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Skipping The Summer Reading

This essay is about reading gay porn before class. And it resurrects an Ideological Outrage Of The Day from 2012. And a graphic novel. And striking out romantically. And Richard Dawkins.

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America’s Tiger Mom and the Totally Valid, Not At All Biased, Really Scientific Practice of Ranking America’s Cultures and Races

Famed Tiger-Mom Amy Chua’s new book helpfully lets its readers know which cultures and races in America are superior, and which are inferior.

A leisurely Sunday afternoon riot

After we returned from an early dinner with friends late Sunday afternoon, we began to hear the reports of disturbances a few blocks away from where we live in downtown Huntington Beach.  The annual eight-day-long and well-attended US Open competition had just concluded around 5:00.  The neighborhood had been packed with attendees all weekend, and…

What (New) Documentaries Should People Watch?

I haven’t watched one in a while, and though I lean towards the political type, or those documentaries which depict the worst kinds of social injustice, I’m willing to take a spin outside my wheel house this time. So I thought I’d put a call out for great documentaries I and everyone else around these parts…

Culture is the villain

I’ve had this sort of nebulous notion that culture itself is a problem. Not any particular culture, mind you, but rather the entire concept of culture.  The exclusivity of the group over the individual. A lot of people will hold up individualism against collectivism, but what if that’s just scratching the surface? Culture is the…

Against Traditional Morality

by James Hanley Guest author: James Hanley. Tom Van Dyke has written a very thoughtful post about the role of traditional morality in law. There are various points at which we could quibble with his argument, but here I offer a direct rebuttal of his support for traditional morality as a basis of law, arguing…

What are women for?

I keep trying to better understand James Poulos. I like James a great deal, though we disagree pretty fundamentally on many things. I’ve been fascinated by his discussions of the Pink Police State (a conservative argument against panem et circenses.) And yet postmodern conservatism has always been somewhat vague. It’s unorthodox in terms of American debate –…

How Finding a Job is Like Losing Your Keys

“Who do you think made the first stone spear? That wasn’t the yakkity yaks sitting around the campfire. It was some Asperger sitting in the back of a cave figuring out how to chip rocks into spearheads. Without some autistic traits you wouldn’t even have a recording device to record this conversation on.” – Temple…

Fantasy and the Anglosphere

When I published my fantasy piece in the Atlantic it was linked (reproduced?) by Richard Dawkins’ site and a number of the atheists in the commentariat had scathing things to say about fantasy literature. Apparently it is not enough that readers of fantasy do not, in fact, believe in their make-believe. Apparently the fact that dragons…

On the value of higher education

Here’s James Poulos on higher education, claiming things like: We fixate on higher education as the key to employment because no other institution but college really acculturates Americans into “legitimate” society. Those who do not attend college are second-class citizens in a cultural sense first, and in an economic one only second. Regrettably, the personalities…

The weird ideological inversion of the school reform debate

At one of our excellent sub-blogs, Alex Knapp makes this commonsensical point: We live in a country where Creationists can run for President without being laughed out of the room, homeopathy is seen as real medicine, millions of people buy into “The Secret” that wishing for something hard enough makes it real, and the cast…

Abortion and Slavery again

Ta-Nehisi has pushed once again into the abortion and slavery debate, this time following the invocation of that analogy by Rick Santorum and Joe Klein’s subsequent defense of Santorum’s rhetoric. Now, I’ve admitted in the past two things about the fetus-as-slave analogy: first, that it is not a very good analogy – and indeed I…

On Certainty & Doubt

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard…

Status redistribution and American exceptionalism

“It occurs to me that there’s an obvious link here with the idea that the contemporary populist right is heavily driven by ressentiment—and that a lot of our current politics has less to do with actual policy disagreements than with resolving status anxieties. You can think of patriotism as a kind of status socialism—a collectivization…

How to govern well

What do Singapore, the United States, Canada, Denmark, and England all have in common? At first glance, not much. One is an oligarchic city state, two are parliamentary democracies, another is a Scandinavian social democracy, while the United States supposedly represents the laissez-faire extremes of the developed world. But we intuitively understand there are certain…

Capra-corn and the life of our time

There’s a quote about Carl Jung that I’ve come across a couple of times and shamelessly stolen every chance I’ve had: “We live a double life whether we know it or not. We live our own life and we live the life of our time.”  Economists are now warning of a double-dip recession, even though…

One last salvo on immigration

Mark’s points about the relationship between American dynamism and immigration are well-taken. Again, I’d like to stress that I’m endorsing an exceedingly mild form restrictionism – perhaps a system that expands immigration quotas for Third World countries not adjacent to our border while limiting the number of new arrivals from Latin America. That said, I…

The City That Never Sleeps – Or Shrinks

I enjoyed David’s defense of New York’s cultural dominance far more than I probably should have, and agree wholeheartedly.  This despite the fact that, as a kid – and even into my early 20s – I did all I could to hate Manhattan.  That all started to change rapidly on December 31, 2000, when my…