My Think Again column is called “The Power of Unreality.” It was inspired by the NRA’s successful attempt to rewrite the Second Amendment and it’s here.
In memory of Robert Bork, from Why We're Liberals (2008):
1) Nowhere was the rejection of the liberal elite clearer than in the right’s reaction to the joint presidency of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Right wing Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork compared the decade of their rule to a “mini-French Revolution.”
2) Robert Bork, perhaps the most influential conservative judicial intellectual in America, has remarked that he found himself agreeing with his wife when she dismissed the US Supreme Court justices as a “band of outlaws.” “An outlaw is a person who coerces others without warrant in law,” he wrote. “That is precisely what a majority of the present Supreme Court does.” Indeed, American civilization, writes Robert Bork, is in peril of “slid[ing] into a modern, high-tech version of the Dark Ages.” In Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline, Bork declares, “There are aspects of almost every branch of our culture that are worse than ever before and the rot is spreading.” That rot derives from the nation’s “enfeebled, hedonistic culture,” its “uninhibited display of sexuality,” its “popularization of violence in . . . entertainment,” and “its angry activists of feminism, homosexuality, environmentalism, animal rights—the list could be extended almost indefinitely.” Bork closes out his account by insisting that the country is “now well along the road to the moral chaos that is the end of radical individualism and the tyranny that is the goal of radical egalitarianism. Modern liberalism has corrupted our culture across the board.”
As Bork would have it, things have gotten so bad that he was willing to participate in a November 1996 symposium entitled “The End of Democracy?” sponsored by the theoconservative journal First Things, in which the contributors addressed themselves to the proposition that “we [America] have reached or are reaching the point where conscientious citizens can no longer give moral assent to the existing regime.”
Some quite casual, year-end nominations based on what I’ve heard, seen and listened to so far though I’m sure I’ve forgotten some good stuff and I apologize in advance:
Books about music that I absolutely loved, indeed, I can hardly believe how good each one of these is:
Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever, by Will Hermes
There was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream, by Ben Sidran
Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles' Solo Careers, by Andrew Grant Jackson
Oscar nominations based only on movies I’ve so far seen.