Monthly Archives: October 2010

On the conservative as warmonger

The problem with political science professor Corey Robin’s claim that warmongering is woven into the DNA of conservatives is that he can’t seem to define his subject. One minute a conservative is a Burkean, the next he’s a tea-partier, then a neocon, then a Republican politico. Richer still, Robin represents these British-American country-clubbing anti-marxist quasi-literate …

Selfless

Filing off the plane with our recalcitrant roller bags, our ponderous satchels. Ahead on the jet bridge, an elderly woman stumbles and goes down hard, face first. A young woman drops her own bags and kneels beside the old woman, who is disoriented, who is bleeding from her face, who should not be traveling alone. …

Put me in a box

An organization of which I’ve been a big fan for years is the Institute for Justice, a team of Davids repeatedly taking on Goliaths who use the powers of government to keep small businesspeople from competing with them. IJ’s defense of monks who make and sell cheap, sturdy caskets, against a mortician’s lobby that wants …

Civic religion

Seton Hall history professor William Connell offers an informative defense of Columbus Day: “The holiday marks the event, not the person. What Columbus gets criticized for nowadays are attitudes that were typical of the European sailing captains and merchants who plied the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in the 15th century. Within that group he was …

Nerf war

A gymnasium strewn with upturned tables for barricades, a child-hearted husband and wife instigators of the fracas. Boys with single-shot pistols, automatics, rifles, rocket launchers, gathering to compare armaments. The older ones show the younger how to modify their weapons for greater velocity and range. Foam rounds fall from their pockets and collect around their …

Smart over art

Evert Cilliers on lousy, pretentious, self-celebratory modern film and fiction: “Urban Intellectual Fodder. Neither original nor path-breaking, this art is derivative hommage; postmodern commentary around the edges of art. It is art born of attitude, not passion. It is art that postures but doesn’t grip. It is art created by those who are more passionate …

Tilling ground

If only busted-up soil can be planted, the flat-tilled earth bereft of rocks before it can yield life, then what of the heart, the hard-hided, boulder-strewn heart of man, of this man? If only the soil of the broken heart will bring forth fruit, then perhaps we ought welcome it, and the tear-dropping rain that …

Two Anthonys

I’ve been thinking on the incongruity of sharing a name with the saint who went into the desert to wrestle demons and aloneness and thereby work out salvation. I sat at an oval window this morning and looked on the sunfired clouds below and wondered into what wilderness I am once again hurtling, and whether …