Tag Archives: culture

The lost conservative mind

I recently read Russell Kirk’s The Conservative Mind, and composed a thought about it in relation to the state of this country, which perhaps more than ever before mirrors the state of man today—outwardly self-reliant, inwardly flailing. My thought is that we are yanking free the anchors, worrying loose the cables, and where once this …

White ashes

Last I checked there were 36,000 mentions of Jimmy Fallon in the news, and 8,820 of Kermit Gosnell. It’s understandable if you haven’t heard of Gosnell. He’s a Philadelphia abortionist on trial for, among other things, murdering newborns by snipping their spines with scissors. He did this after failing to murder them while some portion …

Cheaper by the dozen

There is a difference between being anti-intellectual and being anti-intellect, and this is where Russell Jacoby foundered, in his essay last year about the lack of intellectualism among conservatives. As Peter Lawler notes, it’s shoddily done for want of defining terms, which is a frequent flaw in Chronicle of Higher Ed essays about conservatism. There …

The new Conservatism

Mickey Edwards explains why he didn’t go to CPAC, the annual Conservative self-lovefest, arguing that the traditional conservatism of America has been supplanted by a state-aggrandizing European-style conservatism. I’m not sure if the shift is even that intellectual, or if it’s simply that Conservatives — like members of any tribe facing an enemy tribe — …

Christian America?

Maybe instead of pouring all this energy into haggling over claims in watered-down, non-primary source, lowest-common-denominator, utterly de-contextualized, ponderous textbooks, we ought to try harder to get kids to read more, and read more of what matters. Does anyone really think that one sentence about Cesar Chavez or Samuel Gompers is going to be the clincher between …

Previously, on . . .

The start of a new season of 24 got me thinking about that standard practice television series have of explaining what happened in the previous episode: “Previously, on ____”. Sometimes it’s a little funny because, while of course the particulars are usually quite different, in another sense what happened last week is pretty much what’s …

Marionette parenting

Judith Woods reminds us that there’s a difference between good parental involvement and hovering overkill (i.e., “helicopter parenting“). We ought to dispense with calling it helicopter parenting, in fact, and call it marionette parenting. Parents should be in the helicopter, hovering about their children’s lives. That’s their bloody job, after all — to supervise, counsel, protect. …

Be it resolved

I read once that the historian’s admiration for authority affects his assessments of civilizations past — that oppressive regimes, with their monuments to state power, will draw his eye and his imagination more readily than a nation of citizen farmers. That’s probably true for most people; we can’t help but watch the parade’s prancing exhibition of the …

Gioia on Cultural Decline

Since literature seems to be the theme this week, check out Dana Gioia’s speech delivered at Stanford’s commencement exercises. Some highlights: “There is an experiment I’d love to conduct. I’d like to survey a cross-section of Americans and ask them how many active NBA players, Major League Baseball players, and American Idol finalists they can …