America’s Next ‘Minister of Culture’: Don’t Politicize the Appointment
The announcement by James H. Billington that he will retire from his post as Librarian of Congress, effective January 1, marks the beginning of the end of an extraordinarily distinguished career of public service and sets a very high bar of …
Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote an interesting tweet: “From a wmn carrying a mattress on her campus to Afghanistan’s Wmn’s Nat Cycling Team, reaching true equality req showing change is possible.”
America’s Accelerating Decay
As one who loves America — not only because I am American, but even more so because I know (not believe, know) that the American experiment in forming a decent society has been the most successful in history — I …
Keeping Up (and Falling Behind)
I spend the beginning of today’s Impromptus talking about color-consciousness versus colorblindness. (For a long time, unfortunately, color-consciousness has had the upper hand.) I quote Zev Chafets on Rush Limbaugh. When Rush entered political combat in the mid-1980s, …
No, the Culinary Is Not Political
Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio probably doesn’t cook much these days. Having built his reputation preparing expensive entrées for his well-heeled customers at Craft Restaurants, Colicchio is now cooking up liberal food policy to expand the government’s ever-encroaching …
Rosemary Putnam, Social Capitalist
‘I was on the subway the other day,” a dinner companion observed, “and the subway conductor said, ‘Please let your neighbor off first.’
“I was stunned,” the New Yorker observed. “We don’t think of each other as neighbors.”
The Fate of the Earth, Plus Other Things
Mona Charen and I have recorded another episode of our podcast, Need to Know. We begin with Netanyahu, Iran, Obama, and the fate of the earth. Then we turn to more mundane matters — such as the Clintons’ ongoing venality. …
Just What Are the Politics of Christopher Nolan’s New Film, Interstellar?
Director Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Batman film The Dark Knight frequently lands on lists of “most conservative” movies. The War on Terror played out on the streets of Gotham with the Caped Crusader as a stand-in for President George W. Bush. Here’s …
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“Snap Out of It,” Yourself!
Tuesday David Brooks, the lonely right-of-center columnist on the New York Times editorial page, offered us a fascinating portrait of how the world looks from 620 Eighth Avenue in Manhattan – or at least the circles of a right-of-center columnist for the …
Social Media Slacktivists Aim to End Middle East Conflict by Posting Selfies with Hummus
Supporters of a social-media campaign called “The Hummus Initiative” are aiming to achieve peace in the Middle East by posting pictures of themselves with hummus.
“In the Middle-East, everyone loves hummus, regardless of their religion, origin or nation,” states the …
At Sea in an Alien Culture, Where ‘Normal’ Is Defined as ‘Deviant’
Some of us now struggle to recognize the culture we live in. We are profoundly baffled and greatly disturbed by what seems like a complete inversion of values.
The zeitgeist looks at actions that to us seem utterly unremarkable and …
In New York earlier this week, some fans of Edward Snowden put up a bust of him in a park. Park officials soon took it down. Snowden is the “NSA leaker,” as you know. He is now a guest in …
At The New Criterion, I have a review of Thursday night’s performance of Don Carlo, the Verdi masterpiece, at the Metropolitan Opera. The next day, I read Andrew Porter’s obit.
He was a music critic, a music scholar, …
The experience question, &c.
In the coming presidential campaign, we’ll hear a lot about experience: Cruz, Paul, Marco, some others — they don’t have enough experience. I have a rap on this, which I’d like to give you.
All things being …
A Sick and Twisted Culture
Tonight, the New York Philharmonic premiered a work by John Adams. Adams is probably the most famous and important composer in the world (classical composer). His new work is Scheherazade.2, a “dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra.”
Before the performance, …
Elizabeth Warren, call your office. That seems to be the takeaway from Hillary Clinton’s stiff, haughty, and profoundly guarded press conference this week. Those who say she’s finished may be jumping the gun, but Jay Nordlinger and I, …
Impromptus: The cruelty of comedy, &c.
I learned something about Saturday Night Live, in the articles about its recent 40th-anniversary special. Maybe I had known it, but forgotten it.
Eddie Murphy, a onetime star of the show, stayed away for years, because he was really mad …
Git-R-Done America vs. Washington
From the first Morning Jolt of the week:
Git-R-Done America vs. Washington
You work hard. You pay what you think is more than enough in taxes. The economy hasn’t really felt good since 2008, but you managed to get by. …
Facebook Suspends User’s Account for Posting the Phrase ‘Tranny Bingo’
Facebook suspended an Australian transgender-rights activist’s account because one of her posts contained the phrase “Tranny Bingo” — which is apparently offensive.
“We removed the post below because it doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards: Tranny Bingo,” read the …
Identifying Those Relatively Apolitical Americans with Conservative Instincts
From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt#…#
Identifying those Relatively Apolitical Americans with Conservative Instincts
There’s a demographic out there that I can describe but not label.
These folks are instinctively conservative, but probably don’t apply that …