What I’m Watching (January 2023)

Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape (2016) – An alternatively exuberant and depressing documentary about the history of the cassette tape (invented in 1963) and its democratizing effect on music culture. Includes interviews with celebs like Henry Rollins, enthusiastic collectors, and the near-monosyllabic Dutch inventor who acts like he’d rather talk about anything else. Little Children (2006) …

How Did Politics Get So Awful? MTV, of Course!

Jim Geraghty (senior political correspondent for National Review) has a guest column today in The Washington Post Opinion section titled “How did politics get so awful?? I blame MTV circa 1992,” in which he lays the blame for today’s political dysfunction in America at the feet of MTV’s “Rock the Vote” campaign, which used celebrities, humor, and sex …

The Most Important News Story of 2022 Is…

The year 2022 was filled with major events, any one of which would mark it as significant. The Russian invasion of Ukraine. The death of Queen Elizabeth II. The Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. The expected Republican tsunami that ended up more or less a draw. Former president Donald Trump’s ongoing legal troubles (including …

GOP Continues to Literally Demonize the Opposition

Remember when presidential candidate John McCain was confronted at a townhall by a half-addled little old lady who (mistakenly) lamented that McCain’s opponent, Barack Obama, was “a Muslim”? He immediately, firmly, but kindly, corrected her, emphasizing that Obama was a good man with whom he simply disagreed. Weeks later, McCain was visibly shaken by the …

The Right Stuff

Quick! Name a working astronaut. Chances are, unless you’re a keen space program enthusiast, that you can’t. But there was a time—Cold War America in the 1960s—when most schoolchildren could readily rattle off the names of Alan Shephard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Shirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton: the Mercury Seven, the …

Book Review: Confessions of a French Atheist

Ecclesiastes tells us that “there is nothing new under the sun,” and this certainly holds true when it comes to Christian apologetics. Apparently, it is also true that nothing is lost in translation if the apologetics originates from outside the Anglosphere. Case in point: Guillaume Bignon’s memoir Confessions of a French Atheist: How God Hijacked My …

Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Cut

It’s hard to impress upon fans born in the twenty-first century just what deserts television networks and movie theaters were for science fiction in the twentieth century. This is not to say those media were devoid of sci-fi, but with only three networks and five major studios, fans were lucky if there were more than …

Movie Review: FIVE (1951)

While doing a little background research a few weeks ago for my review of The World, the Flesh and the Devil (Harry Belafonte’s provocative 1959 post-nuclear-Armageddon drama), I discovered just how hard it can be sometimes to nail down what was “the first” of something. It turns out that TWTFATD, while a very early cinematic depiction of …

The Severance Vostok

If you haven’t been watching Apple TV+’s new drama series Severance, you’re really missing out on an unsettling, thoughtful, and rewarding sci-fi mystery. Severance centers around Mark S (Adam Scott), an employee of Lumon, an enigmatic technology corporation. Lumon offers select employees the option to “sever” their work selves from their off-duty selves via a computer chip implanted …