Schooling Novelist Lucinda Rosenfeld About Public Education

Even the best satirists have blind spots. That’s the lesson from Lucinda Rosenfeld’s new novel, Class. The story of Karen Kipple, a white liberal Brooklyn mother whose principles are constantly being tested by the realities around her, the novel is a great send-up of a certain segment of New York. Kipple sends her daughter to … Continued

Books, Culture

The Perils of the Millennial Addiction Memoir

“One of the most striking characteristics of drug takers,” writes the psychiatrist and writer Theodore Dalrymple, “is their intense and tedious self-absorption; and their journeys into inner space are generally forays into inner vacuums.” Empty self-absorption has been a central feature of the addiction memoir and its many derivations, from Thomas De Quincey’s hallucinatory “apocalypse … Continued

Books, Culture

Why We Need a Return to Real Life

It’s time to return to real life. I think we all feel it. Perhaps few acknowledge it because of the consequence implied by the action: get off Facebook, put down the smartphone, and get face-to-face with someone. You can’t curate your existence as you stand in front of someone. “We have become so accustomed to … Continued

Culture, Tech

Pipelines, Politics, and Suicide

Of all the depressing statistics that one could report about Native Americans—the highest rate of poverty of any racial group, the highest rates of gang violence, sexual assault rates at 2.5 times the national average—perhaps none is as disturbing as this: Suicide is the second leading cause of death for males between the ages of … Continued

Culture

Why Karlie Kloss Was Accused of “Cultural Appropriation” in ‘Vogue’

Last week, Elizabethtown College Democrats handed out white puzzle piece pins to students as a way to remind them of their “white privilege.” Well, those students ought to send supermodel Karlie Kloss a whole suitcase full of those pins—although after the week she’s had, she probably already feels bad enough about being white. It all … Continued

Culture

Why OkCupid’s Trump Filter is Bad for Romance

To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, the online dating website OkCupid introduced new features designed to help users “connect on a deeper level.” The changes include a new category of questions for users to answer, which in turn gives potential matches a better understanding of their personalities and—most crucially —their political beliefs. OkCupid users can … Continued

Culture

Rosa Parks, Little Caesars Pizza, and the Power of Generosity

What do Rosa Parks and Little Caesars Pizza have in common? More than you might think. Mike Ilitch, the founder of Little Caesars and owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings, passed away on February 10th, and since his death, news of his secret generosity has come to light. After Rosa Parks, a … Continued

Culture

The Brave New World of Publishing’s “Sensitivity Readers”

Nothing so surely kills artistic expression and the free spirit of the imagination as political dogma. When politics hijacks art the result is propaganda—a blunt instrument of control instead of a vehicle for transcendance. The Chicago Tribune reports that book publishers have begun to increase use of so-called “sensitivity readers” to examine manuscripts and to … Continued

Culture

‘Silence’ and the Challenges of Cultural Relativism

In Martin Scorsese’s Silence, a new movie based on Shusaku Endo’s novel of the same name, Jesuit priests try to smuggle Christianity into 17th-century Japan. It’s futile, say their opponents, because the locals don’t have the Western mentality required to follow Christ. Nature-worship is so ingrained in the Japanese that they “can’t conceive of anything … Continued

Books, Culture, Entertainment

What the Late-Night Lefties Get Wrong

When you make comedy subordinate to politics, the humor suffers. Once upon a time, late-night comedians told jokes. Now, apparently, they “destroy” people. Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart was the original “destroyer,” as National Review’s Kevin Williamson discussed in a brilliant 2014 piece. Today, the chief “destroyers” include Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Politics