November 13, 2018

Now Playing

Juliet Naked
(Reviewed September 21, 2018)

An amusing but slight adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel which can laugh at its characters without precluding the possibility that they may laugh at themselves

Won't You Be My Neighbor?
(Reviewed September 20, 2018)

Did Mr Rogers’s extraordinary capacity for love end up producing a generation of haters?

Lady Bird
(Reviewed March 6, 2018)

A delightful and not entirely politically correct movie about growing up as a Catholic schoolgirl in 2002-2003

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
(Reviewed February 22, 2018)

An occasionally amusing parable of guilt and forgiveness whose setting in small-town America, like the prejudices of its author, does it no favors

ENTRY from October 31, 2018

In the orgy of virtue-signaling that now constitutes so much of our political discourse, there is one kind that is more disingenuous and dishonorable — if we still understood what dishonor meant — than the rest. This is the kind which consists of ostentatiously criticizing those whom the reader might be expected to consider as belonging to one’s own side in the political wars for the purpose of calling attention to oneself as a man of conscience and independent thought — unlike those contemptible party hacks who are one’s erstwhile friends and who never have a bad word to say against their political allies. The latest example is Chesley, “Sully,” Sullenberger III, whose aristocratic (not to say royal) suffix is only one reason why people might suppose him to be one of nature’s Republicans.

Writing in The Washington Post yesterday, he confirms that “for the first 85 percent of my adult life, I was a registered Republican,” and, though he doesn’t say so, one is obviously meant to infer that he is a registered Republican no longer. This is just one of the many, many things in the article which he chooses to say by inference only — presumably so as not to sully his reputation as the modest, soft-spoken hero whose high standards, including but not limited to modesty and soft-spokenness, today’s Republican party so signally fails to live up to, in his view.

Just in case you don’t get the message about his modesty and soft-spokenness, the article helpfully provides some additional examples. It is headed: “We saved 155 lives on the Hudson. Now let’s vote for leaders who’ll protect us all.” (emphasis added). The “we” there could be meant to include his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (played by Aaron Ekhart in the movie) or, as I would like to think, the Airbus A320 he was flying at the time, which I have always thought didn’t get enough of the credit for not breaking up and sinking. Either way, no one could suppose that he was bragging about having done it all by himself. Not he! Similarly, his thumbnail bio in the Post identifies him only as “a safety expert, author and speaker on leadership and culture.” But don’t worry. The only thing he’s known for in the eyes of the general public appears as the centerpiece of the article itself, along with a mention of his military service — thus hitting a common left-wing meme in order to contrast himself with a certain person who remains nameless in the article but who never served.
  Full Entry

Media MadnessBefore there was Howard Kurtz’s Media Madness, there was mine — now, alas, out of print but still available while supplies last for the cost of shipping and handling. Send $5.99 to me in care of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1730 M Street, Suite 910, Washington, D.C. 20036

Honor, A HistoryAlso available, now in paperback and Kindle version, is Honor, A History, which was first published in 2006. A study of Western cultural artifacts, from the epics of Homer to the movies and TV shows of today, it is focused on explaining why Western ideas of honor developed so differently from those elsewhere — and especially from the savage honor cultures of the Islamic world. The book then goes on to trace the collapse and ultimate rejection of the old Western honor culture from World War I until the present day and to suggest the conditions that would have to prevail for its revival.

Recent Articles

Quid est veritas? October 31, 2018.
"Post truth" as the media’s excuse for being post news — From The New Criterion of October, 2018 ... Full Article

Constituting Truth September 30, 2018.
How have we come to take it for granted that "truth" must be defined in partisan terms? — From The New Criterion of September, 2018 ... Full Article

Paradise Recycled August 13, 2018.
The lives of 19th-century utopians were more interesting than the utopias they imagined. — From The Weekly Standard of August 13, 2018 ... Full Article

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