“18th Century Fox”: Helen Rittelmeyer Is Hilarious

in AmSpec, on Burke-era popular conservatism: TWO THINGS ALL  conservatives love are narratives of decline and talking about conservatism. Put those together and you have the popular argument that conservatism ain’t what it used to be. The chart of that supposed decline, if you were to draw it Ascent of Man style, would start with Edmund Burke looking intelligent and walking upright, followed by William F. Buckley as Australopithecus, slouching. The present age would be represented by some … [Read more...]

“Some Prefer Nettles”: Drifting Toward Divorce

Some Prefer Nettles is a slim 1928 novel by Junichiro Tanizaki about the opening of Japan to the West; and, also, about a couple who can't quite seem to pull themselves together enough to divorce. They have a strange existential lassitude about it, even as everyone around them urges them to make some kind of resolution. Should they divorce? They're not happy but then again their unhappiness is just normal unhappiness, as Kaname's father-in-law finally points out to him. They have a son who is … [Read more...]

“Building Blocs: An exhibit at the intersection of politics, art, and urban design”

My review of a MoMA show, in the Weekly Standard: The phrase “political architecture” evokes the idea of architecture for and by politicians: a blank-faced Ministry of Truth; a giant Mussolini head on a wedding cake; or just the sullen civic compromises which remove anything distinctive because it might be offensive. And “architecture for the people” has mostly meant architecture imposed on the people, with the government as landlord. You’ll live in my future and you’ll like … [Read more...]


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