Perhaps America Needs Peggy Olsen to Serve its Inner Don Draper

Peggy yells at Don

Photojournalists love to capture politicians with backlighting, or standing before round seals and symbols; it helps the subject to stand out, of course, and where presidents are concerned the dramatic halo effect might be making a sincere or ironic editorial point. I wonder if there is something subconscious about it, though; do we need to see our president regardless of party, as someone with a connection to the divine? Politicians are as susceptible to believing their own hype as anyone … [Read more...]

Dark Joy, Inclusion, Mad Men, Conceit, Accommodation and the American Church

American Church

My First Things column this week was more or less (and a little weirdly) inspired by three very disparate things: Pope Francis' thoughts on "the dark joy of gossip" (and his homily from yesterday morning), Harry Crane's outburst on last Sunday's episode of Mad Men and Russell Shaw's new book, American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America The pope's words on gossip have been reverberating within me (and, I know, within others) for weeks, … [Read more...]