […]

Remembering the Iconic TV Dad

This year, in celebration of Father’s Day, I figured I’d get my media critic on and take a look at how the small screen has portrayed our proud papas and the institution of fatherhood. From the conservative ’50s to the swinging ’70s to the morning-in-America ‘80s to today, the way that dads were reflected in […]

A Plague of Suicide, A World of Alienation

We are plagued by an epidemic of self-killings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report on June 7 noting the rise of suicide rates in all but one state between 1999 and 2016, with increases visible across age, gender, race, and ethnicity. In North Dakota, the rate jumped more than 57 percent. […]

Fake Culture is Hastening Our Idiocracy

Carl Wilson, music critic for Slate, sat down at his desk, placed his fingers to the keyboard, and actually wrote the following sentences in a review of the debut record from Cardi B, a former stripper and current “Instagram star”: The finest example, though, is the way she quotes and samples Three 6 Mafia associate […]

A Hollywood Movie About Christianity Worth Seeing

American evangelicalism has always had a strong sense of the apocalyptic, urging the faithful toward reflection on the eschatological judgment to come. Mainline Protestantism, by contrast, has tended towards a more immanentist sensibility, stressing the social gospel and the need for transformative change on earth. But “First Reformed,” written and directed by “Taxi Driver” screenwriter […]