• Let me see

    by  • April 18, 2013 • 0 Comments

    Do I have this straight? Because some nutjobs might blow themselves up making meth, I have to show ID to buy decongestant, and can be put in prison for buying more than a certain amount each month. But we must let other nutjobs kill people because it would horribly infringe liberty to check if...

    Read more →

    Culture conservatism …and the other kind

    by  • January 31, 2013 • 0 Comments

    I had just finished reading E.D. Hirsch’s “A Wealth of Words” in City Journal when I learned our newly installed governor, Pat McCrory, had appeared earlier in the day on Bill Bennett’s radio show to talk about his plan for higher education. McCrory said he had directed staff to draft a plan that would...

    Read more →

    Of Pindar, mythy movies, Lance and Manti…

    by  • January 19, 2013 • 0 Comments

    The media ought to stay out of athletes’ private lives. All that matters is what happens on the field. Right? Except, of course, when there’s a sweet, inspiring story about pluck, determination and overcoming obstacles. A girlfriend who just happened to die the same day as your grandmother, say. Or beating cancer and raising...

    Read more →

    Sports, media and women — Chet’s still in the truck

    by  • January 9, 2013 • 0 Comments

    I teach a class titled “Sports Media Survey,” about the charmed synergy of sports and media, from hunter-gatherer days to the present. It’s offered only during fall semester, but sometimes I wish it ran all year long — there’s so much fodder. Almost certainly, we’d be talking about the apotheosis of (a former) Miss...

    Read more →

    Appearance, narrative, reality and truth

    by  • January 6, 2013 • 0 Comments

    A treasured theme of my high school English papers has been troubling me again lately. I used to think of the tensions between appearance and reality in terms of misapprehension or deception — Oedipus unwittingly bedding his mother, or Viola pretending to be a man in “Twelfth Night.” I suppose this suited my teen...

    Read more →

    Debatable

    by  • October 5, 2012 • 0 Comments

    See, this is why I hate debates. Not simply because my guy “lost,” but because “win” and “lose” are potential outcomes. This isn’t the varsity debate team at the state semi-finals. But that’s how it plays in U.S. politics. The presidential election is not so much the horse race of cliché analogy as a...

    Read more →

    Cotton khakis slightly smoldering

    by  • September 6, 2012 • 0 Comments

    Yes, it was classic Bubba Wednesday night, all folksy and humbly didactic, God bless ‘im. And his insistence on facts and arithmetic was refreshing, after last week’s Mendacity Fest in Tampa. So I was discouraged to check the washingtonpost.com Fact Checkers Thursday and find some FALSEs pinned to Clinton’s speech. First, Sarah Kliff, scrutinizing...

    Read more →