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

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, ...
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 — ...

Most Popular

U.S.

In Defense of Coleman Hughes

Picture the scene: A young man walks into a congressional hearing to offer witness testimony. His grandfather was barbarically brutalized by people who are now long dead. The nation in which he resides built its wealth of his grandfather’s brutalization. The question: Should his fellow citizens pay the young ... Read More
Education

College Leaders Should Learn from Oberlin

Thanks to their social-justice warrior mindset, the leaders of Oberlin College have caused an Ohio jury to hit it with $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages in a case where the school couldn't resist the urge to side with its “woke” students against a local business. College leaders should learn ... Read More
Film & TV

Toy Story 4: A National Anthem

The Toy Story franchise is the closest thing we have to an undisputed national anthem, a popular belief that celebrates what we think we all stand for — cooperation, ingenuity, and simple values, such as perpetual hope. This fact of our infantile, desensitized culture became apparent back in 2010 when I took a ... Read More
Elections

Joe and the Segs

Joe Biden has stepped in it, good and deep. Biden, if he has any hope of ever being elected president, will be dependent on residual goodwill among African Americans from his time as Barack Obama’s loyal and deferential vice president — so deferential, in fact, that he stood aside for Herself in 2016 even ... Read More
World

Have a Good Day

Years ago, there was a movie, The Longest Day, about the Normandy landings. Today, June 21, is, I believe, the longest day of the year. Is it the best day of the year? Well, I like “fall back,” when we gain an hour. I begin my latest episode of Music for a While with “A Soft Day,” one of my favorite ... Read More