Magazine May 5, 2014, Issue

Letters

Virtue and Verse

Roman Genn, in your March 24 issue, drew a splendid cover illustration of the Republican symbol of trust and faithfulness astride a vociferous tool exemplifying productivity and change. It should stand as a serious contender for the party’s rallying image next November and beyond. In a nation so clearly divided between the classes of energetic production and apathetic entitlement, it extols the commendable dimension that can be released from within every responsible voter. 

Too little is said of the virtuousness of work that instills the hope needed to sustain the common travails of life. The accomplishment and reward from completing a regular task, regardless of its complexity, as Kevin D. Williamson reveals in his essay “To Work Is to Live,” must somehow be continuously ingrained in us all. Students in particular must be led in the direction of earning and saving to build secure lives and futures. Instead, they are overwhelmed with how to manipulate the systems that promote the sinecures largely cultivated by academia.

There is a poem that my eighth-grade English teacher, Mrs. O’Hara, introduced to us in 1962. That year was among the last of an era, long forgotten, when a California schoolteacher could freely require us to memorize the last three stanzas of a virtuous literary piece without absurd criticism. How well she knew, and how much I now cherish her leadership and direction. It’s time to recall the philosophy of work conveyed in that poem, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life,” the final stanzas of which are below: 

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.

Rudy Cariaga

Woodbury, Minn.

Correction

In The Week (April 21), we commented on Alice in Arabia, the ABC Family drama that was canceled after being criticized as Islamophobic. The comment ended: “‘If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense,’ the Mad Hatter says in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. His world doesn’t seem so far removed from our own.” The quotation is actually from the 1951 Disney film, not Lewis Carroll’s book, and it was spoken by Alice to her cat, not by the Mad Hatter.

Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Greater Growth

James Monroe had the third eight-year presidency in a row, a period called “the era of good feelings” for its lack of partisan rancor. We are now finishing another string ...
Politics & Policy

A War for Oils

Unveiling original paintings of the world leaders he has known, George W. Bush flouts convention with a daring he only occasionally displayed as president of the United States. First, it ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Blacklisted

Helen Hunt wasn’t smiling. Neither was Lynn Redgrave, or Steven Spielberg. Well, at least they were clapping — others didn’t even go that far. On March 21, 1999, Elia Kazan ...
Politics & Policy

Noah’s Arc

The religious reception of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah — a weird art-house/blockbuster hybrid, part Malick and part Bruckheimer — has moved in three broad waves. First, long before the movie screened, ...
Politics & Policy

A Texan to the Rescue

John Silber (1926–2012) and New York senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927–2003) were probably the most serious first-order intellectuals to commit themselves effectively to high public service in the United States ...

Sections

Athwart

Dancing Athwart History

Vladimir Putin’s effortless ingestion of Crimea has produced some novel responses, and while one usually wouldn’t expect English lefty newspapers to get all frowny and harsh, Guardian arts columnist Jonathan ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

TO BETA, COSMICALLY CONSIDERED If relic radiation bathes the spheres Isotropically, as water is to fish, To an observer here or in Andromeda, Time has an arrow sharp as Cupid’s kiss. If all is that ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Virtue and Verse Roman Genn, in your March 24 issue, drew a splendid cover illustration of the Republican symbol of trust and faithfulness astride a vociferous tool exemplifying productivity and change. ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Vladimir Putin can count himself lucky that there are no tortoises in Crimea. ‐ A heated showdown between the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy cooled several ...

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department ... Read More
Elections

The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race. Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will ... Read More
Elections

The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race. Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will ... Read More
Elections

There’s Zero Chance Bloomberg Would Pick Hillary

There’s no better evidence that Mike Bloomberg’s chances of getting the Democratic nomination are on the rise than the fact that the opportunistic Hillary Clinton is already trying to grab a piece of the action. The Drudge Report startled the political world on Saturday by noting that “sources close to ... Read More
Elections

There’s Zero Chance Bloomberg Would Pick Hillary

There’s no better evidence that Mike Bloomberg’s chances of getting the Democratic nomination are on the rise than the fact that the opportunistic Hillary Clinton is already trying to grab a piece of the action. The Drudge Report startled the political world on Saturday by noting that “sources close to ... Read More
Religion

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More
Religion

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More