Magazine | May 2, 2011, Issue

Poetry

HE MAKES HIS MARK

for Nathaniel

Back when only holy men could write,

The farmer or squire who signed himself

With the letter X, St. Andrew’s cross,

Would bow and put his lips to it,

Reverently, in proof of his good faith.

Now: here’s a boy knows only goodness

And honesty. Nature has denied

Him the gift of reason, yet he has made

His mark in the world. Guide

The pen as he scrawls, and bear witness.

His cross shall serve for a name and a kiss.

 

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

A Victory — and a Warning

Conservatives are right to cheer Wisconsin supreme-court justice David Prosser’s apparent reelection, but it’s worth looking closely at the results. While his victory was encouraging, Prosser won only because turnout ...
Politics & Policy

Trial by Fire

The greatest advocate of book-burning in history was probably the skeptical philosopher David Hume. In his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, he wrote: “If we take in our hand any volume; ...
Politics & Policy

President Me

Here’s how to keep track of the top two contenders, according to a recent CNN poll, for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination: Only one of them has his own signature ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Blame the Not-Too-Rich

It is widely understood that the American middle class has fuzzy boundaries. Many relatively poor and relatively rich people identify as middle-class. In an ambitious 2008 survey, the Pew Research ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

A Just War

World War II has always been presented as “a good war” from the point of view of the Allies, who strove to destroy the undeniably great evil of Fascism, but ...
Politics & Policy

Eastern Light

I used to attend regularly at an office of the New York City government to transact some business with a very pleasant young female African-American city employee. On the wall ...
Politics & Policy

The People’s Military

Paradoxically, the post–Cold War “unipolar moment” of American power has also been a period of constant crisis in American civil-military relations. Even Operation Desert Storm, now romanticized as a golden ...
Politics & Policy

Shadow Fights

No temptation seems more irresistible to film critics than the pithy summation of a decade in movies. Ask a critic about a cinematic year and you’ll get a top-ten list. ...
City Desk

Cool Tombs

Buying a coffin is nobody’s idea of shopping, a friend of mine once said. I would certainly rather go to a yard sale or to Etro or even to the ...

Sections

Happy Warrior

Line Items

‘It’s Back!”        So goes Walmart’s new slogan. What they mean is the old Walmart is back — “Everyday low prices!” — and their disastrous attempt to evolve into Goremart — ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Rebutting Garfinkle The premise of Adam Garfinkle’s review of Donald Rumsfeld’s memoir Known and Unknown (April 4, 2011) is that Rumsfeld evades responsibility for large matters that did not go well ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ You know, we miss the days when he was anonymous, too. ‐ President Obama officially launched his reelection bid. He owed his win in 2008 to five factors. He was ...
The Long View

To: Archives, From: West Wing Staff

  TO: Archives FROM: West Wing Staff RE: Attached notes Please file these contemporaneous notes of the latest budget negotiations. Marked CLOSE HOLD. Thank you. Meeting begins. Present: POTUS, Speaker of the House, Mr. Plouffe, others. POTUS begins ...
The Bent Pin

The Late Liz, Upstaged

She Married the Men She Slept With, She Slept with the Men She Married, and All of Her Children Had Surnames . . .  As epitaphs for Elizabeth Taylor go, this captures the instinctive ...
Athwart

Dreams of My Carwash

In a recent issue of Vogue, actress Reese Witherspoon says she sits in her car and cries sometimes, because she misses her privacy. In a recent interview with Hearst Newspapers, ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

HE MAKES HIS MARK for Nathaniel Back when only holy men could write, The farmer or squire who signed himself With the letter X, St. Andrew’s cross, Would bow and put his lips to it, Reverently, ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

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
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

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