The Corner

Another Point About the WH Christmas Tree

Since everyone seems to agree with me that White House Christmas trees are garish and ugly, I thought I’d press my luck and make a bigger point. It’s funny, almost everywhere else in the culture the trend seems to be toward things that are authentic, organic, natural etc. One reason is that such things are increasingly rare. Up until the 20th century, artificial light, including candle and lantern light, was special. Indeed, it wasn’t that long ago when indoor lighting of any kind was a treat, or a luxury. The Christmas Tree tradition comes out of those times. The WH tradition is a mere 90 years old, but even 90 years ago a lit up tree was something special to behold.

It seems to me aesthetics have changed. Flashy lights are everywhere. They count as special effects about as much as riding a bike passes for rapid transit. Let’s put it this way, a nicely appointed White House Christmas tree is a venerable tradition. A garishly neon Christmas tree is a product of the television age and it’s time to find a better way.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Science & Tech

Set NASA Free

The Trump administration has proposed shifting the International Space Station from a NASA-exclusive research facility to a semi-public, semi-private one. Its plan would nix all government funding for the ISS by 2025 and award at least $150 million per year to NASA to help with the transition. This would be a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More