Why Tom Petty’s Music Will Endure

Tom Petty never enjoyed the sort of rhapsodic critical acclaim and promotional hype that Bruce Springsteen did. He was never considered a genius-level guitarist like Eric Clapton or a genius-level lyricist like Bob Dylan. And he never used his musical celebrity to become an international social and political activist like U2’s Bono. All he did … Continued


Could ‘Fatal Attraction’ Get Made in 2017?

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of a film that unleashed a torrent of feminist criticism, scared untold numbers of husbands into avoiding marital infidelity, and became the world’s highest-grossing movie of the year. Three decades later, Fatal Attraction remains a cultural touchstone. Back in February, for example, Saturday Night Live parodied the 1987 thriller … Continued


In Defense of Bourgeois Culture—and Professor Amy Wax

Reading Amy Wax’s CV is a profoundly humbling experience. Wax graduated summa cum laude from Yale College with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. Then she did a Marshall Scholarship at Oxford before earning a medical degree from Harvard. She also gained admission to Harvard Law School, and ultimately received her J.D. from Columbia, … Continued


When Will Hollywood Tackle the Opioid Crisis?

The scale and scope of America’s opioid epidemic are hard to fathom. On August 10, President Trump formally declared the epidemic a national emergency, per the recommendation of his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. In its interim report, issued on July 31, the commission presented some horrifying numbers. For example: Drug … Continued


Why America Needs a Humble First Lady

Among the many adjectives one might use to describe a former supermodel who posed nude for photographers and married a billionaire Manhattan tabloid star, “humble” ranks pretty far down the list. Yet the defining characteristic of Melania Trump’s opening months as first lady has been her humility. In that sense, Mrs. Trump is the first … Continued


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


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


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