Category: Culture

Mourning in America: The Day RFK Was Shot in Los Angeles

Weekday mornings in early June promise a sweet, almost dreamy period, one that heralds pleasant weather, whispers the possibilities of summer, and forever reminds us that the school year is over. The post-Memorial Day stretch permits a few more languid days without air conditioning, and so windows remain open for birds to fill bedrooms with […]

Roseanne’s Profound Ingratitude

As anyone with Internet access or a television has probably learned by now, Roseanne Barr’s red-hot revival—which was the lynchpin of ABC’s 2018-19 upfronts with untold mega-millions in pre-sold ad billings and the number three show of the last season—was summarily canceled after she made a particularly outrageous (and since deleted) tweet calling former Obama […]

Public School Sex-Ed’s Descent Into Madness

On June 14, the school board of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), the tenth largest school division in the United States, will convene and likely approve a number of changes to its sex-ed program, including replacing the term “biological sex” with “sex assigned at birth,” teaching that children aren’t born male or female, minimizing the […]

The ‘Rust Belt’ Echoes American Loss, But It’s No Cliché

Voices from the Rust Belt, ed. Anne Trubeck, Belt Publishing, 256 pages. They call the wide expanse from the Northeast to the Upper Midwest the Rust Belt. The region’s geographical lines, subject to perpetual debate, include cities and towns built by the natural resources that fueled America’s industrial revolution. Their population centers, far from their […]

Revisiting a Transformational Speech: The Culture War Scorecard

On Monday, August 17, 1992, Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in Houston. Buchanan had run against incumbent President George H. W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination and in the first primary, in New Hampshire in February, had won 37 percent of the vote to Bush’s 53 percent. That turned […]

Radio Free America

When the mellowly wry Richard Beatty asked me to help him spin platters—well, touch buttons—as a guest-host on his streaming “Geezer Radio” show, I accepted the invitation, after making it clear that I was a relative whipster and in no sense a codger, dotard, or anywhere near geezerdom. Our theme was “Forgotten Songs of the […]

The Rise of Woke Monarchism

Related Stories Britain’s Nervous Breakdown #MeToo Hops the Pond Royal weddings are all about symbolism. They are always caught between two clichéd places: the past, with all the old-fashioned pageantry and pomp, and the future, with all the hope and optimism about what might come next. For the marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton […]

No, I Won’t Check My Privilege

Related Stories Six Months in, #MeToo Has Become Infantilizing and Authoritarian The Censorious Left’s Latest Mania: ‘Decolonizing’ Everything “Check your privilege!” It happened again last week. I was speaking about feminism to a large and vocal audience and my views were, rightly, coming under scrutiny. I was accused of criticizing #MeToo but ignoring domestic violence, […]

The Anti-Respectibility Politics of Philip Roth

Related Stories Tom Wolfe’s Tribalist America Hugh Hefner, a Man Among ‘Mad Men’ (1926-2017) Updike’s Affair With America Philip Roth, perhaps the last of the greats of American postwar literature (or at least, as more than one obit has noted, the last of the Great White Males), passed away this week, yet his works promise […]

How Donald Trump Killed Left-Wing Political Satire

American political satire died on January 24, 2016. It had sickened a little during the previous decade, but still looked as though it might be on the mend. Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show” may have gotten complacent during the Bush years, but during the Obama administration it was able to mock the Nobel Peace Prize recipient […]