Posts in Culture
Life Without Love Is Blind: The Philosophy of Bird Box

The recent Netflix phenomenon, Bird Box, presents two radically different understandings of life. Malorie, the main character, values survival above all else. This seems like a prudent philosophy to adopt in an apocalyptic world, but Malorie takes it to an inhuman extreme. Malorie's philosophical counterweight is represented by the character Tom. The movie subtly reveals the differences between the two characters as the plot unfolds and Malorie slowly realizes that she must embrace Tom’s philosophy of life as more than survival in order to live life well.

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Private Virtue, Our Only Hope

Although our country was founded upon this energetic contest, our Founders also stressed the importance of personal and civic virtue. Benjamin Franklin argued that “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Franklin argued that political corruption follows a lack of virtue, not of ambition.

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Why Humans Love Fire

Our redemption of fire imitates God’s redemptive work. Although all Creation is inherently good, some parts have been so twisted by the Enemy’s malice and our sin that they seem to lose much of this goodness. By using this element of Creation to bring about good things in spite of its fallen nature, we imitate our Father, who is always working to bring good out of evil. Something as simple as a campfire can and should remind us of our role in redeeming our fallen world.

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The New Kings of Rock?

Rock ’n’ roll has always been about standing up for ideas that challenge norms, inherently making it a counter-cultural and rebellious genre. Hippie moralism, however, is no longer counter-cultural, and it hardly fulfills the rock potential previously glimpsed in Greta van Fleet.

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Shame on You, Julie Kelly

The French family has been treated horribly by the far-right due to their public stances against Trump. There are plenty of solid arguments to be made against the Never Trump movement and Nancy French’s skepticism regarding Brett Kavanaugh, but the character assassination offered by Julie Kelly amounts to nothing more than a politically motivated hit.

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The Case for Santa Claus

Adults, too, need Santa Claus—to remind them to love charitably, selflessly, and wholly. When they see their children’s letters to Santa asking for him to help the homeless, then parents should take the opportunity to serve the community as a family. Spend a day helping at a Feed the Needy; coordinate a blanket drive for the homeless; donate old toys to the underprivileged. Conversely, if a child’s “letter to Santa” is a toy catalog with everything in it circled, then parents should consider reassessing the values they are teaching in the home.

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Good and Mad, or Incoherent and Willfully Blind: The Deep Thoughts of Ms. Rebecca Traister

 Standing as a refutation to Ms. Traister is the paradox of female happiness: as women do better they are more unhappy and likely to be medicated.  More equality promises to deliver happiness for feminists, but it never does.  Expecting to achieve happiness through securing equality is like trying to achieve youth by resetting one’s clock: no amount of equality yields contentment.  Ms. Traister’s radical feminism, with its sterile understanding of what women should want, may do much to empower women, but it does not a little in making women angry about the human situation itself. 

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"Studies Have Shown": Finding Frauds in the Age of Misinformation

The reality is that science, despite romantic notions of scientists and the infallible objectivity of the scientific method, is an industry. Academic promotion, notoriety, and profit all stand to be gained from research publication. Politicians, academics, environmentalists, manufacturers, and medical companies all have a serious vested interest in the outcome of scientific research, blurring many ethical lines. This year, in fact, a team of academics deliberately published seven fabricated research articles in respected journals to demonstrate the prevalence of political activism within the field.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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