Three Quick Ones

by Jay Nordlinger

1) I’d like to recommend a piece by Margaret Evans, here. She is a South Carolina journalist, the editor of Lowcountry Weekly. The piece is essentially about her coming out as a conservative. This can be a daunting thing: to come out as a conservative.

Margaret has been on National Review cruises, with her (delightful and distinctive) mother. They were on the most recent one. In the above-linked article, Margaret pays tribute to the inimitable Kevin Williamson and the inimitable Charlie Cooke.

(That word, inimitable, was famously applied to Thomas Beecham, the conductor: “the inimitable Sir Thomas Beecham.” His records were sold that way. Inimitable is also a perfect word for Kevin and Charlie.)

2) The Weekly Standard has published a major piece by Joseph Bottum: “The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas: How it is that we once again find ourselves rooting out sin, shunning heretics, and heralding the end times.”

He begins with a section called “The Return of Original Sin.” And he discusses a woman who attended a Ph.D. program in Critical Whiteness Studies. (I believe this is true, not a joke or a parable.) At a teachers’ conference, she has testified, “I have to every day wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply embedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body.”

There is a great deal to ponder in this formidable essay. Don’t miss it.

3) In advertising this season, I have heard the expression “holiday gift.” I think it’s silly. I want to ask, “What holiday?” But it’s passable, I think.

What I really think is crazy is a box of Christmas cards marked “Holiday Cards.” I mean, the cards are Christmas cards, they really are. Santa and all. And I think it’s okay to mark a box of Christmas cards “Christmas Cards.” But the word is bizarrely verboten.

(I wrote about this in 2003: “December’s C-Word.”)

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