Magazine | April 18, 2011, Issue

Poetry

WINDOW SHOPPER’S IVORY

The grand and opulent curve –

the tusk from a beast long gone;

now observed held firm,

upon its dark, exotic wooden base.

At first glance, the surface appears merely uneven;

but a better view reveals the intricate drama –

Convolution of tiny figures,

a great crowd of them,

in all postures of threat and submission,

of dance, ritual, and celebration –

Myth and legend of the Orient:

faces from the carver’s village and family;

of his schooldays . . . and of his dreams;

transposed into their own world,

where the torn and broken . . .

are healed and beautiful.

The making of a jewel endless as Art itself;

which in its painstaking creation,

thousands of hours of work,

becomes more the life of the artist,

than of the elephant from which it came.

At least as seen on pillars of smooth mahogany,

upholding the great, private spectacle:

long as a man reclining . . . in the curve of ivory.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Replacement Plan

On health care, Republicans have unified behind a slogan rather than a policy. The slogan, “repeal and replace,” describes what they want to do to the Democrats’ health-care law, also ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Tocqueville and the Tube

Television makes us fat, lazy, inattentive, unsociable, mistrustful, materialistic — and unhappy about all of that. It cheapens political discourse, weakens family ties, prevents face-to-face socializing, and exposes kids to ...
Politics & Policy

Irresponsible

President Obama’s use of military force in Libya has come under intense criticism across the American political spectrum. There is widespread disagreement over what U.S. objectives should be, and many ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The Parent Trap

When Andrew Ferguson attended Occidental College in the 1970s, colleges were already moving away from fussy old requirements like American history, English composition, and foreign languages, and towards the anything-goes ...
Politics & Policy

TR’s Goal-Line Stand

Baseball may still try to market itself as our national pastime, but there’s little doubt that football is our national passion. By any measurement, the popularity of college and professional ...
Politics & Policy

Light of the World

If the Vatican Observatory were to begin broadcasting Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence–style signals into space, and the Catholic Church went looking for a single story capable of introducing to an ...
The Straggler

Decline and Fall

There is a school of psychology called Situationism that pooh-poohs the notion of individual character. This line of thought began with some experiments by Stanley Milgram of Yale in the ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Who Will Review the Judicial Reviewers? In his reply to Pamela K. Grow’s letter concerning nullification, Allen C. Guelzo states, correctly, “If the founders had wanted to grant nullifying power — ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ To be fair, Obama is right: Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Congress has to declare kinetic military action. ‐ The Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of ...
The Long View

NSA Document Extract

NSA Document Extract POTUS Secured Communications 03.24.11 09:33EDT Begin Extract Static. Ringing. Unidentified Male Voice: Hello? POTUS: Mr. President? It’s Barack Obama. UMV: Well hey. Hey! Barack Obama. Lemme just — Barb, can you turn that down? ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

WINDOW SHOPPER’S IVORY The grand and opulent curve – the tusk from a beast long gone; now observed held firm, upon its dark, exotic wooden base. At first glance, the surface appears merely uneven; but a ...
Happy Warrior

Esprit de l’Escalier

Wandering round this great republic predicting the apocalypse, I’m often asked by audience members why it is I’m being quite so overwrought if not an hysterical old queen about the ...

Most Popular

White House

The Impeachment Clock

Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry is incoherent. Given the impossibility of a senatorial conviction, the only strategy is to taint the president with the brand of impeachment and weaken him in the 2020 election. Yet Schiff seems to have no sense that the worm has already turned. Far from tormenting Trump and ... Read More
Economy & Business

Who Owns FedEx?

You may have seen (or heard on a podcast) that Fred Smith so vehemently objects to the New York Times report contending that FedEx paid nothing in federal taxes that he's challenged New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger to a public debate and pointed out that "the New York Times paid zero federal income tax ... Read More
Immigration

The ‘Welfare Magnet’ for Immigrants

That term refers to a controversial concept -- and a salient one, given the Trump administration's efforts to make it harder for immigrants to use welfare in the U.S. A new study finds that there's something to it: Immigrants were more likely to come to Denmark when they could get more welfare there. From the ... Read More