Archives

How Not To Go Bonkers Over Donald Trump

February 2, 2017–So, here we are in week two of the Donald Trump presidency, and I don’t know about you, but I’m already kind of exhausted: My brain feels slightly bedraggled, and I think I may have run out of sighs. Not because of Donald Trump, mind you, but because a significant chunk of America seems to have made a hobby of yelling and hollering and ranting and dramatically tearing its hair out every ten minutes, whether that’s warranted or not.

“President Trump is an American terrorist,” former Star Trek star George Takei told the nation on Wednesday. On ABC’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg declared that she couldn’t see how Trump was “really much different than the Taliban.” Upon Trump’s nomination of the apparently mild-mannered and widely admired Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court, a dour Nancy Pelosi described him as a threat to everyone but robots, extraterrestrials, and those mysterious giant heads on Easter Island: Gorsuch would be a disaster, she cried, for all those who “breathe air, drink water, eat food, or take medicine.”

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Archives

Why the “Women’s Resistance” Might Self-Destruct

January 26, 2017–Things get a bit awkward when feminists make the patriarchy look good.

On Monday, President Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, a Reagan-era rule favored by Republican presidential administrations — and consistently tossed aside by Democratic ones — that bans U.S. funding for foreign non-governmental organizations that advocate or perform abortions.

If you’re pro-life, you’re probably applauding the return of the Mexico City Policy, even if you’re skeptical, doubtful, or mildly terrified of President Trump. But abortion-rights supporters, for obvious reasons, hate the policy with the heat of a cartoonish, oversize, slow-motion, action-film fireball that consumes everything in its path. They call it the “Global Gag Rule.”

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Archives

Women’s March Morphs Into Intersectional Torture Chamber

January 11, 2017–It’s almost impossible to throw a good old-fashioned protest march these days. Sure, it might seem simple: Choose a cause, set up a website, and get a bunch of moderately vexed, rightly concerned, permanently enraged, or even slightly bored people together at the same place at the same time. Add a few random signs that have absolutely nothing to do with the topic you’re marching about — or, even better, a copy of that sign that says “Not Usually A Sign Guy, But Geez” — and in most cases, you’re golden.

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Archives

Sorry, Men, You’re Not Allowed to Play by Feminist Rules

January 9, 2017–Imagine, if you will, the most oppressive, retrograde fictional male executive you can possibly cook up. Perhaps he looks like Don Draper, but with terrible clothes and an impressive gut. Maybe he’s Alec Baldwin in “Glengarry Glen Ross.” If you’re a more winsome, youthful sort, your favorite imaginary oppressor might be the brawny, clueless Gaston from “Beauty in the Beast.”

Whatever form your chosen theoretical corporate bad guy may take, get ready for some shocking news: Odds are, he wouldn’t get the heaps of glowing coverage recently dished out to a hip circle of New York feminists and their new women-only “work and social space.”

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Archives

The Great Hillbilly Scapegoat

nr-copyJanuary 5, 2017–If you regularly read the New York Times, you are probably familiar with one of my favorite journalistic genres: the “profile of exotic Middle Americans in their natural habitat” think piece. On New Year’s Eve, the Times ran a rather delightful example, set just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live: “Rodeo Offers a 90-M.P.H. Glimpse of Texans’ Truck Mania.”

Before you scoff, it’s actually an endearing piece, in which the author admits that he might be a terrible driver, confesses that he “smacked into a deer” on the way back to his hotel, and gamely notes, in a tone with a touch of Eddie Haskell, that he enjoyed his “stuntman-style” ride in a Ford Raptor “a whole bunch.”

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Archives

Don’t Shame My Fake Christmas Tree

The Federalist copyDecember 7, 2016 — Last week, a rangy, shifty-eyed beaver waddled into a Maryland dollar store, nosed around like a slightly bored Axl Rose surveying a $10,000-a-night hotel room, and went on to halfheartedly trash the Christmas aisle. After wreaking moderate havoc, the “suspect attempted to flee the area”—that’s the official statement from the local sheriff’s office—but was quickly and literally collared.

Remember, friends: No matter how eager, industrious, and adorably buck-toothed you may be, crime usually does not pay.

A deeper investigation into the Maryland beaver’s brief reign of semi-terror turns up few clues. Photo evidence, unfortunately, remains scant. Among the carnage, a box of “Christmas Fluff,” left strewn and askew mid-aisle, appeared to be hardest hit.

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Archives

Our Brave New Feminists

nr-copyDecember 1, 2016 — If you were an inquisitive space alien who decided to drift down to visit America in 2016 — as a tour guide, I probably wouldn’t recommend this year in particular, as people are kind of crabby, and good-natured hijinks are at a general low, but that’s another story — you could be forgiven for thinking that women simply can’t do a thing for themselves. You could be forgiven, that is, if your only human contacts were today’s leading “feminists.”

Take Tuesday’s news regarding the nomination of Tom Price, a pro-life congressman from Georgia, as the incoming Trump administration’s secretary of health and human services. To hear feminists tell it, if Price gets confirmed, we lady folk might as well call it a day, don sackcloth and ashes, and wail while we wait for the fearsome and inevitable arrival of the tsunami of patriarchal oppression.

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Archives

Mike Pence, Hero of American Theater

nr-copyNovember 22, 2016 — Over the pre-Thanksgiving weekend, the American Internet erupted in outrage, faux consternation, and streaks of halfhearted bickering. It was, in some ways, the perfect storm, stirring up several incendiary ingredients, including Donald Trump’s Twitter account, vocal public shaming, earnest onstage activism, and a musical that people just can’t stop talking about. What freshly heated scandal set the digital tubes aflame?

In short, Mike Pence, our vice president–elect — a man who has appeared mysteriously sanguine, at least on the outside, during what must be the wildest political ride of his life — was booed and lectured when he attended a Friday-night performance of America’s best-loved, most annoying Broadway show. That show, of course, would be Hamilton.

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Archives

Post-Trump Dispatches from Planet New York Times

nr-copyNovember 15, 2016 — Over the final few weeks of his presidential campaign, at rallies all over the country, President-elect Donald Trump took up a new slogan: “Drain the swamp!” His audience, presumably tired of insider shenanigans from Washington, D.C., ate it up. They chanted the phrase in unison, cheering with relish.

There’s a good reason for this: Most normal, well-adjusted non-Beltway Americans harbor a vigorous and healthy disdain for Washington, D.C. As any well-intentioned visitor to our nation’s capital can tell you, the sights are indeed grand, and the history is inspiring. But sadly, between the trips to the Smithsonian and the National Gallery, one begins to grow rightly suspicious when passing countless upscale bars filled with sometimes-smug 28-year-olds getting hammered on $16 cocktails that were purchased, either directly or indirectly, with your own hard-earned tax dollars.

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