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Category Archives: Culture

Don’t we have heretics anymore?

Babel: Or, the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution. R.F. Kuang, Harper Voyager, 2022. 546 pages. I almost never read bestsellers, and this book reminded me why. This book makes me want to go read some Jordan Peterson or something to wash the politically correct taste out of my mouth. […]

The Berlin Philharmonic, on line

Months ago, I downloaded the Berlin Philharmonic’s app on my Apple TV. But the slowness of my rural internet connection wouldn’t support it — not even close. Using a cellular hot spot, my download speed typically was about 2 Mbps, though sometimes in the past it was even slower than that. And then suddenly, when […]

When retro is way better

That was my telephone number in San Francisco for many years. I apologize to whoever has that number now. A little Googling shows that the first cell phones became available in March 1984. I admit that I was fascinated and aspired to own one. It was not until 1995, though, that I first acquired a […]

Now fully in the public domain: Sherlock Holmes

Illustration from the December 1892 issue of Strand Magazine Each year on January 1, copyrights that are 95 years old expire. It was 95 years ago, in 1927, when the last Sherlock Holmes stories were published. (Copyright laws vary by country. In the U.S., copyrights expire after 95 years.) Those who profit from copyrights will […]

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical

If you still have a gloomy taste in your mouth from The Banshees of Inisherin, then here’s the perfect antidote: Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. We had recently been discussing Jane Eyre here, and I couldn’t get Jane Eyre out of my mind as I watched this. But Jane Eyre, of course, is not exactly […]

The Banshees of Inisherin

I should have known better. When Rotten Tomatoes shows high critic ratings (97 percent in this case) but much lower audience ratings (76 percent), that’s a red flag for me. I almost always agree with the audience. Why would a filmmaker waste a superb cast and beautiful settings on a meaningless and depressing story that […]

New trains!

The Washington Post has a story about yesterday’s announcement by Amtrak describing the $5 billion worth of new trains that Amtrak is buying. The trains will be named Amtrak Airo, and they’re beautiful. Yes, the trains will be made in America — Sacramento — though the company is German. Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg is not […]

My last Walter Scott post for a while, I promise

I had high hopes for The Bride of Lammermoor, the sixth novel by Sir Walter Scott that I have read. But it let me down. Though there was some fine Scottish gothic atmosphere — seaside castles, witches, and violent storms — the story really came down to little more than youthful folly and parental cruelty […]

All trans children should be so lucky

The above is a three-minute Christmas ad by J&B scotch. It leaves kind-hearted people in tears and probably leaves authoritarians in a state of rage. We are surrounded by people whose intellect and moral sensibility are so meagre and so perverted that they actually believe that they know the mind of God. Even worse, as […]

The heartache of not having any pubs

I’m always excited when I get a new cookbook, but I found this one particularly exciting. Where I live, I’ve adapted to living in a place dominated by Trump culture, shocked by how the insular suburban attitude has taken over rural America. My adaptation mostly involves staying home here in the woods. I chiefly encounter […]