VDH’s Rural Rides

Victor Davis Hanson’s “Two Californias” piece today is the best, most eloquent short piece of observational journalism I’ve read for a very long time.

It is in the fine tradition of Cobbett’s Rural Rides, from which I took the following more or less at random:

The farmhouses have long been growing fewer and fewer; the labourers’ houses fewer and fewer; and it is manifest to every man who has eyes to see with, that the villages are regularly wasting away. This is the case all over the parts of the kingdom where the tax-eaters do not haunt. In all the really agricultural villages and parts of the kingdom, there is a shocking decay; a great dilapidation and constant pulling down or falling down of houses. The farmhouses are not so many as they were forty years ago by three-fourths. That is to say, the infernal system of Pitt and his followers has annihilated three parts out of four of the farm houses. The labourers’ houses disappear also. And all the useful people become less numerous.

I only wish Victor would emulate Cobbett and get angry once in a while.

Most Popular


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

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More