Culture

The Corner

Relevancies and Irrelevancies

Today’s Impromptus includes many subjects, among them the Arab-Israeli conflict and the comeback of cursive. (Not related.) It begins with a reflection on Weirton, W.V. I wrote a piece from there in 1999: “Anxiety in Steel Country.” Someone said earlier in the week that it anticipated the election of 2016. There is something to that.

Anyway, let me publish a letter related to yesterday’s Impromptus, which began with some thoughts on what I’ve come to consider the most bogus of all words: “relevant” (and, by extension, “irrelevant”). A reader writes,

In political discussion, “irrelevant” usually means, “Your opinion is different from mine, and therefore I don’t have to listen to you.” Elsewhere, it means, “I’m not interested in that.”

In high school, my academic interests were science and math. Not until college did I discover a similar affection for literature, history, politics, etc. (Thank you, University of Dallas.)

In high school, I got good grades in all subjects except English. My senior-year English teacher asked me why. I told her that, because I was focused on science, her class was “irrelevant” to me. Of course, all I meant was that I wasn’t strongly interested.

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized I had told her that her field — the very thing to which she had dedicated her academic and professional life — was irrelevant (at least to me). Not my best moment.

In Monday’s Impromptus, I had a note about Stan Van Gundy, the coach of the Detroit Pistons. I said that I enjoyed his post-game remarks, usually because they were so blunt.

Well, last night, the Pistons got blown out by the Cavs. LeBron & Co. were utterly dominant. And what’d my man Stan say? “They were great and we were terrible. That’s how you get a lopsided game.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Broward’s Cowards

It is impossible to imagine circumstances under which Broward County sheriff Scott Israel could attempt to perform his duties with the confidence of the public. He should resign immediately, and if, as he promises, he refuses to go quietly, then he should be shown the door by the people he professes to ... Read More
Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

CNN’s Shameful Town Hall

CNN recently hosted an anti-gun town hall featuring a number of grieving children and parents from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who aimed their ire at the National Rifle Association, politicians peripherally associated with the NRA, and anyone who didn’t say exactly what they wanted to hear. ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More