The Corner


As it’s that tricky time of year, I thought I’d repeat this bit from a review  I wrote of Mel Gibson’s The Patriot:   I could enjoy The Patriot without too many (English) patriotic qualms. In many ways the American Revolution was a continuation of a long argument over how Britons should be ruled, the second round, if you like, of the seventeenth century civil war in England. Yes, the troops sent across the Atlantic by (German) George III were sent packing — but it was by folks called Washington, Gates and Pickens. It hurt at the time, but when we British consider our history, a defeat only counts when it’s to people with names like Schmidt, Watanabe or Depardieu. In the Revolutionary War, you see, we Brits essentially lost to ourselves, and that’s not so bad. We just won’t mention that Lafayette fellow. So in The Patriot, you watch two opposing armies, both of which march under the red, white and blue — the English of the Philadelphia regime against the English of the London government. In the end, the better Englishmen won. The away team, my team, left the pitch at Yorktown and went off to establish a second, wider, empire — a remarkable achievement, Mel, for such a feeble race. The victors, meanwhile, went on to build a country that has inspired the world. So, this year, as I always do, I’ll celebrate the fourth of July. Drink in hand, I’ll toast the men who made this possible, the founding fathers who wrote, in that Declaration of Independence, some of the finest words that have ever been written in the English language. Yes, that’s right, the English language. My language. “

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Coming Shellacking

Two years ago Donald Trump hijacked the Republican party. Now it’s time to think about what steps might have to be taken to regain control of it. The tocsin of doom that sounded this week in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District could hardly have been more clear in its meaning: This November the GOP ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Leave McMaster Be

About every two months, there are rumors that Gen. H. R. McMaster might be let go as Trump’s national-security adviser (along with many other stellar appointees). The world, however, is a much more logical and predictable place than it was 14 months ago. We’ve restored ties to the Gulf monarchies; Israel ... Read More
Economy & Business

What Kudlow Got Right in 2007

Lawrence Kudlow’s appointment to be director of the National Economic Council has brought out the critics, who have combed through his copious writings to find every wrong call he has made over the decades. One passage that has come in for some ridicule, though, doesn’t deserve it. Here’s Kudlow, writing ... Read More
Film & TV

Love, Simon Outs Hollywood’s Youth Exploitation

Simon (Nick Robinson), the 17-year-old white gay high-school student in Love, Simon, appears to be a comic version of the protagonist in Moonlight. Rather than blatantly copy that Oscar-winning black-gay-victim film, Love, Simon remakes the pathetic Moonlight in the more marketable guise of a sitcom about a ... Read More