“I Love a Parade”

On Bastille Day in 1965, I was a 13-year-old in Paris. On our way home from a year living in Thailand, my family was staying in the apartment of a college friend of… Continue reading

The Lost Tapes

This morning, the first day of the semester, I was babbling and told a story, a true one, that normally I elide. A colleague and I were talking about artifacts from earlier technologies… Continue reading

“Shallow Draughts Intoxicate the Brain”

Maybe we should be having an Alexander Pope moment: A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely… Continue reading

Mount Vernon in America Today

Can we maintain adoration when our beloved is stripped of aspiration, only flaws remaining? That’s what I’ve been asking, these past weeks, and I am getting more and more depressed that I have… Continue reading

New Divisions–Or Just Old Ones Renewed?

BY AARON BARLOW David Brooks writes in today’s The New York Times of “the fact that we’ve regressed from a sophisticated moral ethos to a primitive one.” This has always been a favorite… Continue reading

Taking the Fight Where It Belongs

It’s been a bad year. Not just for higher education. And not just at it winds down. The coming 2018 does not bode well for American colleges and universities. For one thing, the… Continue reading

A Wild Ride Coming?

At least since the 1960s, the Republican Party has been working to build a solid white base that it can use for winning elections against a much less cohesive opposition. Its strategists turned… Continue reading

In Defense of Excellence?

In his column in The New York Times today, David Brooks writes “Excellence is hierarchical. Excellence requires work, time, experience and talent. Populism doesn’t believe in hierarchy. Populism doesn’t demand the effort required… Continue reading

The Horse’s Mouth: How Philip K. Dick Expands Conversation

Perhaps my favorite novel is Joyce Cary’s The Horse’s Mouth. Cary’s main character, Gully Jimson, is an ageing artist with very little to show for his life’s work: Though he has a painting… Continue reading

The Truth Behind the Latest Project Veritas Sting Attempt Revealed

It was seven years ago that I first wrote about James O’Keefe and Project Veritas. I was writing about ‘citizen journalists’ and complaining that O’Keefe was besmirching the concept. I ended the post,… Continue reading