Magazine March 23, 2009, Issue

Poetry

GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT

Imagine that huge ogre glaring green

Burst in this Christmas, snorting on a charger,

Flashing a hatchet, holding a bright sprig

Of holly, thundering his cold steel challenge.

Comic almost but terrible to face

This guest, especially when all glows pleasant

Around the blazing tree so snug and green

While outside everything grips white with freezing.

Crying your lineage, “Gawain, Gawain . . .” Sir,

Accept the dare: Decapitate the monster,

Witness his black sap spurting, sticking like

Molasses on the faces of your children.

Time will not prove you braver or more strong

Than you stand at this moment; in the death grapple

Finally you shall abide his sequel blow

After black siege in the ice-sheeted chapel.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Pumping Up Joe

Here’s how I handle a crying baby: I unwrap it a bit — babies always seem too tightly swaddled, in my opinion — and then I take it outside, into ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Rocky Ride

The day before Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination at Invesco Field in Denver, a group of progressive activists gathered nearby to discuss what Democrats call the “Colorado miracle.” The ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Why Do They Fight?

A thoughtful former infantry officer, David Kilcullen is respected in military circles: He knows his way around a battlefield, and wrote his Ph.D. thesis on insurgency in Indonesia. This is, ...
Politics & Policy

The Way We Live Now

Last year, Kay Hymowitz published two essays in City Journal, the Manhattan Institute’s fine quarterly, on dating and the modern twentysomething male. The first was a critique of the culture ...
City Desk

Duty Dance

Although it is not full day, the day has begun. The sun is up, life stirs. The Watchers line the way. None of us can remember a time when they ...
Politics & Policy

Shelf Life

The transformation of the judiciary into an activist legislator of social change has been one of the most remarked-upon — and, among conservatives, decried — political developments of the past ...

Sections

Happy Warrior

U.S., Eh?

Writing about Europe a couple of pages back, I didn’t mention Canada — mainly because Canada isn’t in Europe, although it has a European mien. But, when I do raise ...
The Bent Pin

Land Sakes!

It’s true what they say about ill winds blowing somebody some good. The mortgage meltdown has ripped the halo from homeowners and lifted the crown of thorns that has long ...
The Long View

Larry King Live!

Transcript: March 19, 2010 LARRY KING: From Concord, California! Hello! CALLER: Hi, Larry. I’d just like to say to the family on your show that I thank them for what they’re doing ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT Imagine that huge ogre glaring green Burst in this Christmas, snorting on a charger, Flashing a hatchet, holding a bright sprig Of holly, thundering his cold steel challenge. Comic almost ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

At These Costs Richard Nadler’s piece “At What Cost?” (February 23) states that “attempts to remove illegals have diminished the conservative movement.” The piece reflects the false choice often presented to ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ An overreaching plan for government-run health care, big ideas from Newt Gingrich, Clinton and Netanyahu preparing to face off in the Middle East, the Dow at 6,700 . . ...

Most Popular

Media

The Unrelenting Assault on President Trump

There has never been a presidential campaign in the United States where the administration was so massively opposed by the principal media outlets as in this election. Nor, in at least a century, have the national political media so widely and thoroughly discarded the traditional criterion for journalistic ... Read More
Media

The Unrelenting Assault on President Trump

There has never been a presidential campaign in the United States where the administration was so massively opposed by the principal media outlets as in this election. Nor, in at least a century, have the national political media so widely and thoroughly discarded the traditional criterion for journalistic ... Read More
Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More
Education

Destroy the ‘Public’ Education System

‘Public” schools have been a catastrophe for the United States. This certainly isn’t an original assertion, but as we watch thousands of authoritarian brats tearing down the legacies of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it’s more apparent than ever. State-run schools have undercut two fundamental ... Read More
Culture

Two NFL Apologies

So Drew Brees defended the American flag and all it stands for, said he didn’t agree with kneeling for the national anthem and correctly described this gesture of open disrespect as disrespect. "Is everything right with our country right now?" said the Saints' future Hall of Famer. "No, it is not. We still have ... Read More
Culture

Two NFL Apologies

So Drew Brees defended the American flag and all it stands for, said he didn’t agree with kneeling for the national anthem and correctly described this gesture of open disrespect as disrespect. "Is everything right with our country right now?" said the Saints' future Hall of Famer. "No, it is not. We still have ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Chesterton’s Cops

Conservatives are big on “Chesterton’s fence.” That’s G. K. Chesterton’s principle that you cannot reform what you do not understand, that you should not for the sake of convenience knock down a fence until you understand why it was put up in the first place. When encountering a fence in his way, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Chesterton’s Cops

Conservatives are big on “Chesterton’s fence.” That’s G. K. Chesterton’s principle that you cannot reform what you do not understand, that you should not for the sake of convenience knock down a fence until you understand why it was put up in the first place. When encountering a fence in his way, ... Read More
Culture

Why Progressives Wage War on History

Princeton University’s decision to remove the name “Woodrow Wilson” from its School of Public and International Affairs is a big win for progressive activists, and the implications will extend far beyond the campus. It hardly surprises me, in today’s polarizing environment, that my alma mater caved to ... Read More
Culture

Why Progressives Wage War on History

Princeton University’s decision to remove the name “Woodrow Wilson” from its School of Public and International Affairs is a big win for progressive activists, and the implications will extend far beyond the campus. It hardly surprises me, in today’s polarizing environment, that my alma mater caved to ... Read More
Regulatory Policy

Going Medieval

Writing in Bloomberg, Noah Smith gives more than a nod to Peter Turchin’s theory of elite overproduction (or, as Smith neatly relabels the phenomenon, “elite over-competition”) as a cause of the current wave of turmoil in the West, something with which I would agree but, I think, more emphatically. Quite ... Read More
Regulatory Policy

Going Medieval

Writing in Bloomberg, Noah Smith gives more than a nod to Peter Turchin’s theory of elite overproduction (or, as Smith neatly relabels the phenomenon, “elite over-competition”) as a cause of the current wave of turmoil in the West, something with which I would agree but, I think, more emphatically. Quite ... Read More
U.S.

Bad News about the Virus

On the menu today: an important update about indications that the coronavirus is now more contagious than it used to be, with far-reaching ramifications for how we fight this pandemic; a point on the recent complaints about the Paycheck Protection Program; and a new book for everyone closely following the debate ... Read More
U.S.

Bad News about the Virus

On the menu today: an important update about indications that the coronavirus is now more contagious than it used to be, with far-reaching ramifications for how we fight this pandemic; a point on the recent complaints about the Paycheck Protection Program; and a new book for everyone closely following the debate ... Read More

Canceled, &c.

There was a headline last week: “Boeing Communications Chief Resigns Over Decades-Old Article on Women in Combat.” Find the story here. It explains that “Niel Golightly abruptly resigned on Thursday, following an employee’s complaint over an article the former U.S. military pilot wrote 33 years ago ... Read More

Canceled, &c.

There was a headline last week: “Boeing Communications Chief Resigns Over Decades-Old Article on Women in Combat.” Find the story here. It explains that “Niel Golightly abruptly resigned on Thursday, following an employee’s complaint over an article the former U.S. military pilot wrote 33 years ago ... Read More