Buster Scruggly

 

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on Netflix leaves me with mixed feelings. Or I should say half of it does, because I didn’t feel like finishing the collection of Wild West short stories after watching four of them. The acting and cinematography are well done. Each story transports you there and wears its nature as […]

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This episode offers another of Steve Hayward’s lectures for the William F. Buckley Program at Yale, this time on the subject of equality. Borrowing from the taxonomy of the legendary political scientist Aaron Wildavsky, Steve explains why 600 percent of the American people are victims of oppression! Steve also reviews some of the disagreements among prominent conservative thinkers about the principle of equality, since it is so badly abused by modern liberalism. This is the first of three lectures Steve will be delivering on the subject of equality. Stay tuned for announcements of the sequels!

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back with another full serving of crazy martinis. First, they question the motives and geometry skills of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who publicly insists that Lindsay Graham is somehow “compromised” because he’s become more supportive of President Trump. They also dissect the bumbling scheme confessed by Michael Cohen, who says Trump directed him to pay thousands of dollars to rig online polls in 2014 and 2015. And that’s just the beginning of the story. Finally, Jim shares some lesser-known details and oddities from the career of former Vice President Joe Biden that he uncovered for his latest article.

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Glass (2019) and If Beale Street Could Talk

 

I’ll be seeing Glass and If Beale Street Could Talk tonight! Would love to hear some *SPOILERS* discussion on this post. Don’t worry, I won’t check until I get back from seeing them. More

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Best Rock Song Ever

 

Fred Cole (@fredcole) thinks the best rock song is “White Room” by Cream for some reason. Jon Gabriel (@jon) said he’d only ever heard The KLF song titled “White Room.” I listened to both and now I want to go BASE jumping without a parachute.

I say “Unforgiven” by Metallica is much better, although it’s not even necessarily my favorite Metallica song (“Whiskey in the Jar” is high on my list). You see, Fred and I obviously have a difference in opinion when it comes to music. He seems like easy listening soft rock, while I prefer to listen to good music.

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Book Review: Thomas Cromwell, from Commoner to Britain’s Principal Nobleman

 

Today, many confuse Thomas Cromwell with his distant descendant, Oliver Cromwell. Others were introduced to him in C. J. Sansom’s first two Matthew Shardlake’s historical mystery novels as Henry VIII’s chief, but sinister adviser.

“Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life,” by Diarmaid MacCulloch is a biography of Cromwell who, when remembered is credited with the dissolution of church properties and, along with Thomas Cramner, as one of the twin pillars of Britain’s Protestant Reformation.

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Gillette Is Not Wrong

 

Is the new Gillette razor ad a radical feminist attack on masculinity – the commercial embodiment of a woke sensibility? I was prepared to think so. But having watched it twice, I find a lot to like. The ad has been panned by some conservative commentators. With all due respect, I think they are falling into a trap. They seem to have accepted the feminist framing. Feminists see culture as a Manichean struggle. It’s women versus men. Women are benign and men are malign. For society to progress, men must change. We must extirpate “toxic masculinity.”

Understandably, this rubs conservatives the wrong way. I’ve risen to the defense of masculinity many times myself. But is the Gillette ad really “the product of mainstream radicalized feminism—and emblematic of Cultural Marxism,” as Turning Point USA’s Candace Owen put it? Is it part of “a war on masculinity in America,” as Todd Starnes argued on Fox News?

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of CNN commentator Areva Martin telling radio host David Webb his success is a result of white privilege – until Webb tells her he is black. They’re also aghast as 59 percent of registered voters support a 70 percent marginal tax rate on the nation’s highest earners, including 45 percent of Republicans. And they shake their heads as Beto O’Rourke openly wonders whether our “empire” can “still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago.”

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The Lord of the Rings: A Classic

 

I was very young when I was first introduced to The Hobbit. I could not have been older than seven when I was swept completely into the journey with Bilbo and the dwarves on their way to reclaim treasure from the dragon. When the story was over, I wanted the magic to continue, so I sought out my father’s copy of The Fellowship of the Ring, which was much more difficult to understand. (Tolkien loved him some semicolons, and I was a second grader.)

The truth was, I wasn’t quite ready for Frodo’s epic adventure then, so I had to put it aside for a while, disappointed by my first introduction to Tolkien’s next generation. I thought Bilbo’s nephew, Sam, Pippin, and Merry were a bit boring. It took them too long to do anything. I did not get beyond them stealing mushrooms, as if that was even noteworthy. Already cynical, I snapped the cover shut and quietly returned that tale to the bookcase to collect dust again in my parents’ home.

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Hello there, HLC mavens! Welcome to the HLC podcast for January 15, 2019 (this is Todd Feinburg’s birthday week podcast) with your hosts, the aforementioned Todd Feinburg, radio guy, and Mike Stopa the as yet to be mentioned west coast AI guy. We are here every week etc. etc. as you well know.

This week, we discuss toxic masculinity as seen through the eyes of everyday guys who are shaving their ugly masculine faces and thinking deep inside about the sexual harassment that they are planning for the day…or something. Has Gillette blown away a significant part of their patronage by insulting men for being men?

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A Star Is Born – Second Version (With This Title)

 

A Star Is Born – Second Version (With This Title) I want to begin this review by thanking James Lileks for informing us about a prior movie, from which all subsequent versions of A Star Is Born is based. It is called What Price Hollywood?, which review will come one of these days. So, while […]

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Quote of the Day: Noblesse Oblige

 

Four-hundred sixty years ago today, on January 15, 1559, Elizabeth, the “bastard” (some believed) daughter of Henry VIII was crowned Queen of England.

As did many of her subjects, I admire and even love “Good Queen Bess,” who brought stability and prosperity to her island nation after the 50 years of chaos and upheaval spawned by the reigns of her father and two older siblings (and the enthronement of the 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey, unfortunate winner of what may have been the world’s first reality entertainment show, Queen for Nine Days. And Then Off With Her Head).

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The Young Americans return for another year of charting Millennial neuroses by starting out with the topic on everyone’s mind: marriage. Specifically, why aren’t Millennials getting married? To help figure out why, (single) host Jack Butler consults another single person, an engaged person, and a married couple.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to House Republicans stripping Iowa Rep. Steve King of all committee assignments after his controversial comments in the New York Times. Jim also reveals some his interesting discoveries after combing through the record of California Sen. Kamala Harris as she prepares for a 2020 White House run. And they wonder why New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is bothering to run for president and planning to run as a champion of women in a Democratic primary full of them.

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Shadow Lands and Cyber Worlds

 

I’ve always loved literature. By which I mean, I’ve always loved stories. I was never terribly academic about it, even during my university days, and I’ve certainly never been one of those desperate creatures the like-minded among us used to call (with a sniff), “Serious Students of Lit-ter-a-toor.”  They could usually be spotted on Friday nights in the Rathskeller sitting alone with a watery beer, stringy-haired and looking miserable, diligently perusing the latest eructions of one of their idols, perhaps Kerouac, Sexton, Ginsberg, Plath, or Thompson, and waiting for the world to end.

Not me. I was having far too much fun. It was 1977 and my mates and I were in our early twenties. A small group of us ladies known, I kid you not, as the “Regular Morning Cuties,” would meet a few of the faculty every day in the cafeteria for Cokes. As we sipped our drinks, we’d discourse on the finer, and sometimes the lewder, points of The Canterbury Tales, we’d opine on whether or not any of us had been able to find a single joke or effulgence of actual humor anywhere in The Faerie Queene, or we’d howl over the ribald commentary of Shakespeare’s Nurse or the hilarious plots (usually involving drinking, sex, or mistaken identity) of our favorite eighteenth-century comedic playwright. I’m pretty sure I learned more in those informal morning sessions than I did in any class I ever attended, and that what I learned has stuck with me far longer. (I even ended up marrying one of those professors, but that, my poppets, is another story for another time.)

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Why Is It So Hard to Condemn Anti-Semitism?

 

Meghan McCain is the best thing to happen to daytime talk in memory. Case in point: this morning McCain put Tamika Mallory’s feet to the fire about her comfortable relationship with known anti-Semite Louis Farakkhan:

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud new Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and naming two stellar judges to the Florida Supreme Court. They also discuss Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joining the 2020 presidential race and how her defense of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad could impact the campaign. And as many breathlessly await the Mueller report on Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports that the report will likely be anti-climactic.

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