The Moral Meaning of ‘The Sopranos,’ Ten Years Later

On the evening of June 10, 2007, untold numbers of Americans simultaneously wondered if their televisions or cable service had malfunctioned. They had been watching perhaps the most iconic final scene in TV history, which concluded perhaps the most celebrated show in TV history. In the decade since then, fans of The Sopranos have argued—and … Continued

Entertainment

A ‘Washington Post’ Columnist Thinks ‘Manworld’ is Reason for Manchester Terrorist Attack

Until last week, I had never seen “manworld” used as a feminist pejorative. Then I read Petula Dvorak’s May 26th column in the Washington Post, which holds “manworld” collectively responsible for, among other things, the recent terrorist attack in Manchester, England. Really. Here’s how the column begins: What’s that you’re saying, manworld? You don’t want women … Continued

Culture

How High-Pressure Parenting Undermines Character Building

Writing recently in the Economist’s bimonthly cultural magazine 1843, Ryan Avent reflected on the intense, achievement-focused parenting style that has become so prevalent among America’s upper class. Fueled by the sense that (a) college admissions have never been more competitive and (b) attending the “right” school has never been more important to one’s future success, … Continued

Parenting

Love ‘The Americans’, But Resist Cold War Nostalgia

Not long after the Cold War ended, many Americans became nostalgic for it. In a November 1999 speech at Tufts University, for example, then–Democratic presidential candidate Bill Bradley declared: “Until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, we were sure about one thing: We knew where we stood on foreign policy.” At the time, … Continued

Politics, Television

Why Sarah Silverman Is Wrong about Motherhood and Sacrifice

Comedian Sarah Silverman doesn’t have children, and she wants the whole world to know why. “As a comic always working & on the road,” she recently tweeted, “I have had to decide between motherhood & living my fullest life & I chose the latter.” As a comic always working & on the road I have … Continued

Celebrities

How Historical Illiteracy Fuels Political Polarization

Greater knowledge of the past would help improve America’s public discourse. Once again, President’s Day has come and gone and Americans spent little time reflecting on their past leaders—in part, because Americans know so little history at all, even about the country’s most well-known Founding Fathers. For example, in a 2012 survey commissioned by the … Continued

history, Politics

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

Stop Bothering Tom Brady about Donald Trump

As a Baltimore Ravens fan, I am legally required to hate Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Yet at the risk of being excommunicated from Ravens Nation, I must admit that I’ve always had a soft spot for Brady, who is by all accounts a devoted father, a terrific teammate, and a loyal friend. … Continued

Politics, Sports

Why We Need a Revival of Humility

The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius called it “the solid foundation of all virtues.” Nineteenth-century South African theologian Andrew Murray said the loss of it represented “the root of every sin and evil.” One of Murray’s contemporaries—the renowned British art critic John Ruskin—described it as “the first test of a great man.” They were talking about … Continued

Politics