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Culture

Ballets and Bakers

Would like to throw a couple of links at you. For The New Criterion, I’ve done a little piece on very familiar works — should you penalize them for their audacious familiarity? — and the importance of beauty. (“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful,” went an old ad slogan.) (It was for shampoo.) The occasion for my piece is The Sleeping Beauty, Tchaikovsky’s ballet.

On Friday, I recorded a Q&A with David French. This is not so much a Q&A, in the traditional sense, as a long, vigorous conversation between two colleagues, friends, and allies. Years ago, George Will questioned another George, McGovern, on an interesting subject: McGovern had become a noun — or more than one noun: People spoke of “McGovernism” and “McGovernization” (as in “the McGovernization of the Democratic party”). The senator was also a verb: “to McGovernize.”

David has achieved immortality, or at least notoriety: Some speak of “David Frenchism,” which is an epithet in their mouths, but music to my ears: In my understanding, “David Frenchism” is good ol’ constitutionalism and the American Way. What a tribute to David, to be synonymized with this way.

At any rate, he and I are a couple of Frenchistas on this podcast, talking over the world. Our subjects include the Fourth of July, climate change, Trump, Amash, Nike, Antifa, Oberlin, the NBA, and on and on.

By the way, on this Oberlin business: Why is it always bakers who are targeted? When will it be the turn of butchers and candlestick-makers?

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