Art and Culture

Eulogy for Neil Peart, Champion of Freedom

– January 12, 2020

Having only retired about four years ago, so many fans of Rush (myself included) had convinced ourselves that this was a temporary hiatus, and that in a year or two – eventually, at any rate – there would be an announcement of a new album, a short tour, or some other project.

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Art and Culture, Monetary Policy

The Hobbit Teaches that We Can’t Eat Money

– January 4, 2020

There are a lot of good economic lessons to be learned from popular culture. Perhaps that’s not surprising, as the subject matter of economics is ingrained in our very humanity and movies and the arts reflect aspects of human life. By chance alone, som …

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Art and Culture

Don’t Drag Little Women Into the Gender Wars

– December 28, 2019

Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Eliza Scanlen and Florence Pugh in Columbia Pictures’ LITTLE WOMEN. Like you and everyone, I’ve been annoyed and tricked by movies that seemed from trailers to be about cool things only to have them turn out to be artistic v …

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Art and Culture

Wandering Oaken Should Be Your Favorite Frozen Character

– December 25, 2019

The recent release of Disney’s Frozen II brings up a lot of very good memories from the last several years. My daughter is nine, which means I know pretty much every line to every song in Disney’s runaway mega-hit Frozen. A few years ago, she was in he …

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Art and Culture

If There Was a War on Christmas, It Flopped

– December 24, 2019

You worry about the commercialization of Christmas? Christmas began in commerce – a mysterious and transcendent exchange in which eternity gave to time the greatest gift.

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Art and Culture

Libertymás, A Holiday for the Rest of Us

– December 8, 2019

In the spirit of Seinfeld’s Festivus, the holiday “for the rest of us,” I proffer Libertymás. It’s Spanglish for “more liberty” rather than short for liberty’s mass, a la Michaelmas. (The key is that little mark above the a.) Every holiday needs its lo …

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Art and Culture

Is it Proper for Men to Be Creative with Formal Wear?

– December 6, 2019

Only modern capitalistic economies created a glorious opportunity for everyone to dress in the attire reserved for the royalty of old. We democratized formality, and there’s no better time to show precisely how this works than during the holiday season.

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Art and Culture

The Remarkable Power of “The Irishman”

– December 2, 2019

Hardly a day goes by — certainly no major holiday or sporting event does — where American military personnel aren’t breathlessly thanked for their service. Frank Sheeran — “The Irishman” — is the dark, shattered underbelly of that service.

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Art and Culture

See Ford v Ferrari to Restore Your Faith in Movies

– November 29, 2019

Just when you think politics is ruining everything in American life, at the very moment when we’ve all just come to assume that every movie out there will have a manipulative message designed to beat back our bourgeois sensibilities and turn them into …

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Art and Culture
frozen-II-poster

Frozen II: Saved by Blessedly Superficial Viewers

– November 24, 2019

The great news is that, so far as I can tell, viewers aren’t very interested in the climate-crisis-post-colonial-critical-theory-identitarian elements of the story and prefer to think mainly about the cute fire gekko, Elsa’s taming of the icy horse, and Anna’s awesome boots.

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