ADBUSTERS!: Thanks to the Jenislawskis for buying off my banner ad! Read more

SLAVERY AND THE LEFT: Jay Nordlinger appropriately rips into this Michael Ignatieff piece for stating that “a coalition of liberals and black churches” were the main forces behind the American movement “to end slavery [in Sudan] and stop Khartoum’s war against the south.” As Nordlinger points out, “For years, conservatives had been trying to draw attention to Sudan and its slavery, and no one cared.” Mainstream human rights groups certainly noticed the atrocities, and did some good reporting on them,… Read more

AN EFFERVESCENT HOMAGE TO THE SUBJUNCTIVE TENSE: (OK, I am never using a hed like that again. Promise.) This is a great Bleat about Scott Fitzgerald and why his “glimmering ghosts” and champagne prose don’t quite capture the ’20s. Lileks suggests John O’Hara’s Appointment at Samarra instead. I haven’t read that, so I’ll put in a word for the lurid, corroded allegory of Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts, one of the best American novels I’ve read. Read more

“If I’d been a ranch, they would have named me the Bar Nothing.” –Rita Hayworth to Glenn Ford, “Gilda” Read more

GET UNHAPPY!: Insightful, challenging article from the New York Times Magazine (which I found on Arts & Letters Daily) suggests that our problem is too much self-esteem, not too little. The author offers blend of psychoanalytic research, quick-and-dirty philosophy, and common sense. (Although she traces the history of the self-esteem movement to Ralph “Transparent Eyeball” Emerson, she doesn’t mention the Ayn Rand–> Nathaniel Branden–> self-esteem movement daisy chain.) My elementary school ran a self-esteem program called “I am soMEbody!”, promoted… Read more

BEST LINE FROM THIS WEEK’S “SAVAGE LOVE”: “[Ashton Kutcher] is frequently the subject of heavy-breathing stories in teenybopper magazines like Teen People and The New Republic.” Read more


LITTLE BOOKS THAT STARTED OUR BIG WARS: Scores of prominent folk name and briefly cite the books that changed their lives. Good stuff. I got this link from The Rallying Point. Read more

“He’s been fightin’ something inside him, something decent trying to crawl out.” –Jean Peters, “Pickup on South Street” Read more

AND SPEAKING OF SCALIA: I think he’s off-base in his statement that Catholic judges who believe the death penalty is unjust should resign. There’s a lot to say (scroll down on that link) about Catholic teaching on the death penalty. Fortunately for Scalia, it’s a lot more complex than he seems to believe. But that’s not what I want to talk about. I just want to know why he thinks judges who have substantial disagreements with some portion of the… Read more

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