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Category Archives: Culture

The lingering darkness

The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World. Catherine Nixey, Houghton Miflin Harcourt, 316 pages. It is remarkably difficult, even with rational and educated contemporary minds, to challenge the belief that the church and the Christian religion have been a force of steady moral progress in the world. Yet that belief is easy […]

The eve of self-destruction

Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, Paige Patterson, Paul Presslar Slogging through the news each morning (and afternoon, and evening) is increasingly dangerous to the mental health of rational, morally sane people. Yet I hold my nose and continue to do it. Whether we acknowledge it or not, Americans really are living through a Manichaean period of […]

Why the trend toward mean-looking cars?

Normally, car design is one of the farthest things from my mind. But as I mentioned in a post a few weeks back, I recently bought a new car. So I’ve been noticing things that I normally ignore. The thing I noticed while looking for a new car — and the thing I continue to […]

Return to Mabry Mill

Click here for high-resolution version. The abbey is only 15 miles south of the Virginia state line, and the new Fiat 500 drives like a mini-Ferrari (while sipping gasoline). I can be on the Blue Ridge Parkway in a hop and a skip. Road trip! You’ll find Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway at […]

London Spy

Ben Whishaw as Danny, and Edward Holcroft as Alex Almost in despair that five perfectly good gigabytes of my monthly satellite data was hours away from expiring, I happened upon “London Spy,” on Netflix. It’s a BBC television drama from 2015 with five episodes. I watched the first two episodes last night. It’s fantastic. I’ve […]

J.B. Priestley

“An Inspector Calls,” BBC, 2015 J.B. Priestley had never particularly been on my literary radar screen. He should have been. I will work on that. Last night, with quite a few gigabytes of satellite data to use up before my account does its monthly reset, I was determined to find something good to stream, which […]

Taking a look at the Facebook propaganda

On May 10, the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released information on 3,500 Facebook ads that were posted by Russian agents to influence the 2016 election. Here is the Washington Post story. Here is a link to PDF files of the ads on a House web site. Every reasonable American should look at these […]

A visit to Vade Mecum

Robin and Owen. Click here for high-resolution version. I had a personal tour of Vade Mecum this morning with Robin, superintendent of Hanging Rock State Park. With Robin in the photo is Owen, who is campaign manager for a candidate for the North Carolina Senate for this district. The campaign is interested in having a […]

Ken’s third book is out

Ken’s third book is out. You can buy it in bookstores tomorrow (April 10, 2018) or you can order it from Amazon now. I hardly need to say how proud I am of Ken, with his third book published at the age of 34. Here’s a link to the Kirkus review. And here’s a link […]

What’s wrong with conservatives?

In my rather long lifetime, the depravity of the conservative mind has never been more on display than it is today. Never in my lifetime has conservatism been more aggressive or used viler tactics in its efforts to remake the world in its own repugnant image. We see it in the vilification of the poor, […]