Sunday, November 22nd, 2020
A close-to-the-ground view of the current pandemic response in Southern California. Mentions of food insecurity, and there’s color in the comments.
Saturday, November 21st, 2020
Wednesday, November 18th, 2020
The 2020 US election is apparently not yet over. “It is indeed a very foul mess,” states Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor now Trump legal team member, whom people speak of respectfully in the comments. “It is farther and wider and deeper than we ever thought but we are going to go after it and I am going to expose every one of them.” [Update 2020 Nov 23: So much for that! “Trump Legal Team Distances Itself From Sidney Powell After Unproven Claims” in The Daily Wire.]
Sunday, November 15th, 2020
Two more Frank Lloyd Wright films planned by the maker of the new Unity Temple film, the one with the voice.
Saturday, November 14th, 2020
James Lileks is still at it, marvellously, and my bad to have drifted away. Here he is mulling his thoughts at the supermarket and driving home. Plus a wonderful pic. And a great gif. And a second feature that is more epic than the post itself. What an artisan, what an artist.
Sunday, November 8th, 2020
Seeming US President-elect Joe Biden “has said openly for a long time that “he will go back to the nuclear agreement,” warns Israel’s Settlements Minister and long-time soothsayer Tzachi Hanegbi. “I see that as something that will lead to a confrontation between Israel and Iran.”
Robert Kagan puts recent US history into perspective, talking to the rather platitudinous Walther Russell Mead. Some choice cut:
Russia and China are always going to be fundamentally at odds. It would be a very strange universe in which they are not. If I really believe that if you’re a Russian and you wake up sweating bullets at 3:00 in the morning, what you’re sweating about is the fact that China is going to take over Siberia in one way or another. China is a big, and by the way, the racist feelings on both sides are enormous. They both think the other one is a monkey and have always felt that way.
Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
“How Israel Helped Win the Cold War” by Joshua Muravchik in Commentary Magazine. Great piece, great service. How I wish every American who writes anti-Israel comments in online threads all over — remember the Liberty, stop making us fight your wars for you, etc — would read this — very slowly.
Sunday, November 1st, 2020
“Because the Republic is at stake”: David Goldman for Trump. Allow me to also attest: as president, Donald Trump has passed George Gilder’s Israel test with colors so stratospheric it almost makes one cynical about cynicism.
Wednesday, October 28th, 2020
A few days before the US Presidential election, “Hell, Yes” by Conrad Black. I agree with everything except his cavalier approach to the coronavirus; it being a mortal threat to a mere 1% of Americans is still 3.5 million people.
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
Nice write-up by Charlie Harrington on his bout with colon cancer. Looks like all is well for now. I believe I came across this guy once before when he blogged about revivifying an Apple //e. [via Hacker News]
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
iPhone 12 Pro Cinematic 4K: New York by Andy To. Make sure to watch at full resolution.
Wednesday, October 14th, 2020
Larry McEnerney on 40 years of teaching expository writing at the University of Chicago’s Little Red Schoolhouse.
Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
What a shame that this seemingly literate musing on Stormfront in The Boys dives off the deep-end into America-reviling revisionism:
The Nazis actually praised the American system and copied a lot of its most atrocious ideas. So when the U.S. government welcomed Nazi scientists into our space program, it was an unsurprising extension of that connection.
And regarding Homelander:
He is misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, racist, pro-military, pro-American imperialism, and naturally, anti-abortion. Oh and he’s also a stone-cold sociopath and mass murderer.
A psychopath to be sure, but whence the rest? Homelander seems only cynically a flag-waver/wearer. The author does makes her “progressive” position clear by referring to “pro-military” and “anti-abortion” as evils. I guess I’d been bamboozled earlier by her nice summation of Nietzsche; whoever could do that would not, I presume, be so deeply idiotic.
The author might wish to consider even just for a moment the two greatest wars the United States ever fought — the Civil War and World War Two. Me waxing portentous: if this is normative discourse for geek outlets such as Nerdist, then we must worry for liberal civilization. [You don’t say, me…]
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020
The New York Times abandons key claims of the 1619 Project, as reported by the World Socialist Web Site — this stuff it seems is too kooky even for them.
Sunday, September 20th, 2020
I do consider Jonah Goldberg overrated, but he nails it regarding the US DoE calling out Princeton’s woke bullshit:
Princeton: Take our confessions of systematic institutional racism seriously but not literally.
Friday, September 18th, 2020
“Recognizing that the Arab and Jewish peoples are descendant of a common ancestor…” — Let us savor the text of the Treaty of Peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Blessed are the peacemakers…
Sunday, September 13th, 2020
This piece in The Federalist articulates how the American Left is projecting its own insurrectionism, nicely comparing their rhetoric to Southerners’ threats in the 1860 election should Lincoln win.
As author John Daniel Davidson writes, what they say “tells us less about what is likely to happen in the real world and more about the mendacious worldview, toxic prejudices, and treasonous imaginings of the elites themselves.”
Friday, September 4th, 2020
With “Beyond the Face of Race: Emo-Cognitive Exporations of White Neurosis and Racial Cray-Cray” co-authored by Robin DiAngelo of White Fragility, I’m reminded of the totally nutty 1991 The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing (5 stars with 1,109 ratings on Amazon!).
That said, this paper reads altogether more sanely than that earlier book, though its self-described parables are pretty darn vicious; perhaps it’s telling that they’re explicitly not by DiAngelo but rather credited solely to co-author Cheryl E. Matias.
Thursday, August 20th, 2020
The iPhone matters more than anything … it is the foundation of modern life.
Ben Johnson, “Apple, Epic, and the App Store”
Sunday, August 16th, 2020
“A juggernaut of creativity, innovation and high-tech:” US national security advisor Robert O’Brien provides Hugh Hewitt with inside baseball on the American angle of the magnificent Israel-UAE Abraham Accords.
Saturday, August 15th, 2020
Commentary Magazine‘s Abe Greenwald speaks to the current revolutionary moment:
Because the United States is fundamentally good, most Americans may, in time, become circumspect about tearing it all down.
“From left field, a world-changing moment executed by the executive branch…” The Commentary Magazine podcasters speak to the historic Israel-UAE deal.
Thursday, August 13th, 2020
It’s been a while since I’ve found use for the New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman. But this latest one is like the Friedman of yore, before degenerating into partisanship and pandering: he warns the United States that a polity such as Lebanon where everything is political cannot hold (never mind that the politicality of everything is a philosophical touchstone of the side to which he panders).
Wednesday, August 12th, 2020
Seven ceramic sculptures by Japanese artist Jun Kaneko have been set in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House in Buffalo, NY.
Monday, August 10th, 2020
Thursday, August 6th, 2020
The Daily Mail has 8:38 minutes of police bodycam footage of the George Floyd arrest.
Given what this American Spectator article contains — the transcript of the exchange between George Floyd and the arresting policemen before he was even on the ground and the toxicology report stating George Floyd’s death was in all likelihood due to an overdose — the shit gonna hit the fan whether the courts find police innocent or guilty.
Friday, July 31st, 2020
The Smithsonian posts a nice little piece on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Laurent House, designed for the wheelchair-bound client who clearly adored his wonderful home, which is now thankfully a museum.
Saturday, July 25th, 2020
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Nixon Library to a new posture regarding China.
If we bend the knee now, our children’s children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party … securing our freedoms from [the CCP] is the mission of our time.
Friday, July 24th, 2020
If we stopped testing now we’d have very few cases — or any.
US President Donald J Trump
Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020
In their respective theatres of the Middle East, Europe and Eurasia, the prime strategic directive for liberal bulwarks Israel, Britain and the United States is to block aspiring authoritarian hegemons.
Monday, July 20th, 2020
For those who care to be reminded, Edward Feser writes in The American Mind a straight-shooting review of Plato’s political thought.
The first thing to keep in mind in order to understand Plato’s analysis of democracy is that he is not primarily concerned with procedural matters, such as the way in which people are elected or policies decided upon. What he cares about, again, is the character type that predominates in a society.
Sunday, July 19th, 2020
Victor Davis Hanson’s tone has finally changed to righteous anger:
An individual of unknown appearance may kind of, sort of, be shattering our bedroom window and could be pondering a felonious infraction. So could you send out a community facilitator to inquire?
Friday, July 17th, 2020
From The Atlantic to Silicon Valley — is the tide turning? Paul Graham coins “Orthodox Privilege”.
Thursday, July 16th, 2020
Thank you, The Atlantic, for daring to publish John McWhorter’s eminently sensible review of Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility. My faith is somewhat renewed.
McWhorter holds back more than on the freewheeling The Glenn Show, where he calls it “one of the worst books ever written”.
Wednesday, July 15th, 2020
“There is no linguistic justice without racial justice,” as quoted in The Linguistic Society of America’s open letter to call to remove Steven Pinker.
What a fakakta — China must be licking its chops as we stand around pissing on each other’s piss.
Sunday, July 12th, 2020
A work-in-progress web rendering of Moby Dick by Jason Pamental, with Rockwell Kent’s woodblock illustrations. Glorious!
Sunday, July 5th, 2020
We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright Brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, General George Patton, the great Louie Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Mohammad Ali.
Yet the media called the speech “dark and divisive”.
Monday, June 15th, 2020
Capping off a triumvirate of essays I’ve come across in the past few days that elucidate the current moment is Ross Douthat on the successor ideology.
David Goldman produces a fact-filled yet overarchingly-theoried analysis of the mid-pandemic race-themed disturbances. Like for Palestinians, he argues it’s about humiliation. Goldman is sympathetic but not sycophantic, analytic but not caustic.
Sunday, June 14th, 2020
This is the most cogent, bracing clarification of the non-Covid aspects of our current moment that I’ve yet to encounter.
Saturday, June 6th, 2020
“The Problem of White Efficacy” by Rebekah Frumkin in Guernica. Totally mental.
Thursday, June 4th, 2020
Rejecting “false equivalency between rule of law and rule by law”, the USA has published its Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China.
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
“Opposing an aspiring Eurasian hegemon is the American prime strategic directive.” Donnelly’s back!
Monday, May 18th, 2020
Sunday, May 17th, 2020
The Making of Prince of Persia
Video game maker Jordan Mechner wrote a rich diary of his life in the mid-1980s. This book covers the creation his second hit game, Prince of Persia, so we gain access of unique immediacy to the heroic tale of producing a universe-dent-making hit.
I wanted this book, which I discovered via Tyler Cowen’s most recent What I’ve been reading, as inspiration during a small lull in morale as I work on a digital product of my own.
Thirty years on there is some poignancy in that this early period of Mencher’s life was the peak: after graduating Yale, already dreamily successful, he shuttles between San Francisco and Hollywood creating video games and pushing screenplays, a digital Orson Welles (in his later game The Last Express, Mechner combines these passions, relying on cinema to produce an impressive commercial failure).
That said, perhaps it is no failure at all that one can point to the creative peak of a life — Mechner’s arguably was working within the memory constraints of the Apple II to create a foe, Shadow Man, based on the hero character. Here I’m reminded of Ken Kocienda’s not dissimilar Eureka moment when up against a constraint, that of using a dictionary to help create the iPhone keyboard.
Perhaps it would have been a better book if he had fleshed out the journal with an italicized retrospective written now, but count me a late-arrival Jordan Mechner fan. And don’t get the Kindle edition lacking the illustrations; I think I’m gonna need to buy the actual book.
Saturday, April 25th, 2020
The biggest balagan ever, the USA’s flailing then failing pandemic response:
By the time the virus broke on American shores, the problem was not that the United States didn’t have a single plan for an international pandemic. The problem was it had dozens of plans, totaling thousands of pages, issued by different agencies and by different administrations, apparently with little thought to how they would be combined or who would implement them.
Sunday, April 19th, 2020
Sunday, April 12th, 2020
In “The Unbearable Rightness of Trump”, the redoubtable Andrew Klavan recounts his erstwhile amusement watching the video mash-up of Trump saying “China”, only to realize later that the then presidential candidate was correct in his focus.
Klavan’s anecdote rings home precisely for me; I too was so amused that I showed the video to my son for laughs. When it matters most, and behind the weird performant exterior, Donald Trump’s vision pierces through the fog to the essence of a situation. That is why he is President.