Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America serve up all crazy martinis today. They slam ESPN for hitting a new politically correct low by replacing the play-by-play announcer because his name is Robert Lee, a man of Asian heritage who has no connection whatsoever to the Confederate general. They also slam both President Trump and the media for making outlandish accusations about the other in public when both sides have plenty of legitimate fodder to use. And they dismiss Valerie Plame’s billion-dollar crowdfunding effort to buy Twitter and close Trump’s account as nothing more than a quick money grab.

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Women of a Certain Age in America

 

Time was when women of a certain age had to rely on Mrs. Nancy Meyers and the late Nora Ephron for vaguely risque romantic stories. Well, there’s a new generation of Meyers for a new generation of women. And, boy, is newness needed! We are longer lived, especially the women, but afraid of getting older earlier. Women on the wrong side of 20 seldom are without the fear of getting on the wrong side of 30. In an America where marriage comes later and later and with less and less hope of it lasting a lifetime, romantic comedy is fast turning into a politically revolutionary act. Movies about daring at that certain age therefore could bring together women in facing the problem.

Behold Home Again, the product of a newer, younger Meyers, a story the silliness of which I will let you glean from the trailer. And what a story! It seems to teach women that 40-year-old mother-of-three Reese Witherspoon is worth making a movie about only if, abandoned, she then abandons herself to the romantic ideas of a boy who gets carded when he asks for a drink. Isn’t that dreadfully bittersweet, and something of an embarrassment? How did we end up here? What can we learn from the poetess of Boomer rebellion?

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Jim Geraghty of National Review is back! Today, after some sage insights on today’s solar eclipse, he and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud alumni and parents of college-age students for ending donations and sending their children to other schools after administrators there caved into the demands of social justice warriors in 2015. They also get chills in learning just how close ISIS came to blowing up an international jetliner and have a newfound appreciation for the weight limits for luggage. And they discuss the end of Steve Bannon’s time at the White House and what he means by saying the Trump presidency he worked for is effectively over.

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Antifa? Yeah, They’re Kinda Sorta Skinheads.

 

Punk riots. Skinheads. Before special snowflakes, SJWs, or the alt-right’s revolt against “the tyranny of nice” became a thing, musical subcultures I can’t even pretend to understand fractured along white-nationalist and anti-white-nationalist lines.

I can’t claim to understand the punk ethos – or ethe, ethea, or ethoses (fittingly, there are multiple ways to pluralize “ethos”) – but the news of my youth was vaguely colored by incidental stories of “direct action,” of “taking it to the streets,” of punks getting their riot gear ready. Often, the “oppression” they fought was gentrification, one more manifestation, apparently, of “the tyranny of nice.”

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The Day the Clown Died: Jerry Lewis at 91

 
Photo by Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

Jerry Lewis was the man you either loved or loathed. He was the boy who wouldn’t grow up. His style was brash and abrasive and yet even grudgingly admired by detractors. How can you gainsay a man that raises over $2 billion to fight neuromuscular diseases?

Lewis, aged 91, passed Sunday morning in Las Vegas.

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Flags, Statues, and Squirrels

 

Kevin Williams has answered one question, at least, about the sudden, bizarre fixation with pigeon-spatttered statuary: “national panics over Confederate revanchism, like New York Times crusades against homelessness, tend to coincide with Republican presidencies. That is not coincidence.” He goes on to say that “the Left’s vandalism is intended mainly to get a rise out of the Right, in the hopes of getting some Republican to wrong-foot himself over a racial question.”

By attacking statues of confederate soldiers and their less savory defenders, Williams points out, the left forces Republicans not just to defend free speech for Nazis, but also to re-hash a painful war that ended a century and a half ago. Clever.

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Creedence Clearwater Revival: The Last Great American Band of the ’60s

 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written a few pieces about the great American bands of the 1960s. I think I want to wrap up this particular series with Creedence Clearwater Revival. (Not to worry, there will be more music posts.)

If there is usually a fun fact associated with Creedence Clearwater Revival, it is that they have the record for the most number of No. 2 songs in the United States without having a No. 1 song. They had five No. 2 songs. It’s more interesting to me that almost every important CCR song, from “Proud Mary” to “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” was released between January of 1969 and December of 1970—just 2 years– over the course of five albums. I am not sure that any other rock act was so productive and at such a high level of quality in such a brief time. Any competition in that regard could probably be counted on one hand.

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The Projectionist’s Booth

 

The desire for everlasting fame in the shape of a star embedded in concrete is what keeps people coming to Hollywood to become a star and be “somebody,” and the engine of the American entertainment runs on narcissism. We elevate our movie stars so high above the rest of us, it gets to the point where some of us believe their political opinions should be taken seriously, just because they’re really good at smiling and memorizing lines to be read later.

Narcissism is not without it’s drawbacks: If you’re being told you’re the center of the universe, you tend to believe that you’re an expert on everything the universe contains, such as climatology, vaccinology, and geology, as if playing a scientist on the silver screen suddenly made you a scientist, or something.

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Robert Hardy, Friend of Freedom

 

Photo: Andrew Crowley
If an actor is lucky they will find that one role that they can really sink their teeth into, make it their own and remain forever seared into the minds of the public. Sir Robert Hardy found that not once, but three times over his illustrious career. He passed Thursday in London, aged 91.

For the younger generation he will be remembered as Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic in four of the eight Harry Potter films. But for us old folks he will always be Siegfried Farnon, the patriarchal head of the country veterinary practice in All Creatures Great and Small and as the definitive portrayer of Sir Winston Churchill. He played the wartime Prime Minister no less than nine times in movies, on television and from the stage.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America show optimism that new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly will bring stability and focus to the Trump administration. They also criticize Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski for her refusal to answer a question about why she did not vote for the repeal of Obamacare even though she voted in favor of repeal in 2015. And they react to Maryland Rep. John Delaney announcing his candidacy for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 2020, right after they figure out who he is.

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Fred Barnes talks about how every day is Groundhog Day at the White House. Then John Podhoretz and Jonathan Last debate Dunkirk.​

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