You Want Complete Ownership Over Your Own Body? Join the Cult of Modernity Today!

The Enlightenment has been credited with many things, including a revolution in the conception of rights as they apply to persons and property.  Property rights, by no means an invention of the Enlightenment thinkers, went from a matter of general contract law understood through the lens of Natural Law to being the basis of law in the first place.  The whole system of natural rights as defended by Locke, and less so by Hobbes, is reduced to an overly generalized interpretation of property rights. Continue reading “You Want Complete Ownership Over Your Own Body? Join the Cult of Modernity Today!”

Blade Runner 2049 Is No More Sexist Than Feminism Has Asked It To Be

The world of Blade Runner asks a lot of its audience.  At once futuristic, abstract, and startlingly familiar, the newest installment injects audiences into a dream-like expressionistic landscape populated by replicants, holograms, AI, dazzling architecture, and the occasion human being.  Surprisingly, 2049 manages to explore themes of humanity, companionship, and the relationship between the sexes that most science fiction stories leave either completely untouched or woefully underdeveloped.

This general analysis does contain spoilers. Continue reading “Blade Runner 2049 Is No More Sexist Than Feminism Has Asked It To Be”

REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

If there’s only one time you want to make it to a movie theatre in 2017, it should be now.  This seems to be the only movie worth braving the crowds, incessant stench of over-buttered popcorn, traffic, and noise to go outside to watch.  It’s got everything anyone should want from a movie, except perhaps a satisfying finale.  And since I actually think it’s worth seeing, I’ll be avoiding spoilers for this review. Continue reading “REVIEW: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)”

The Riddle of Steel: New York Times’ Edition!

Bret Stephens posted an amusing Op-Ed in the New York Times yesterday entitled “Repeal the Second Amendment”.  Bret Stephens, for those who aren’t aware, self-identifies as a conservative, and as is somewhat typical of the NYT op-ed crew who lean Right, he’s a card-carrying Republican who stands firmly on his principles to appeal to the NYT’s Left-liberal Democratic platform in this dangerous, Trump-tocratic, post-Obamanite era.  He is, in other words, one of the typical New York elite: clueless, educated, disconnected, and snobbish. Continue reading “The Riddle of Steel: New York Times’ Edition!”

The Riddle of Steel

In the 1982 action-adventure adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s pulp series Conan the Barbarian, director John Milius pits Arnold Schwarzenegger against James Earl Jones in a conflict that spans part of a continent, decades of life, and the dialectic between slavery and freedom.  It turned out to be a moderate financial success, reaping impressive profits in the home video market for years after its distribution, and it continues to be something of a mainstay in the popular culture to this day.  It’s not exactly Star Wars-tier in terms of recognition, but Star Wars has had the benefit of a major series of feature film revivals pumped out once every fifteen years.  The most Conan can say is that it got the predictable stripped-down remake a couple years back that everyone has conveniently forgotten about. Continue reading “The Riddle of Steel”

We Don’t Want Your Kind of Books Here

An open letter was recently published on a site dedicated to news and links for children’s literature.  It’s author was a young school librarian, Liz Phipps Soeiro, head held slouched with ideas of social justice and community programming oriented toward children.  That’s hardly newsworthy.  What is worth a mention, however, is the content of her letter: a seemingly polite letter in reaction to the First Lady’s decision to send a bundle of Dr. Seuss books out to the highest-achieving schools in each state. Continue reading “We Don’t Want Your Kind of Books Here”

An Afternoon at the Baltimore Museum of Art

Take a trip into downtown Baltimore sometime, see the sights, brave the traffic, and dodge the ragtag collection of pedestrians and street cops that mob the crisscrossing byways.  Find your way over to Johns Hopkins University, and located on campus is the Baltimore Museum of Art—a somewhat impressive structure informed by the Roman-style panache of American architect John Russel Pope.  It’s not an unattractive building by any means, at least from certain angles, but step into its eastern shadow and it ceases to look Roman at all, verging more on brutalism than anything else.  But we’ll get to that later. Continue reading “An Afternoon at the Baltimore Museum of Art”

Another Diatribe About Late-Night Comedy

These people are so bad at their jobs, it’s hard to understand where their audience comes from.  They don’t make jokes, and when they do, they’re more often misses than they are hits.  They aren’t very charming, unless smug pretentiousness passes for charming in this increasingly autistic age of delusional navel-gazing.  And they aren’t even all that easy on the eyes, since they all look like poorly-postured and pasty nerds who share all the same set designers and suit tailors.  Continue reading “Another Diatribe About Late-Night Comedy”

A Few Brief Words on Poetry

What, exactly, is poetry?  The Modern world has no answer to that question, just as it has no answer to what, exactly, a novel is, or what, exactly, a symphony is, or what, exactly, a portrait is.  In each case, it has made room for appeals to the old forms of artwork accessible as nostalgic throw-backs to a period which its denizens barely understand; such appeals, however, are inescapably marred by irony, pompousness, and frequently border on kitsch. Continue reading “A Few Brief Words on Poetry”

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