Tag: ACF

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #30: The Crisis of the Election

 

On the eve of the election, Pete Spiliakos and I complete our conversation on rhetoric and politics. We talk about the incredible corruption in the GOP, the weakness of the law and order campaign Trump kept tweeting about, and how difficult it is to even persuade people that being outlawed by tech corporations–social media, banking, news–is dangerous. We need new elites, populist and principled, that is, patriotic, serious about doing good things for the American people. Otherwise, we’re advancing with new shocking steps every week to what Pete calls “managed democracy” and what I call democracy without a demos. Egalitarianism that hates the majority…

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #29: Democracy & Rhetoric

 

So just before the election, we have a conversation on the catastrophes of the Republican Party, which seems to have succumbed to its own corruption. In 2020, patriotism would be quite helpful, since America’s elites are now openly anti-American and want a democracy built on excluding the majority of the American people. The most privileged white liberals talk incessantly about white supremacy and systemic racism–always someone else’s fault–like normal people say hello and goodbye. Yet America turns out not to have a Republican party willing to defend the nation, much less lead, and all this during a presidential election. Pete Spiliakos and I talk about what we learned about politics and rhetoric from Peter Lawler, and we apply it to our times.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Critic Series #41: Make Spielberg Great Again

 

Armond White’s back on the podcast. Barely a month after his work was collected in The Press Gang, he has a new collection of his essays and reflection on his career: Make Spielberg Great Again, So I talked to Armond about America’s most famous and most popular director of the last 50 years or so–what it means to be a pop artist, how image and sentiment go together, and what humanism in cinema means, how Spielberg is open to conservative morality and spiritual longing. Armond’s been critical of Spielberg’s latest decade, the Obama turn, but we instead talk about the praiseworthy turn he took during the Bush years.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Europe #12: A Hidden Life

 

Here’s a new conversation with our own resident expert on totalitarianism (including on-screen) @FlaggTaylor, about the beautiful new Terrence Malick movie, A Hidden Life. It’s now available for streaming–the true story of Franz Jaegerstaetter, a Catholic martyr in WWII in Austria, a young man, husband, and father of three daughters, who refused to swear the oath of loyalty to Hitler, retold from the letters he exchanged with his wife during his imprisonment.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #28: Winning Space

 

Today I talk to my friend Brandon Weichert about his tract for the times, Winning Space. Brandon’s gone from staff in Congress to the Institute of World Politics to Oxford for his grad studies and has emerged as the leading young advocate for what Trump called the US Space Force. We talk about America’s shocking satellite vulnerabilities, competition with China in space, and the nationalism required to deal with emerging technologies that will change our world.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Masters #10: The Palm Beach Story

 

As promised last week, after The Lady Eve comes The Palm Beach Story, the story of Tom (Joel McCrea, ever the straight-shooting visionary) and Gerry (Claudette Colbert, as leggy, witty, and chasing after glamour as ever), a couple who can’t stick together because his business doesn’t really make money and her desire to spend money on herself doesn’t really lead her to work. A very American couple experiences the American problem, money and beauty, or how you find out what you really want and how to get it, and it takes a comic poet to solve it.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Masters #9: The Lady Eve

 

Today, Zena Hitz returns to the podcast after collecting her laurels for the remarkable success of her book Lost In Thought: The Hidden Pleasures Of An Intellectual Life, or lifelong learning for all Americans. We’re continuing our series on America’s most hilarious comedy writer-director. Preston Sturges: We’ve already covered Sullivan’s Travels, today we turn to romantic comedy, or the problem of modern womanhood in America–The Lady Eve, or The Pratfall of Man. Hank Fonda is Charlie “Hopsy” Pike, heir to the Pike ale fortune and Amazon explorer returning to civilization. Barbara Stanwyck is Eugenia “Gene” Harrington (aka Eve), who hits him in the head with an apple the first time she lays eyes on him. Charlie Coburn is “Colonel” Harrington, her father, a wonderful con man. Eugene Pallette is his–Mr Pike of the bellowing laugh. William Demarest is Muggsy, Fonda’s guardian angel, a sweet soul and truthteller.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #27: Carl Eric Scott

 

This week, we’ve got Tocqueville, America, and rock music on the podcast–my friend Carl Eric Scott returns to the podcast to remember our great friend Peter Lawler and how blogging helped him both formulate and get across his thoughts to the great American audience, bridging the gap between his academic vocation and the press. We also talk about what we learned from him that’s led us to our own activity in music and film criticism respectively. We conclude with some talk about Carl’s Rock Songbook, a one-of-a-kind conservative investigation of rock music, the age, the ideas, even reflections on it in cinema, from a perspective educated by Plato, Allan Bloom, and Martha Bayless!

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Critic Series #40: The Press Gang

 

Today, I recorded a conversation with the three critics of the New York Press from 1991 to 2011, Godfrey Cheshire, Matt Zoller Seitz, and Armond White, who have a new book coming out, The Press Gang. We talk about cinema in the 1990s, criticism, and what it has to offer audiences.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #26: Flagg Taylor

 

This week, I talk to our own @FlaggTaylor about Peter Lawler, his Tocquevillian teaching and the comic way he delivered it, about Post Modern Conservative, our attempt to offer liberals arts thought to the broad American audience, and our friendship.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #25: Tom Harmon

 

This week’s podcast in memory of Peter Lawler is a conversation on education, higher education, elites, and the drama of our times. Tom Harmon’s a friend and a wonderful professor and we talk about everything of concern to conservatives now–what’s wrong with America’s cognitive elites, the new ruling class, how come it’s got such a powerful effect on conservative and Republican elites, too, how we might help conservatives who opt for homeschooling and classical schools, and what it takes to defend the American way of life.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Founders #6: Lucas Morel on Lincoln

 

Today, I’m joined by my friend and professor Lucas Morel of Washington and Lee University for a conversation about his new book, Lincoln And The American Founding, a worthy contribution to our much-needed civic education. The book’s a wonderful read–a concise explanation of Lincoln’s thought and rhetoric on Washington and the Founding, the Declaration (and Jefferson), the Constitution (and Madison), slavery, and original intent. We also talk about why the teaching of natural rights is again needed to defend America from elites and mobs.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Critic Series #39: Novels & Cinema

 

Today, I’m joined by Jody Bottum and Armond White to talk about novels and cinema–movie adaptations, when they work, how they can improve on literature, and when they fail. We talk about why it’s never been the case that a great novel has been turned into a great movie. We also talk about the difficulties of turning narration into performance.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #24: Paul Seaton

 

This is the anniversary of the birth of the patron of PoMoCon, Peter Lawler, and so we’re beginning the second series of podcasts we’re doing in his honor. After talking to public intellectuals–you can find all the links below–I turn to talking to the people closest to PoMoCon, in its First Things and National Review incarnations, as well as now at the American Cinema Foundation. I talk to my friend Paul Seaton, who teaches politics and philosophy at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, who’s known Peter more than 30 years and can speak to his intellectual journey.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #23: Republican Collapse

 

The 2016 Republicans won everything at every level of American politics, from state legislatures and governorships to the Congress and presidency, and then started appointing federal judges in record numbers and a couple of justices. Victory complete! Some of us said at the time, this might just be the 1976 Democrats, driven by victory to suicide. Well, it’s happening–zombie Reaganism and the epidemic have made every formerly patriotic politician a coward and law and order is either nostalgia or a cynical hustle. What now? Now we’re looking forward to elections this November… It’s not going to be easy to stop the collapse. My friend Pete Spiliakos and I get to the insanity of our elites and how and why Republicans neither want to nor know how to stop it.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Founders #5: Edmund Burke

 

Since this is July 14, Bastille Day, I bring you a special edition of the podcast–a conversation on the American and French Revolutions from the point of view of the British Empire, especially as understood by the greatest friend America had in Britain at the time, the philosophical statesman Edmund Burke, who is also a founding father of modern (including American) conservatism. I talk to Greg Collins, who teaches at Yale and did his Ph.D. at Catholic University of America, and has a wonderful new book on Burke’s political economy–Burke was the original wonk, he was a great defender of religion and law, but also a great promoter of commerce and private enterprise.

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…

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…

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.

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.