Tag: ACF

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #21: Dan Mahoney

 

So here’s the fifth interview in my series in remembrance of Peter Lawler — today, I talk with Dan Mahoney, America’s foremost authority on the thought of Solzhenitsyn, and the author of several other important books, especially on the greatest French thinkers and statesmen of the last two centuries, some of whom he’s translated. (You can find his books on his Amazon page.) We talk about American individualism, the troubles of democracy, and Peter’s Christian reflection on what it means to be a person — both individual and relational, both homeless in this world and at home, in community, with that homelessness…

https://soundcloud.com/user-77539699/acf-pomocon-21-dan-mahoney

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #20: Mark Henrie

 

Here’s the fourth conversation in our series in memory of Peter Lawler–I’m joined today by my friend Mark Henrie, to talk about his work as ISI, where he and Peter educated a part of conservatism’s young academic elites in the liberal arts for the better part of two decades, and also their work together on their wonderful Whit Stillman book! In between, we talk about Peter’s family and his Catholic outlook–the CIA comes in, as well as many other things…

https://soundcloud.com/user-77539699/acf-pomocon-20-mark-henrie

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #19: Yuval Levin

 

We continue our series in memory of the later public intellectual and professor of political philosophy Peter Lawler. Today, I talk with Yuval Levin, who served with Peter on the President’s Council on Bio-ethics in the George W. Bush administration, which was led by another distinguished conservative scholar, Leon Kass, Levin’s mentor. We talk about the council, about dignity, and the need for moderation, institutions, and a sympathetic understanding of each other, lest our conflicts lead to madness.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Europe #11: Mr Jones

 

So I talked to @FlaggTaylor about Mr. Jones, the new Agnieszka Holland movie about Gareth Jones, the Welsh journalist who dared to risk his life to reveal the truth about Stalin’s murder of millions of Ukrainians, the Holodomor, only to be faced with systematic lying by liberals in Moscow and Britain, orchestrated by Pulitzer prize winner Walter Duranty, who didn’t want to believe the truth, or publish it. In many ways, liberalism is back to its ’30s form.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Honor Clint Eastwood

 

The last of the stars, a veritable ancient at 90!, is also the most patriotic artist of our times. Yet he doesn’t have a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Bush didn’t want to do it. Trump’s not done it. We don’t even talk about it. Japan did it–France did it–even Obama awarded him a medal (along with Bob Dylan–they both chose to avoid attendance). I say it’s time we talked about it, spread word, got things going. We might find out that honor counts for something after all. Read my essay at Law & Liberty, and if you’re persuaded we should honor Clint, see whether there’s anyone you can tell about it. Read, share, and let’s talk Clint in the comments!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #18: Richard Reinsch

 

So this is the second in our series on the late professor of political philosophy and public intellectual Peter Lawler. Today, I talk with my friend Richard Reinsch, the editor at Law & Liberty, and co-author of Peter’s last book, A Constitution In Full, an attempt to retrieve the complex American history that made for the middle-class nation, especially to retrieve the complement to our excessive individualism–our relational being.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #17: Defend the Statues

 

Friends, today is a special UK edition of the podcast. British expat journalist Ben Sixsmith joins me to speak in defense of the statues now threatened in Britain, from Churchill on down. Churchill’s own blood apparently won’t! Somebody should, though, and apparently it’s those of us looking from afar. So we also attack the Tory elites that won’t defend the nation’s honor in its symbols, either in deed or speech. We damn the corporate-manager politicians who do not wield authority and do not seem to know their offices have dignity and importance. Where is Boris Johnson in this moment of national shame?

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #16: Pat Deneen on Lawler

 

Here at the ACF we’ve started a series of podcasts to remember the late professor of political philosophy and public intellectual Peter Lawler on the third anniversary of his death. Peter was a friend and mentor to many of us at the ACF, as well as many others. The first in the series is a discussion with Prof. Pat Deneen of Notre Dame, who has become famous for his book, Why Liberalism Failed, one of the rare books recommended both by conservatives and former president Barack Obama. We talk about Tocqueville, Strauss, the dangers democracy faces, and the right style for conservatives–the debate between post-modern conservatism and traditional conservatism! Friends, listen, read some Peter Lawler, and share our podcast!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Liberty Valance and the Cactus Rose

 

So a friend sends me news from the desert! This picture reminded me of the cactus rose in Liberty Valance, a contender for the greatest movie made in America–or anywhere, John Ford’s finest statement on the arrival of the Declaration of Independence, of justice, the laws, and a lawyer (Jimmy Stewart) who teaches a girl (Vera Miles) to read (her Bible, to begin with), to dream of real roses, and to choose the future. But in the past, there’s this other man (John Wayne), who knows she loves the cactus rose–a hardy growth which is beautiful over against the sublime desert–deadly, indifferent to man, eternal. There’s always that lingering memory of nature. The beauty of the vast wild American West reminds us always of freedom.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Titus Digest

 

Friends, if you’re looking for conservative cultural criticism, I’m your huckleberry, especially this week. To begin with the burning problem of burning down cities, here’s my op-ed today at Law & Liberty, hot off the presses, about how Senator Tom Cotton turned the weapons of liberalism against the liberals in his New York Times op-ed. I explain the terrible things liberalism has done to black Americans and why the lie of systemic racism is necessary to the seemingly moderate elite liberals as it is to the obviously mad Progressive activists.

As a companion piece, here’s my debut in the American edition of the Spectator yesterday: I remind America of black conservatism–focusing on family, community, work, and justice through legal action — not just because liberals have silenced the inconvenient voices of American treasures like Denzel Washington, but because young conservatives need him as much as young black men do.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Asia #9: Stray Dog

 

I talked to John Wilson and Joseph Bottum about Kurosawa’s Stray Dog, a movie about honorable policemen dealing with a generation of lost, confused Japanese youth in the aftermath of WWII, under American occupation, in a period when refounding Japan requires refounding the authority of the laws. Given our time of riots, when Americans are learning how many mad young men and women there are among us, this may be more urgent than we can have liked.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Critic Series #38: Dark City

 

This week, I talked to Justin Lee about Alex Proyas’s Dark City, the sci-fi neo-noir cult hit of 1998! (Perhaps eclipsed by the Matrix, which came out in 1999 and told a surprisingly similar story, indeed, the production of the latter bought props and sets from the former…) A man who loses his memory is chased by alien powers through a city of perpetual night, but discovers his super-natural powers in the process. Everything from Plato’s cave to our modern problem with innovation is in discussion.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Memorial Day: Patton

 

So we’re celebrating Memorial Day and I wrote an essay on Patton, the greatest American war movie. It’s a good day to watch the movie again, and to remember the great man. In my essay, I talk about the importance of great men in times of crisis, the limits of institutions and the specific character of the modern executive, and the way this ties to American character.

If I may also recommend VDH on Patton, perhaps as good a starter for conversation as the movie itself:

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Masters #8: Sullivan’s Travels

 

Since we’re facing a new Great Depression, here’s a comedy for our times: Sullivan’s Travels, Preston Sturges’s adventure through Great Depression America. From Hollywood to the chain gang, from hoboing on trains to a Southern church where black people sing about Moses setting them free. Prof. Zena Hitz has a new book out, Lost in Thought, about the pleasures and the worth of the intellectual life.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Asia #8: Drunken Angel

 

So here’s more Kurosawa–the doctor and the gangster, a story about Enlightenment, equality for women, American influence in post-war Japan more broadly, the importance of science for the modern regime, and of course we make some notes about the way we are ourselves now rebelling against the authority of doctors. This was Kurosawa’s first movie with Toshiro Mifune, who runs away to the story, to the point that people put his face on the poster, though he’s not the titular angel!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Founders #4: An Independent Empire

 

Friends, here’s my conversation with Michael Kochin about how to run a modern empire. His new book, An Independent Empire: Diplomacy & War in The Making of The United States, covers the American Revolution and the task of dominating the continent in the face of Indian tribes and European powers. We talk about the conflicts between means and ends in the early administrations, the rise and fall of the Federalist party, then the Republican party, the original parties in government in America, and the ways in which practical men like James Monroe might make better presidents than studious lawyers like James Madison, or the different kinds of Founders.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #15: Chris Arnade, ‘Dignity’

 

I interviewed writer/photographer Chris Arnade about his book Dignity, an all-American journey of 400,ooo miles around America for the best part of a decade, trying to fulfill the promise of Christianity and democracy, that everyone should count in some way as a human being. We talk about front-row and back-row America, the new education-based elites and the people they have forsaken while claiming to champion, about the resilience of faith in America and the desire for community taking root at McDonald’s in places that have nothing else, and about the hope and despair of the people our public discourse and media ignore. You can get his wonderful book on Amazon.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Special Podcast: Hitchcock Anniversary

 

April 29 is the 40th anniversary of Hitchcock’s death, so I thought I’d share our podcasts on his wonderful movies. The conversation, however, will be a commemorative free-for-all — come one, come all! What are your Hitchcock memories, questions, and praise for the remarkable poet of a modernizing America? If you’re looking for a recommendation, mind you — the wonderful French director Eric Rohmer wrote a book about Hitchcock.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Asia #7: The Bad Sleep Well

 

The podcast’s back to Kurosawa: This week we’re talking about The Bad Sleep Well, a wonderful 1960 revenge drama about the corruption of post-War Japanese elites. Crony capitalism, murder, traditions traduced, false identities, and Jody Bottum and John Wilson to talk to me about it. Next week we’re talking about Kurosawa’s Drunken Angel, for those who want a recommendation!

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #14: Honor vs. Celebrity

 

I talked to my friend Scott Beauchamp about his book, Did You Kill Anyone?, honor’s criticism of commerce, or how the military is more of a community than, well, communities often are. We start with the strangest thing about our times–that we’ve replaced honor with celebrity! You can buy his book on Amazon!

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