Category Archives: Culture Wars

The first culture war

As we mark the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War, it is clear that the moral wounds it inflicted on Western culture have not healed. Recent incidents, such as the rejection of Remembrance Day poppies by Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU), or Southampton University Students’ Union’s (SUSU) threat to paint over a mural dedicated to war heroes, are symptomatic of the sense of malaise and confusion regarding the memorialisation of the First World War.

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Killing the Kennedy mystique

…The most chilling moment in Chappaquiddick happens at the end of the film, in a montage of real interviews done with the public at the time of the incident. Some are appalled at Ted’s actions, and the lack of punishment he received. Many, though, admit that while they were disappointed with the senator, they didn’t feel they could judge him, and would definitely vote for him again.

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What the Times Misses about Poverty

The root of much American dysfunction isn’t a failure of work but of family dissolution.

It’s an affecting story. Matthew Desmond, writing in the New York Times Magazine, profiles Vanessa Solivan, a poor single mother raising three children. Vanessa works as a home health aide, yet she and her three teen children are often reduced to sleeping in her car, a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica. In the morning, she takes her two daughters and one son to her mother’s house to wash and get ready for school. Vanessa has diabetes. Her work brings in between $10 and $14 per hour depending upon the health coverage of the mostly elderly patients she cares for. But because of her responsibilities to her children, Vanessa works only 20 to 30 hours per week. That doesn’t provide enough to keep this family of four above the poverty line.

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Stereotypes Are Often Harmful, and Accurate

…First, stereotypes are not bugs in our cultural software but features of our biological hardware. This is because the ability to stereotype is often essential for efficient decision-making, which facilitates survival. As Yale psychologist Paul Bloom has noted, “you don’t ask a toddler for directions, you don’t ask a very old person to help you move a sofa, and that’s because you stereotype.”

Our evolutionary ancestors were often called to act fast, on partial information from a small sample, in novel or risky situations. Under those conditions, the ability to form a better-than-chance prediction is an advantage.

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Mau-Mauing Myself

Not long after Tom Wolfe’s death, I ran across the only thing I ever wrote about him, in a box in the basement labeled “Unpublished.” Written in 1986 for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, it was on the subject of white liberals and race—specifically, why the idealism of so many of my generation had curdled into cynicism and indifference. Its opening scene had a bunch of friends and me griping about what then seemed New York’s inexorable decline—the garbage, the menacing mentally ill, and, above all, the crime. One, having just been mugged at knifepoint—“in front of my girlfriend!”—was particularly vehement.

“Never thought I’d have a kind word for Bernie Goetz,” he started to joke, of the notorious subway vigilante, and then caught himself with sudden, sharp remorse. “My God, what’s happened to us?”

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Majority of Republicans think Trudeau is a dick

New poll shows only 17 percent of Democrats view Netanyahu favorably

A new poll released this week highlights the growing partisan gap on Israel in the United States.

Compared to 64 percent of Republicans, just 17 percent of Democrats support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a Gallup poll released on Tuesday.

…Democratic support was higher for German Chancellor Angela Merkel (53 percent), British Prime Minister Theresa May (54 percent) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (67 percent).

Meanwhile, Republican approval ratings for these world leaders stood at 48 percent for May, 30 percent for Trudeau, 27 percent for Merkel, 27 percent for Putin and 8 percent for Kim.

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And They Wonder Why We’re Angry

America is experiencing a major culture war between its interpreters and the people. It is less a war of political parties: Democrat versus Republican. It is less a war of ideologies: conservative versus liberal. The rapidly escalating censorship of the internet giants against Dennis Prager and an array of conventionally American advocates is a symptom of an interpretive class gone mad with their own power. In many respects, it pits the secular against the religious and the higher economic class against the lower class.

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Less Than Meets the (Queer) Eye: Gilda (1946)

I had no intention of watching Gilda.

Winter afternoon sunsets still feel like an affront. How can this be happening? I wonder stupidly for the ten-thousandth time in my half-century life. That night, I especially craved an old movie to curl up with — a celluloid cocktail; an LCD fireplace — after a particularly long, hectic (and now dark) day.

And slated for TCM’s 8pm slot was… Gilda (1946).

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Gay pride, feminism, anything but Christianity – the lessons forced on our children

As Christianity is deliberately marginalised from national life, the powers that be have created a whole host of celebrations to fill the void left by the absence of the acknowledgement of God. These centre around equality, diversity and inclusion. Instead of Christmas, Easter, Whitsun, Michaelmas and numerous other saints’ days, we now have multiple opportunities to celebrate groups with protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

Therefore, October is Black History month, February is LGBT History month, March is Women’s History month, April 22 is Earth Day and June is LGBT Pride month. This is topped off with School Diversity Week in the first week of July, which is timed to coincide with Gay Pride weekend. School Diversity Week promotes not just LGBT issues, but also multiculturalism, mass immigration and fourth-wave feminism – the kind of feminism which is about destroying the patriarchy rather than equal opportunities. It is so diverse and inclusive that the only thing you are not allowed to celebrate is anything traditional Christian or conservative, as that would be bigoted and xenophobic – the sins of the new liberal order.

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Women more likely than men to think cat-calling is acceptable

Women are more likely than men to think cat-calling is acceptable, the British Social Attitudes survey has found.

Figures from the study show that while 61 per cent of men think it is “always” or “usually” wrong for a man to comment on a woman’s appearance in the street, just 52 per cent of women agree.

When the genders are reversed, around the same proportion of women think it is wrong for a woman to comment on a man’s appearance, while just 35 per cent of men agree.

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No Substitute for Total Victory

As the Left continues to spiral out of control — foaming, spitting, frothing in rage — it’s time to state the obvious: that in the battle for the soul of America, there can be only one winner. Either we retain as much as possible of the country-as-founded, including its national character, or we watch it “fundamentally transformed” into a “social democracy” of the kind envisioned by the adherents of Critical Theory, and brought to us courtesy of the Frankfurt School’s ideological seizure of academe. Although some might wish otherwise, there is no middle ground, no accommodation, no splitting the difference.

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THE SINISTER DR. MARX: How Marxist-Consumerism Has Wrecked Christianity

“…The ideas of Marx also have won the “culture war” (something James Davison Hunter missed) by creating a mindset which encourages the West to abandon its own history, which is portrayed as an unending process of oppression — so much so that being Christian is no longer easy, because it’s trivialized as taste, or personal preference. Those people who claim Christian allegiance only do so within the logic of Marxist-consumerism, as they don’t know how to escape relativism. The common practice of Christianity is Marxism-compliant.”

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Barbara Kay: The male crisis that’s ruining our boys and no one cares about

Father’s Day approaches and with it the opportunity to consider the importance of fathers to their children.

It is difficult to overstate both the positive effects of growing up with a father and the negative effects of father absence, especially for boys. These myriad benefits and perils are on record, undisputed and easily accessible. But in this gynocentric era, what is good or bad for boys does not seem to attract the interest of our cultural elites.

Boys are in crisis everywhere.

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Krauthammer Is Dying With Dignity While Liberals Are Living With None

Some people die with bravery, grace, and dignity while others live with none of those attributes.

This truth was on full display Friday when Washington Post columnist and Fox News star Charles Krauthammer announced to the world what I’d heard in whispers for a couple of weeks – he was dying, he only has a few weeks left to live. The outpouring of love and admiration that followed was, no doubt, comforting for him and his family in this awful time.

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