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Category Archives: Culture

The end of the road for all you can eat home cookin’?

Hillbilly Hideway. See below for more. It’s true everywhere, but here in the American South, our cuisine is (or was) an essential part of our culture and identity. Passing that culture and identity from generation to generation is very important work. But — at least here in the American South — that work is breaking […]

A parable of justice

In the Shadow of Justice: Postwar Liberalism and the Remaking of Political Philosophy. Katrina Forrester, Princeton University Press, 2019. 402 pages. ★★★★ A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, liberal ideas ruled. There had been a terrible Depression, followed by a terrible world war. Seventy-five million people died. Great cities and vast […]

Conservatism, with lipstick and without

Roger Scruton. Wikipedia photo. The Washington Post has an obituary this morning for Roger Scruton, whom the Post describes as a “British philosopher, author and high priest of conservatism.” Scruton was a lipstick conservative. By that I mean that his fundamental meanness was masked by good manners, nice clothes, connections to Cambridge, and even a […]

His Dark Materials ★★★☆

Until the next truly smashing science fiction or fantasy series comes along, His Dark Materials will help a bit to tide us over. Some reviewers seem to think that it’s a Game of Thrones knockoff. It looks more like Harry Potter to me. Still, there are strong elements of originality. A big part of what […]

The center of the universe at 3 p.m. GMT on Dec. 24

The opening of the 2015 broadcast It’s a saying of mine that the center of the universe is not a fixed place. It moves constantly. Young Luke Skywalker touches on this in Star Wars episode IV, when the says, “Well, if there’s a bright center of the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest […]

A video for the 39th anniversary of John Lennon’s death

Needed: An honorable calculus of civility and incivility

Rosa Parks is fingerprinted after she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person, 1956, Montgomery, Alabama. Wikipedia photo. Here are some sample problems to solve with a calculus of civility and incivility. What do you think?: 1. If a friend of a friend on Facebook trolls […]

Hastening their own demise

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, now a museum. Wikipedia photo. The Economist has an article today with the headline “Arabs are losing faith in religious parties and leaders.” The article reports not only a sharply declining trust of religion in politics in the Arab world, but also that Arab young people are losing their religious […]

Battlestar Galactica

My shortlist of the best television ever made would include Battlestar Galactica, which ran on the Syfy channel from 2003 until 2009. And guess what: It’s coming back. In September, the Hollywood Reporter and other news outlets reported that NBCUniversal will produce a new take on Battlestar Galactica for its Peacock streaming service. The new […]

A road trip to the real Mayberry

Here is a video from today’s road trip into the Blue Ridge Mountains. American readers will be aware of the “Mayberry” angle from the classic American television show with Andy Griffith. Those of you in Europe may not be aware of the cultural complications, which relate to the fact that Andy Griffith the actor was […]