‘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

Drain the White House Correspondents Dinner!

  If Donald Trump’s presidency deals the death blow to the incestuous White House Correspondents Dinner, that alone will go some ways towards draining the swamp that is Washington. Journalists like to call the annual dinner, traditionally held in the spring at the Washington Hilton, the “nerd prom”; a humble brag that conjures up something … Continued

Entertainment, Politics

Why We Need to Bring Back Archie Bunker

Comedy as social commentary is nothing new. You can go back to the days of Jonathan Swift, who wrote the outrageous, “A Modest Proposal,” as a means of bringing attention to the poor Irish. Comedians such as Lenny Bruce were doing it in the 1960’s with their standup comedy – touching on issues such as … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Why I Don’t Watch ‘Saturday Night Live’ Anymore

As a boy, one phrase meant more to me than anything else in my pop culture world: “Live from New York. . . it’s Saturday Night!” Today, that phrase has an entirely new meaning—the corruption of a once-beloved franchise. That’s how far the increasingly partisan Saturday Night Live has fallen for this lifelong fan. And, … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Should You Watch ‘The Young Pope’? Nope

The great Catholic writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton once said, “It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.” I wonder what Old Chesterton would think of the latest effort from HBO, The Young Pope, a show that, judging by its first few episodes, is neither funny nor a test of … Continued

Entertainment, Television