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April 01, 2009

Daily roundup

Weapons of Mass Distraction

Quiverfull As the resident "birth dearth" guy, I wasn't prepared for my reaction to this NPR story. As a Catholic who has written a lot about the impact of falling birth rates (if you are so inclined, Google "Roberto Rivera" and "birth dearth" or "empty cradle" to see just how much), you would expect that I would applaud a story about my evangelical brethren eschewing birth control and having big families.

Instead, I felt kind of creepy. It obviously wasn't the subject matter and it wasn't the families featured in the report -- I liked them a lot.

It wasn't the quality of the reporting, either. While, as my friend Terry Mattingly will tell you, the press doesn't "get religion," NPR does. This is especially true of Barbara Bradley Hagerty. And it certainly wasn't anything that Kathryn Joyce, the author of Quiverfull: Inside The Christian Patriarchy Movement, had to say. I tune out terms like "Patriarchy movement" and those who speak them.

No, what creeped me was what Nancy Campbell, "a leader of the Quiverfull movement," told NPR:

"The womb is such a powerful weapon; it's a weapon against the enemy . . . I think, help! Imagine if we had had more of these children! . . . My greatest impact is through my children. The more children I have, the more ability I have to impact the world for God."

Sigh. Stuff like this strengthens my growing conviction that translating the scriptures into the vernacular was, on balance, a bad idea. While I guess that I should be grateful that Campbell doesn't think that children are literally projectiles (although you never know), calling them "weapons" is the kind of thing that if we were Jewish would be called a shanda fur die goyim (a shame before the Gentiles), something that brings us all into disrepute before the world by confirming some of the worst suspicions about us.

Continue reading "Weapons of Mass Distraction" »

March 30, 2009

Twitter and TMI

The Agony and the Ecstasy Continuing the Twitter conversation -- this is priceless:

Imagine the informational misery previous generations were spared because Twitter wasn't around yet.

Michelangelo: "Sistine Chapel ceiling larger than it looks; back is killing me."

Christopher Columbus: "No sign of land yet."

Robert Peary: "Man, it's cold up here."

(Image  © 20th Century Fox)

March 26, 2009

Daily roundup

John Calvin, rock star

John-calvin Which theologian is setting the world on fire right now? According to TIME, it's the one celebrating his 500th birthday this year.

Calvinism is back, and not just musically. John Calvin's 16th century reply to medieval Catholicism's buy-your-way-out-of-purgatory excesses is Evangelicalism's latest success story, complete with an utterly sovereign and micromanaging deity, sinful and puny humanity, and the combination's logical consequence, predestination: the belief that before time's dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.

Reggie Kidd analyzes this piece at Common Grounds Online (bringing in a quote from our own Catherine Larson). Meanwhile, Tim Challies reports on a recent "John Calvin Mini-Conference," going into greater depth about Calvinist theology.

(Image courtesy of Theology Forum)

March 24, 2009

Daily roundup

The Roosevelts are back in the White House

Eleanor Speaking of gardens -- first Barack was FDR, now Michelle is Eleanor.

As a man sows

Garden With the economy forcing people to, well, economize, Americans are rolling up their sleeves and rediscovering vegetable gardens. According to the AP, we're supposed to call them "recession gardens," although the 1940s name of "victory gardens" sounds a whole lot cheerier. 

Those gardens, modeled after a White House patch planted by Eleanor Roosevelt in 1943, were intended to inspire self-sufficiency, and at their peak supplied 40 percent of the nation's fresh produce, said Roger Doiron, founding director of Kitchen Gardeners International.

Wow--can you imagine if 40 percent of our fresh produce came from our backyards? What would that look like? Maybe we could stop popping so many vitamin pills and get the healthy glow that comes from fresh vegetables and sunshine. Maybe the Global Food Crisis would disappear as American farmers were able to meet international need. Maybe people in our own communities wouldn't go hungry if we were each able to plant one extra row for a local food bank. Maybe we would one day hear Jesus say, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat." Sounds like victory to me.

(Image © AP)

March 23, 2009

Daily roundup

March 20, 2009

Daily roundup

March 19, 2009

Daily roundup

Bored? Join a Flashmob

Tired of playing video games, twittering, Facebooking, or contemplating your navel? Then flash mobs might be for you.

A flash mob activity might include walking into the Grand Central Station in New York City or a Whole Foods store and, on cue, freezing in mid-motion for, say, five minutes. Then another cue tells you to nonchalantly carry on as if nothing had happened.

In San Francisco it got messy as the mob conducted a public pillow fight. City officials were not too happy about this as it cost thousands of dollars to clean it up.

You can read about the trend here, or watch the video showing how it worked in Whole Foods.

And here's a question to ponder: Will there ever be a flash mob actually doing something meaningful?


Whole Foods Flash Freeze from Flash Mob Austin on Vimeo.

March 16, 2009

RE: The Coming Evangelical Collapse

If you followed the links in Gina's post, you may have decided that MIchael Spencer’s predictions are overly apocalyptic -- like this:

Within two generations, evangelicalism will be a house deserted of half its occupants...This collapse will herald the arrival of an anti-Christian chapter of the post-Christian West. Intolerance of Christianity will rise to levels many of us have not believed possible in our lifetimes, and public policy will become hostile toward evangelical Christianity, seeing it as the opponent of the common good. Millions of Evangelicals will quit. Thousands of ministries will end. Christian media will be reduced, if not eliminated. Many Christian schools will go into rapid decline. I'm convinced the grace and mission of God will reach to the ends of the earth. But the end of evangelicalism as we know it is close.

But if current trends hold, there are, no doubt, troubling times ahead for Christians (but haven't there always been!).

According to a recent survey referenced here (CNN has more), the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Christians is 75 percent, down from 86 percent in 1990. Perhaps more disturbing is that the only result found consistent from state to state is “an increase in the number of people expressing no religious affiliation.” With the increased social acceptability of “having no religion,” this is a trend that will prove challenging to reverse.

Spencer lists seven things foreshadowing the coming evangelical breakdown, the most significant, in my mind, being, “We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.”

Continue reading "RE: The Coming Evangelical Collapse" »

March 13, 2009

’The coming evangelical collapse’

This dire prediction has been making the rounds for a few days now, in two slightly different forms (here's the original blog post). It keeps popping up in e-mails, Facebook pages, and pretty much everywhere else I look. What do you think of it? A likely event, or a fate that's preventable?

March 12, 2009

Words, Words, Words, Nothing but Words

This is a follow-up on a discussion we started about the deleterious idea that one evolutionary biologist (EB) proposed to his fellow EBs. Because of unpleasant associations with the Intelligent Design group, this fellow wanted to eliminate the use of the word “design” to ensure that ideas about ID that don’t fit within the framework of his worldview would not be heard.

The "word" problem is much larger than the issue of biology and design. As Pointificator David says, "The...'abuse of language' is a problem that shows up everywhere. Whether done by ideological opponents, the government or 'Madison Avenue,' calculated manipulation via words is as reprehensible as it is common." David has a further point to make: "The careless use of language may actually cause more damage."

Words give meaning and purpose to our lives, but sadly, the words and their meanings that make a difference in the very way we live, like "freedom" and "dignity," have been slowly eroding as cultural sophists have been busy at work changing meanings of words. For instance, the word "truth" has been neutered to mean whatever you think it means. Christianity, from which we get our rights, has been vilified. The virtues (temperance, prudence, fortitude, justice, faith, hope, and love) have been eerily transposed into bad words. Other concepts like first principles and natural law are ideas that people simply don’t understand. 

I thought it might be prudent for all of us to start illustrating abuses of language abuses as we see them here at The Point.

In the meantime, here's an article about words that some say transcend the test of time. One of the most interesting parts of this article to me is that words about personhood have been around at least 30,000 years. 

March 11, 2009

Recession Means Schizophrenic Crime Trends

You're either safer than you've ever been ... or in more danger than ever.

A recent headline in the Las Vegas Review Journal: "Official says recession puts dent in crime."

Nevada's corrections director is claiming that the recession deserves a pat on the back for a recent slump in the state's crime rates. Apparently, financial crises make people stay home more, reducing the number of potential victims on the streets. Add to that the number of unemployed parents who now cast a keener watchful eye on their trouble-making youth. Nevada is so convinced that crime is on the "down and down" that they're reevaluating their prison plans.

Over in Idaho, the opposite seems to be true, as claimed by this Fox News report: "'Recession Crime' Increasing in Idaho." Here, shoplifting is on the rise as money troubles make more fingers sticky.

It's probably much too early to predict which trend will become the norm, if either. Richard Rosenfeld, a sociologist at University of Missouri-St. Louis, said that there can be a year-long lag between economic change and crime rates.

So, Idaho criminals + peace-loving Nevadans - one-year lag time = correlation between economy and crime rates?

How about this formula instead: fear + crime + unpredictability = human nature.

March 09, 2009

Daily roundup

Calling All Evangelical Alpha Males

Bushandchuck Terry Mattingly at GetReligion.org is pondering the direction of the conservative Christian movement. In a recent blog entry, Mattingly examines the graying of many of the "religious right's" elder statesmen, and wonders who the next "alpha males" might be to take the baton from their predecessors. He notes the recently announced retirement of Dr. James Dobson from the chairmanship of Focus on the Family, the passing of prominent Christian conservatives such as Richard John Neuhaus and Jerry Falwell, and the advancing age of many of those who remain active in the arena (including a certain "alpha male" known and loved in these parts).

"The crucial point," says Mattingly, "is that these Alphas are leaders of religious movements that, in defending their doctrines and beliefs, end up taking stands in the public square. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, these leaders possessed unique talents that inspired their own troops. Those movements are all facing painful transitions and the clock is ticking, ticking, ticking."

So what say you? Who are the young evangelicals who are poised to fill the gap being left by these men?

(Image © The White House)

March 06, 2009

Great Moments in Invective -- Blogosphere Edition

The_world_dubai_03 Suppose you're like me, a loser who sits around watching the Discovery Networks and the National Geographic Channel. Also suppose that, like me, you're at least a somewhat intelligent loser. Then, you will have undoubtedly watched shows about all the construction going on in Dubai: the Burj al Arab, the "world's only seven-star hotel," the Burj Dubai, soon to be the world's tallest building, and Ski Dubai. (That's not a joke. Really.)

You will have also wondered: why? What's the point? Dubai is hot. Very hot, and it's not a dry heat, either. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of places where people with money can go to have a good time. Why would anyone think that they would choose someplace on the Persian Gulf? More to the point: why would bankers lend people money to build expensive properties like this in the expectation that people with money would choose to make this their home away from home?

Well, it seems that reality has caught up with Dubai. In a truly great bit of invective, the folks at Smashing Telly sum up the idiocy that is Dubai (article contains profanity):

Short of opening a Radio Shack in an Amish town, Dubai is the world’s worst business idea, and there isn’t even any oil. Imagine proposing to build Vegas in a place where sex and drugs and rock and roll are an anathema. This is effectively the proposition that created Dubai - it was a stupid idea before the crash, and now it is dangerous. . . .

Dubai is a place for the shallow and fickle. Tabloid celebrities and worn out sports stars are sponsored by swollen faced, botox injected, perma-tanned European property developers to encourage the type of people who are impressed by fame itself, rather than what originated it, to inhabit pastiche Mediterranean villas on fake islands. [It's] a grotesquely leveraged version of time-share where people are sold a life in the same way as being peddled a set of steak knives.

Continue reading "Great Moments in Invective -- Blogosphere Edition" »

March 05, 2009

Daily roundup

Goodbye Starbucks, hello pantry

Coffee mug Most of us are looking for ways to cut back, save or do without. While the political machine is churning out stimulus plans and printing money for the bailout as fast as the presses will spin, we at The Point are proud to offer our own solution to the crisis--at least, that part of the crisis that involves whether or not to jump in your gas-guzzling SUV and drive five miles to buy a $4 cup of coffee.

In a spirit of stewardship and camaraderie, we offer you the Recession Mocha.

This recipe was perfected in my very own test kitchen, which, although it lacks the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, has gained the less lucrative but more rewarding seal of approval of my friends and family. So here's the recipe. 

Take your favorite mug. Add a teaspoon of Folger's instant coffee, a teaspoon of Nestle Quik, and a spoonful of sugar. Fill 3/4 full with boiling water and stir. Add some half-and-half and top it all off with whipped cream from a spray can. (Oh, sure, you could go the decaf skinny no-whip route, but then what's the point? Just have a cup of tea, for crying out loud.) Voila. For about the price of one coffee-shop mocha, you can enjoy dozens of them at home.

Now it's your turn. What creative ways have you found to save money? 

March 04, 2009

Daily roundup

February 26, 2009

Daily roundup

It’s 1984 All Over Again

1984 My ninth-grade English teacher assigned George Orwell's dystopian classic 1984. Call me lily-livered, but the book scared me stiff.

Shenanigans like the one that Paul Nelson is exposing bring back the same horror I felt while reading that book. The big difference is that this time it isn't a novel.

(Image © Penguin)

February 25, 2009

Daily roundup

February 24, 2009

Daily roundup

February 20, 2009

Daily roundup

February 19, 2009

Read a book, save a brain

It looks as though the much-hyped switch to digital television is going to be about as much of an event as Y2K. It's too bad really. Think what would happen if televisions in millions of American homes suddenly went dark. Maybe families would dig out that game of Monopoly or Parcheesi. Maybe neighbors would wave to one another from their front porches. Maybe we'd call it National Read a Book Day.

Apparently that last option is becoming less and less likely. I was sad to learn that the Washington Post has discontinued its Sunday Book World section. The Post will still run book reviews and articles, but not in a separate section. It seems likely that this will mean fewer articles about books and that those articles will get less readership. According to the NPR piece, only two newspapers in America will now have a separate section devoted to books.

It kind of makes you wonder if the Hulu commercial is humor or simply truth in advertising:

February 18, 2009

Those crazy young upstarts

MarriageCertificate2 Writing in the Boston Globe, Linda Matchan laments a new generation of brides who have the audacity to take their husband's names. After quoting an engaged woman who said, "I always knew I wanted to take my husband's last name. It's more unified, as a family," Matchan rails:

Personally, I would argue they've given in to the patriarchy. Hear me roar here for a second: What on earth are these girls thinking? That they're somehow immune from divorce? That a family with two names isn't really a family?

Really, the nerve of this generation, thinking they can somehow manage to stay together for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death them do part. 

The problem is that Ms. Matchan and her generation didn't just do away with the symbolism of a marriage that meant the merging of two lives into one new family. It hardly seems a coincidence that Ms. Matchan's generation was also the one that raised latchkey kids and spawned a generation of children of divorce. Chances are, not a few of those kids grew up with last names that were different from those of others in their household, thanks to stepfamilies and blended families. Sometimes a separate identity, no matter how symbolic, can be a pain. 

Now, those kids are the adults, and they are embracing the reality and symbolism of marriage and family, the things they so often missed out on when they were growing up. I say, good for them.

(Image © Sentiment Keepsakes)

February 17, 2009

Daily roundup

February 16, 2009

Fighting for the Unborn: Lessons from Wilberforce

Wilberforce For every issue, it seems, there is always good news and bad news. For the pro-life movement, the good news is that the U.S. abortion rate has been falling for over a decade and now is at its lowest level since 1974. And the recent raft of life-affirming movies, like Juno, Bella, and Knocked Up, is an encouraging sign about public attitudes.

According to Pew Research, although a slight majority of Americans (54 percent) favor legalization, the vast majority (73 percent) believes that abortion is morally wrong in some, to nearly all, circumstances, with six out of 10 believing that the number of abortions should be reduced. Less than one-fourth consider abortion a non-moral issue. Given that contraception use held nearly steady during the past decade, the falling rate of abortion exhibits a growing uneasiness with the practice.

The bad news is that, even at the reduced rate, an abortion is performed once every 25 seconds, totaling 1.2 million per year. And, with a new administration that is the most abortion-friendly in history, the fight for the unborn just got harder. Continue reading.

February 11, 2009

’A controversy recently erupted in Sweden’

Any piece that begins with those words must be linked to on this blog for that reason alone. But as it happens, the rest of the piece (by the ever-insightful Theodore Dalrymple) is excellent too. A sample:

The successful modern artist’s subject is himself, not in any genuinely self-examining way that would tell us something about the human condition, but as an ego to distinguish himself from other egos, as distinctly and noisily as he can. Like Oscar Wilde at the New York customs, he has nothing to declare but his genius: which, if he is lucky, will lead to fame and fortune. Of all the artistic disciplines nowadays, self-advertisement is by far the most important. . . .

The task is not so much to criticise as to understand: that is to say, to understand how and why this terrible shallowness has triumphed so completely almost everywhere in the west.

These are good points. Hopefully more Swedes -- and more Westerners in general -- will be able to come to terms with them.

(H/T Wittingshire and As the Line Blurs)

February 09, 2009

Daily roundup

February 04, 2009

Off with His Head: The Dutch Have Done It Again

Wilders The peddlers of death have decided to prosecute Geert Wilders for "hate speech" crimes. Wilders had the temerity to produce a film which compared the Quran to Hitler's Mein Kampf. Muslims in the Netherlands have decided that might makes right and pressured the powers-that-be into prosecuting Wilders. Ironically, what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander because Islamists in the Netherlands (and elsewhere) keep the right to spew hate speech toward the Jews and people of other faiths. 

What Wilders's case is really about is blasphemy. As Nina Shea puts it, "[T]he Muslim world has pressured the West to enforce Islamic blasphemy rules--which this prosecution of 'hate speech' against the Quran unmistakably is--against certain private expression within its borders."

Regardless of the film's merit, this case is important for another reason--one of subjectivity. Shea says the main problem with prosecuting insults to "Islam [is]...Dutch judges...will find it difficult to determine precisely what constitutes religious insults or where to draw the line." 

What gives me the heebie jeebies is the idea that Islamic blasphemy rules will probably cross the ocean. Americans already seem to be following the Netherlands' lead in important areas. A case in point is euthanasia. The Netherlands instituted voluntary and involuntary euthanasia, and state by state, euthanasia is becoming legal here. So if you think that prosecution for "hate speech" against Islam can't happen here, think again.

The goal of purist Muslims is to erect Islamic states and instate the code of shariah worldwide. What we're witnessing in the Netherlands won't stop with lawsuits over a film which is critical of Islam. 

Continue reading "Off with His Head: The Dutch Have Done It Again" »

Denialists

"Davos Delegates in ‘Denial’ as $25 Trillion of Wealth Vanishes" is the headline of a Bloomberg report from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, linked in yesterday's roundup. In this first Forum after the big boom, the soi dissant "Masters of the Universe" are having trouble adjusting to the new world they helped usher in. Or as Bloomberg put it,

Questions about responsibility, blame and contrition hang in the cold mountain air at the glitzy Alpine resort this week like so much exhaled breath. With $1 trillion of bank losses and $25 trillion of market value gone missing since the start of the financial crisis, there’s much to account for.

One person who seemed to be begging for the old tar and feathers treatment was David Rubenstein, the Managing Director of the Carlyle Group, who said that "there are six billion people on the face of the earth, and probably about five billion participated in what went on . . . everybody participated in some way or shape or form.”

Really? Everybody? You mean "participated" as in "the Masters of the Universe destroyed the economy and all I got was a lousy tee-shirt," don't you?

It's easy to mock and fantasize about folks like Rubenstein doing a perp walk from Maine to San Diego, but truth be told, his desire to spread the blame isn't that much different from some of the stuff we've had to put up with from our self-appointed scolds.

Continue reading "Denialists" »

February 03, 2009

Daily roundup

January 26, 2009

Daily roundup

January 22, 2009

Pandora’s box

On the booing of Bush at the Inauguration, blogger "no exit" at TPMCafe opines,

In all fairness, the man deserves boos and worse for the conduct of his criminal administration, but, I find myself feeling much as I did about the protests over Rick Warren's inclusion in the ceremony. That it is time to restore some civility and some dialogue to our nations discourse and, finally, restore rational thought as our guiding principle. In order for this to happen, we must be willing to speak with the Rick Warren's of the world, or anyone in fact, who is truly interested in dialogue and with whom we can find common ground. While Bush's administration needs to be investigated and, most likely prosecuted, yesterday's demonstration seemed rude. As a nation, we are better than that or so I'd like to believe. I am comforted by the fact that the booes were not overwhelming or particularly venomous, more a reflexive reaction of disgust to the mere sight of the worst president in our nation's history. 

Another encouraging sign is the positivity on the part of most of the blogosphere and blogopundits. Aside from the very few influential right wing sites, the internet coverage has been for the most part approving of Obama's conduct so far. I am confident that as we move forward and make the hard decisions of which Obama so pointedly reminded us, that Brad Delong can disband his Order of the Shrill and that Bush Derangement Syndrome will go the way of polio and small pox, virtually stamped out except for infrequent outbreaks occasioned by particular spasms of disgust as the sordid tale that was his presidency finally unravels.

I wouldn't bet on it. When for eight years you've been encouraging and applauding the "venomous" and the "shrill," there's no stuffing back into the box what you've brought forth. As another blogger, The Anchoress, mentioned in a post I linked to in yesterday's Roundup, the Left may find that its behavior has reverberations far greater than it may have anticipated -- and that a few bromides about hope and change have little power to change minds nourished on anger and hate.

January 21, 2009

Random, Post-Inaugural Thoughts

Bushes Obamas Some random musings on the day after....

That sea of humanity that crowded the national Mall yesterday left behind a sea of garbage. They want Obama to change the world, but they won't help by picking up their own trash?

Rahm Emmanuel was caught on camera blowing raspberries and making a "nah, nah, nah" gesture at someone yesterday. Gosh, I'm so glad to know a mature, dignified man like him is our new president's closest adviser. 

Supporters of Bush Derangement Syndrome were out in droves yesterday as they booed Bush, Cheney, and even their wives. (Profanity in comments at link.) Someone evidently forgot to teach them that we are supposed to respect the office even if we don't respect the person holding that office. As much as I disliked Clinton, I can't imagine being that rude. It was just more evidence that we're becoming a nation of crass, tasteless boors. 

I don't usually pay much attention to fashion, but I really liked Michelle Obama's dresses: the yellow one she wore for the Inauguration, and especially the white one she wore to the balls. She, the president, and their daughters are a beautiful family. 

I loved the black woman interviewed by one reporter yesterday who said, "My son will not have to be a basketball player or a rap singer.... Now, he can be president."   

What random musings have you been having?

(Image © Saul Loeb for the AP)

January 19, 2009

Daily roundup

January 15, 2009

Daily roundup

Chinese winter

Many people worry that China will "'dominate the 21st century.'" As Roberto argues in this BreakPoint WorldView article, they might be right to worry -- if the Chinese government weren't so busy undermining their nation by creating a "Demographic Winter" through forced abortion.

(For a free e-mail subscription to BreakPoint WorldView, click here.)

January 14, 2009

Daily roundup

January 13, 2009

Daily roundup

It’s all about image

Cheney the monster and Carter the hero? Jay Nordlinger begs to differ. His piece about how the media and the educational system create the images they want us to see -- and we obligingly bow to their authority -- is sobering but important reading.

January 09, 2009

Daily roundup

Fire in the belly

Chuck Colson has a quote in this Christianity Today article about the abortion "battle fatigue" that many evangelicals are feeling:

Younger evangelicals remain pro-life, but I don't think they have the same fire in the belly about the issue that older evangelicals have had.

Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

January 08, 2009

Daily roundup

January 07, 2009

I did a double take

This may be the weirdest headline you'll see all day. But go on and read the whole thing. As usual, Jon has a very good point. (Adult themes.)

January 06, 2009

Conservatism strikes back

Hollywoodsignaddress There's a lot of reading material here, but bear with me: It's good stuff.

Mark Steyn writes in The Corner:

Andrew Breitbart gets to what's really at stake:

If conservatives don't figure out popular culture soon, the movement will die a deserving death.

I think that's right. If the non-political sphere is permanently left-of-center — the movies, the pop songs, the plays, the sitcoms, the newspapers plus the churches, schools and much else — it's simply unreasonable to expect people to walk into a polling booth every other November and vote conservative. The culture is where the issues get framed and the boundaries set.

He's promoting Breitbart's new website, Big Hollywood (occasional profanity), which Breibart himself describes as "a big group blog that will feature hundreds of the big minds from the fields of politics, journalism, entertainment and culture. . . a continuous politics and culture posting board for those who think something has gone drastically wrong and that Hollywood should return to its patriotic roots." The site is edited by John Nolte, formerly of Dirty Harry's Place, and, as advertised, features a number of conservative voices from Hollywood and elsewhere.

If you're thinking that the conservative/liberal divide has no place in the arts or the popular culture, well, as Jay Nordlinger writes here, quoting a reader e-mail, it's already there. And at this point it's not much of a divide anymore.

A couple weekends back, I was listening to Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. And Renée Fleming [the great soprano] sang “In the Bleak Midwinter.” But the lyrics to this beloved and touching carol were changed, in order to celebrate Barack Obama. The original carol is about Christ. But, in this version, Obama was the central figure. What is happening to us?

Looks like Steyn, Breitbart, et al. are onto something.

Continue reading "Conservatism strikes back" »