West Side Story, Sixty Years On

– February 25, 2020

Now comes our own rumble called election year, and the weapons of choice keep escalating: fists, hoses, belts, chains, knives, guns, and where does it end? There is a lesson here for all of us, and it is fitting that the remake on Broadway makes this obvious parallel explicit.


What Brilliant TikTok Reveals about Human Creativity

– February 17, 2020

I used to make it a habit to try out all the latest social technology, if only to observe its function, rules, and contribution to the culture. That habit stopped last year during the “techlash:” I too found myself convinced that we’ve probably overind …


How Negativity Wrecks Relationships and Businesses

– February 13, 2020

In relationships, all the good things are drowned by hostile tones, eye rolls, denials of responsibility, along with insults. The same holds true in business.


“Parasite” Is a Preposterous Film Rooted in Class-Struggle Nonsense

– February 6, 2020

To be fair, movies are supposed to be escapist to some degree. And the stories, to be good, must be a little bit implausible. Fine, except that with Parasite Bong Joon-ho is thoroughly insulting the intelligence of his viewers.

Shakira Super Bowl

Shakira’s Musical Disquisition on Uncertainty, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship

– February 4, 2020

Shakira’s performance at the Super Bowl halftime was of course, as one would expect, incredibly wonderful. She has a history of providing more than entertainment, however. Her song “Try Everything” from the thrilling animated film Zootopia offers a dee …


The Super Bowl Proves that America Is Not Broken

– February 3, 2020

The whole effect of the awesome sights and sounds of this year’s Super Bowl – which, let us not forget, is an achievement of private enterprise – was to underscore what most of us know in our hearts. Our civilization is not falling apart.


An Economic Answer to the Question: Why Did Thor Get Fat?

– January 31, 2020

Explaining Thor’s slovenly despair as the product of pizza, TV, and alcohol per se ignores root causes that might be a lot harder to change or dislodge.


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.


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 …


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 …


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 …


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.