All in Culture

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?

We tend to associate children’s television with silliness, innocence, and make-believe. These programs are fun but are without any serious depth. TV for children rarely tackles heavy issues and does not elevate viewers because they are “just” children.

But there is an exception to every rule and in television that exception was Mister Rogers.

Chomsky’s Civility

Civility in public life is a necessity for America. The brief euphoria of anger experienced in a shouting match is a selfish affair. It serves nothing but the most banal and tribal of our instincts, and harms the country deeply. While Buckley and Chomsky could not have been further apart, in a time marred by war, their willingness to calmly dialogue moved the national debate.

The Life of "Meh": Mediocrity and Misunderstood Greatness

The world of practical politics is all about the hustle of the moment; concepts of greatness elevate the thought of man above the general concerns of their time while simultaneously promoting virtues needed to persevere through the immediate epoch. This elevation in man encourages something higher in their life to strive for, separate from solely materialistic desires, thus understanding greatness as a crucial aspect of maintaining liberty in a society.

The Time and Crises of Today

We’ve all been there – talking with friends, colleagues, family, and the subject turns to how good people had it before us. We wish we had this president again, or that time of goodwill. Yes, we undoubtedly have ties to the past – we are creatures of time and space, after all. But there’s something important and worthwhile about being grounded in the present.

The Neglect of Classical American Culture

If we want to rise above the cultural wasteland that surrounds us, we need to acquaint ourselves with the best culture—some of which, would you believe, happens to be American! Acquiring an appreciation of our cultural contributions will in turn instill pride in our nation's traditions and values. It will give us an idea of how the culture of America fits in with the larger culture of the West.

First, Let Me Be Clear

We are seemingly in the middle of a crisis, where political speech is simply a machine of manipulation for partisan battles. Is it too far gone to remember the days of Lincoln, when clarity was still seen as virtuous and a path to truth and goodness? Maybe not, but reflection, discussion, and clarity above all are desperately needed in a world sorely lacking.

Kanye West, Childish Gambino, and Woke Black America

In the past couple of years, there has been a palpable shift in the black American mind. It is reflected most clearly in recent pop culture trends with the rise of films like Get Out and Black Panther and musicians like Donald Glover and Kanye West. The movement is not reactionary but contemplative and introspective, and it is beginning to gain traction politically.

Crossing the Threshold of Hope: Why Smiling is Great

I’ve proclaimed this theme quite often over the past few articles. This is not an accident. I want to urge you, dear reader, that while this world may seem cold and hard (which it can be), that you are capable of more. The joy of life is to be found today, here, now! It’s to be found as we engage in the world around us, in perfecting and working amid the work of creation, no matter how dark and stormy it may become. If we are truly encountering the Gospel, the good news, we want to do something with it.

Is This Really America, Donald Glover?

While Glover does not goes so far as to offer suggestions about what should be done to realign our moral compass, "This is America" does take that first step to finding a solution: recognizing there is a problem. In this age of media misguidance, celebrities and tragedies are merely American spectacle. One day, the public can care so deeply about a tragedy and then the next, allow it to be forgotten just like the latest trend.

LeBron James and the Quest for Excellence

The excellence of LeBron James is something all basketball fans ought to relish. We have never seen a player like him before, and we may never see another again. Standing at 6’8,” 250 pounds with a vertical jump well over three feet, LeBron’s renowned athleticism and physical ability are what have allowed him to put together the most prolific basketball career of all time. Few realize, however, the dedication this also requires off the court.

In Defense of the Founders: Why their Monuments Should be Preserved

It is important that their monuments stand as a reminder to future generations that liberty is the base on which this country was built, and that it must be defended. If those who advocate for the removal of the monuments to the founders really want equal justice under the law, and freedom for all, they should defend the monuments against the sledgehammer.  They should embrace the words of those men whom they seek to dishonor. Dr. King, Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln did just this, and so should modern day Americans.

Another 50 Years Hence

In Great Britain, Churchill’s prophesy from “Fifty Years Hence” has already come true. Science is on its march to “destroy all that makes human life majestic and tolerable.” Perhaps the link of the English-speaking peoples means that America is doomed to a similar fate. Or perhaps that ancient tradition can endure even this trial. If it is to do so, it will again need defenders. It will need heroes. It is not a matter of Right vs. Left, but of Good vs. Evil.

The Brushworks of Politics

There is a deep bond between the painter and his work, just as there exists a connection between the statesman and his nation. The skills gained from one can be easily transferred to the other. This does not mean that every painter is a statesman, or that every senator could tell the difference between a fan and a filbert brush. What this does mean, however, is that the virtues gained from properly studying the art of politics and the art of painting are similar.

In The Midnight of the Mind

Lincoln is heralded as America's martyr, and rightfully so; but what has made him such an inspiration to countless people is that he was able to accomplish so much while harboring a sometimes crippling melancholy. He emancipated slaves, encouraged Congress to pass the 13th Amendment, and lead the Union to victory in its only Civil War; yet, it was the secret sorrow that haunted his lips and the tears that filled his eyes noticed by the tribesman half a world away, and the more one reads of him, the more one is able to relate to his humanity and his determination to harness the best of his ability to create a force for good.

Character Still Matters: Why the Browns Messed up the Draft Again

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that the Cleveland Browns, always in possession of a good draft pick, will find a way to screw it up. This year was no different. The 2018 NFL Draft began with Cleveland having the first pick. For a team desperately in need of a quarterback, this draft was full of them. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson all showed promise of being able to play at an elite level. Because of this, the secondary qualities of each quarterback, namely their character, should have been taken more into account by the Browns organization when making the decision to go with Baker Mayfield.

The Glory of Work and the Joy of Living

This virtue of Roosevelt has been lost in the America of today. Rarely do we see our generation simply putting their nose to the grindstone with a reckless abandon. It seems that today, to work is license to complain. Yet, Roosevelt reveled in the challenge of the daily. We must hearken back to his example. There is a stark need for balance in our lives—a balance of joy and work, beauty and courage. There is glory still to be found; we can find it.

A Forgotten Tale: Christian Lessons in C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair

The principle Narnian character, Puddleglum, is neither a lost prince nor a valiant, sword wielding mouse; instead he appears to be an average citizen of Narnia chosen for the quest simply due to his knowledge of the territory. As the story progresses, however, Puddleglum proves to be one of the best examples of faith in the whole series and a model for Christians to follow.