The Corner

“Flattire”

In the course of a not altogether flattering Guardian piece on the state of British movie comedy, Geoffrey Wheatcroft resurrects the concept of “flattire,” a useful word originally coined by the critic, Philip French:

[Flattire] meant films which are ostensibly satirical but which really flatter the audience by ingratiatingly reinforcing all their prejudices. One of the direst had “American” in its title but was by a British director. The venerable Pauline Kael was still alive when American Beauty came out, to ask sharply why the middle-class liberals who were drooling over this tripe couldn’t recognise the way it sucked up to them, with its catalogue of cliches and every punch telegraphed.

As I read those words, I started thinking about Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and who knows how much of SNL. Can’t think why.

Most Popular

Elections

The State of the Race for the House

Way back in January, I went through the then-34 seats where a Republican incumbent was retiring and concluded that most were in deeply red districts and not likely to flip to Democrats. Pollsters and media organizations are less inclined to conduct surveys of House races, both because there’s less public ... Read More
PC Culture

Warren Is a Fraud

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has been telling a story for years. It’s a deeply romantic story about her parents and their young love, fraught with the familial bigotry of an earlier time. Here’s how she told it this week in a video she released in preparation for her 2020 run: My daddy always said he ... Read More
U.S.

Two Minnesota Republican Candidates Assaulted

Two Republican candidates for state office in Minnesota have been physically assaulted in recent days, leading prominent Republican lawmakers to caution their Democratic colleagues against employing inflammatory rhetoric. Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm last week after ... Read More