Brandon McGinley is a 2010 graduate of Princeton University. He writes from Pittsburgh, where he works for the Pennsylvania Family Institute and lives with his wife and daughter. His writing has appeared in Public Discourse, The Federalist, Fare Forward, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Catholic, and the Harrisburg Patriot-News.

Why the Rich Can’t Save Money

I must confess a certain amusement when I read hand-wringing articles like this New York magazine clickbait on the poor savings habits of the moderately wealthy. Only about half of those making low six figures, it turns out, have more than $1,000 reserved in a savings account. My reaction isn’t a kind of schadenfreude directed … Continued


Parenting and Prudence

Among the many controversies to emerge from the recent incident at the Cincinnati Zoo, the responsibilities of parenting is perhaps chief among them. I’m only a few years into parenthood, but I can say this with absolute confidence: Parenthood is the ultimate teacher and tester of the virtue of prudence. Let’s get this out of … Continued


The Case Against Man Caves

The only feature more requested by prospective buyers on HGTV real estate and renovation programs than an open-concept floor plan is a “man cave”—a room dedicated to the hobbies (usually alcohol and sports) of the man of the house. This is a malignant trend, both a symptom and, in turn, a cause of a juvenile, … Continued


How ‘Better Call Saul’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ Challenge the Progressive Worldview

One of the most important characters in Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad television universe, which now includes the delightful Better Call Saul prequel show, is never credited. This character appears in every episode, sometimes front-and-center and other times lurking silently but noticeably in the background. This constant presence is the landscape of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Vince … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Baby Mozart or Baby Adele?

Should parents expose young children to Adele or to Mozart? More broadly, should we try to form in our children an appreciation for worthy pop culture or for the classics of our civilization? The day Adele’s new single, “Hello” was released, I explained to our two-year-old daughter (as much as one can fruitfully explain anything … Continued

Culture, Entertainment, Music, Parenting

‘Zoo’ is the Zombie Apocalypse–But with Animals

I like to imagine that Zoo was a concept—zombie apocalypse, but with animals!—dreamed up by an intern. He fed this basic idea into whatever machine churns out “James Patterson” novels, and, voilà, a bestseller was born! If you haven’t heard of the book, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the television show: a so-bad-it’s-good … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Why ‘The Golden Girls’ is Still the Most Progressive Show on Television

One of the most self-consciously “progressive” shows on television features female roommates who pursue serial, emotionally fraught sexual relationships and whose stories generally serve to validate a liberal cultural outlook. I’m of course referring to The Golden Girls, which makes up the first half of the best late night lineup on television: The Hallmark Channel’s … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Enough is Enough: ‘Mad Men’ and the Purpose of Consumption

Being a show about advertising, Mad Men was always a show about consumer capitalism. And being a thoughtful show about consumer capitalism, Mad Men was always a show preoccupied with the question “When is enough—money, sex, power, consumption—enough?” What is the purpose, the end, the terminus of consumption? Of course it is happiness. But what … Continued

Entertainment, Television

Amanda Marcotte’s Affirmation Liturgy

A certain brand of progressive reads Amanda Marcotte for the same reason a certain brand of Evangelical watches Joel Osteen and a certain brand of know-it-all follows Neil deGrasse Tyson on Twitter: affirmation.  These figures may not be the best examples of their respective types, but they are very good at telling their devotees, implicitly … Continued