Tag: pomocon

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #12: Plague Politics


Pete Spiliakos and I talk about politics in the age of the plague–what’s so insane about supply-side economics, what it means to think politically and prudentially, what the common good requires, and how to understand our weaknesses that we may deal with them. Fear is good, seriousness is required, preparing for the crisis unfolding, and planning for overcoming it is the sequence we need to go through. Pete and I have praise for Tucker Carlson and Sen. Tom Cotton, and a lot of criticism for everyone else.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #11: The Three Waves of Liberalism


This weekend, the podcast’s back to cultural criticism–Oliver Traldi and I continue our series of conversations about the world the internet is making. We about the quarrel between Progressives and liberalism, about the noble free speech stand of the Intellectual Dark Web and their difficulties with accounting for that nobility, about generational politics–Boomers, X-ers, Zoomers, and Millennials fighting it out to define American culture anew, the transformation of the internet from a place of anonymity to competitive exhibitionism, and also Aristotle’s treatise on the soul!

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Middlebrow #34: Die Hard Christmas


Friends, the ACF brings you Chris Wolfe for Christmas–we talk about Die Hard, the story of an unexpected redeemer coming to deliver us from temptation in winter’s peril. No, really–Chris argues that we should take Sgt. Al Powell as–well, ourselves, the audience, who root for John McClane, but are powerless to do anything ourselves, but yearn to help him–Sgt. Al redeems himself in the course of the movie, as is indeed America redeemed by withstanding the corruption foisted on us by elite institutions that arrogantly remove from us any self-government, all the while exposing us to violence and lawlessness…

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Thanksgiving Edition: Scott Beauchamp on Community and Honor


Friends, we have a special interview today in our PoMoCon series–with my friend Scott Beauchamp, who like many other young Americans, signed up for the military and deployed to Iraq, and like a large number of veterans, has talked about his experience (in this case, in a book). What makes Scott unique is, his war book is not a memoir, but a work of cultural criticism, much more his intellectual and spiritual autobiography than talking about himself. Scott has a lot to say about the good that comes of war, given that war is terrible–the community of honor and how it helps a man to grow up and what it suggests about what we’re missing in our society.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #7: Intellectual Dark Web


Hello and welcome to very online America–I talked to my friend Oliver Traldi about the online culture and academic wokeness that provoked the backlash of the intellectual dark web. To an extent, the internet gave voice to the pathological side of America, which is a complicated mess of escaping real life–meat space!–but also getting new things out of life that then turn out to have certain costs. Online conflict is between the woke attempt to perfect TED talks as a new ideology-etiquette for the urban, wealthier, more educated side of America–and their adversaries, who are themselves split between liberals and just angry people on the internet who don’t like woke bullying. The IDW attempt to restore Enlightenment public reason is for that reason noble, since it’s so unlikely that any institutional alliance could summon majority support.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF PoMoCon #6: Ben Sixsmith on Twitter Culture


Culture in the age of social media–here’s my conversation with writer Ben Sixsmith about the vast democratization of communications brought about by digital technology and the vast concentration of the public space in a handful of corporations. It’s not made us happy and good, but instead created new political conflicts and social drama. It’s an interesting time, but hardly bearable–so you might like some thoughts on Twitter, YouTube, and various other observations about what it’s like to be human plus digital. Also, if you’re interested in a fine read on British-Polish relations, Ben’s book is the thing for you!

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Pomocon #5: Education


Today, I interview Spotted Toad, of Twitter fame, about his book on education. He now works in public policy research, a moderately quant guy, as he says–but he was once an idealistic Teach For America kinda guy, who taught the sciences for ten years in public schools in New York and then upstate, among the poor as well as the well to do, in different communities and different periods of the ongoing failure of Progressive education reform. He eventually wrote a lovely, all-American, Emersonian book of reflections on his experience and you can buy it for 99 cents on Amazon as e-book and read it in an afternoon. It’s intelligent and poetic at the same time, devoid of narcissism, and serious about the problems a young teacher faces. This is the sort of conservatism I think we should encourage and so this is me doing my part!

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. PoMoCon Four: Elites vs. Digital


James Poulos, recently named Executive Editor of American Mind, a worthy publication of the Claremont Institute, joins me for a conversation on the changes digital technology has created and revealed in this time of elite crisis in America and around the world. We also talk up a triad of cultural criticism whose moment has come: Philip Rieff, Christopher Lasch, and Marshall McLuhan. I’ll go so far as to boast that our conversation is a good example of what this triad has to offer by way of analysis of elites.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. PoMoCon One: The GOP as Budding Oligarchy


Hello, folks, just in case you’re not fed up with hearing my political opinions, there’s a new venue for that! I’m bringing back the old PoMoCon brand, a term the late Peter Lawler so skillfully and humorously used to describe the properly Tocquevillian American conservative of the 21st century.

My friend Pete Spiliakos, another old PoMoCon hand, also a columnist over at First Things online and writer at NRO, is my first interlocutor. We talk about elite corruption in the GOP. Some thoughts you’ll encounter in our discussion:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF#16: Last Days of Disco


Here’s a first podcast from Rome, a much-needed companion to my podcast on Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress, with Carl Eric Scott and Flagg Taylor. Carl and I now talk about Stillman’s Last Days of Disco to give you our insights into the possible education of young Americans by cocktails, dancing, and conversation. We mount a qualified defense of disco and a less-qualified defense of the comedy of manners as an examination of American character and the possibilities for love and friendship that seem to give meaning to higher education. Carl and I also talk at some length about things we learned about Stillman from the late Peter Lawler, a kind of mentor to both of us. Friends, listen to the podcast and please share it, if you like it.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post


So some of our fellow Ricochetti are taking over FOX by storm, bringing sense & an end to the simplistic fears concerning the election & others are taking the NYPost by storm & testifying to the sins of the establishment. These are the salad days!, the halcyon days!, the heydays! Except for the republic, but […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post


The Coen Bros. have a new movie, a comedy remarkably free of the sordid, & it’s trying to tell important truths about ’50s America, which is a meeting of past & future America, & has much to recommend it to both left & right. The movie makes fun of the nostalgia on both sides, but […]

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This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.