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Dark Psychic Forces? Maybe. But No Wars of the Roses Yet.

Marianne Williamson, who is one of twenty-something Democrats running for the party’s presidential nomination, and who has absolutely no chance of being nominated, recently made a few waves when she spoke of “dark psychic forces” emanating from Donald Trump.

Regardless of the accuracy of Williamson’s admittedly bizarre accusation, it does seem that the country is going through a rather contentious period. Yet history teaches us that it can be much worse, and that nations seem to go through periods in which Dark Psychic Forces (capital letters mine) seem to be in play.

I have written more than once about the HBO Series “Game of Thrones” and the analogies that can be drawn from the events in the story. The series has concluded, so we won’t (at least until the prequel is released) be getting any more analogies drawn from GOT for a while.

But fear not. If “Game of Thrones” is not available, then what about its historical inspiration, the Wars of the Roses in 15th Century England? For those interested, there are options for late-summer viewing and reading readily available. The Starz Network has release three mini-series based on the novels of Phillipa Gregory: “The White Queen”, “The White Princess”, and “The Spanish Princess”. Conn Iggulden has given us a four volume retelling of the Wars of the Roses, beginning with “Stormbird” and ending with “Ravenspur: the Rise of the Tudors.” These novels and films give us a painless way to absorb some history and ponder its relevance to our own times.

Theatre Review: The Mueller Report-Based ‘The Investigation: A Search for Truth’

The Church Report

Well, it didn’t take long! Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report was made public on April 18, 2019 and by June 24, 2019 we had a “play” about it! Eighteen notable actors—including John Lithgow, Annette Bening, and Kevin Kline—took the stage at the Riverside Church in Manhattan, and offered an hour-long reading of the Mueller report, entitled The Investigation: A Search for Truth, a title that forces one to sing “Dah-dah-daaahhh” after saying it.

Obviously, it would take way more than an hour to read the 400+ pages of the Mueller report. However, playwright Robert Schankken efficiently cut out most of the report—including the large portion that found no collusion committed by President Donald Trump or anyone on his campaign staff—focusing instead on the obstruction of justice section, which Mueller apparently was unsure about.  Schankken himself is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, whose most recent piece before The Investigation(Dah-dah-daaahhh!) was Building the Wall, a May 2017 play about “life in the Donald Trump era.”  I’ve yet to figure out how a President can define an “era” just five months into his administration.

Remember This About D-Day: It Could Have Failed…

D-Day: 6 June 1944…. When we look back upon the mighty armada the allies threw ashore on that day, it is tempting to believe overwhelming victory was inevitable. Not so. In a series of small matters God smiled upon the endeavor.

Memorial Day Memories and Small Town Virtues

Memorial Day in the sleepy little Massachusetts town where I grew up was a big deal (not so much here in Florida or elsewhere in the south, since its origin was a commemoration of  Union dead).  Next to Christmas it was also my favorite holiday, despite the somber ceremonies.  It marked the beginning of summer – cook-outs, the filling of swimming pools, flowers in full bloom, and fresh clean air.  Not long before school’s out!

Exploring LeftTube, Part 2: BadMouse Productions

Why I like Extremists

In his brilliant column on the future of sex robots (trust me, it’s really good), Ross Douthat opens with a line that I think is often true: “Sometimes the extremists and the radicals and the weirdos see the world more clearly than the respectable and moderate and sane.” I say this in light of today’s leftist YouTuber, BadMouse Productions, the most radical YouTuber I’ll be covering on a series on the rise of the YouTube Left (otherwise known as “LeftTube”).

Compared to other leftist YouTubers, BadMouse may not have the most views or subscribers, but what marks him out from his comrades is just how much he embraces his leftism. He’s no champagne-sipping socialist. More like a, East Germany wasn’t so bad, maybe we should rethink Stalin’s legacy, it’s not so bad if protestors attack cops, blood of the bourgeoisie sipping socialist!

John Wilkes & The Colorful, Criminal & Bawdy Origins of our 4th Amendment

Part 2 In an Ongoing Series on the Revolutionary War

John Wilkes, the bad boy of 18th century British politics — hated by King George III and beloved by the American colonists —  wasn’t the only inspiration for our Fourth Amendment prohibition against the government using general warrants to search for evidence and to arrest for a crime. But his story was by far the most colorful.

The Cult of Bonnie and Clyde: Lessons On How To Avoid the Worship of Today’s Killers

In Robert Arrington’s review of The Highwaymen on this site, he laments the cult that idolized this murderous couple in their day, and wonders if much has changed. There is more to the fascination, then and now, with these two than just the “Robin Hood” and “stickin’ it to the man” memes (which was also falsely attributed to the James & Younger gang of the previous century) and, as Eastwood’s character in The Unforgiven observed; “Deservin’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

First, there is the “star-crossed lovers” angle (though Bonnie was married to someone else serving time, and wore his wedding ring up to the day of her famous death). This was amplified by Bonnie’s poetry, which was discovered in one of their hideouts, and made public. They make sport of it in this movie – and she was no Whitman or Longfellow – but it ain’t half bad if we’re honest, especially for common folk.

Exploring LeftTube, Part 1: PhilosophyTube

I watch a lot of YouTube. Like… a lot of YouTube… So much YouTube in fact, that I get a good bulk of my political commentary from watching YouTubers. Since about 2015, YouTube’s political content has exploded, with political views from Left, Right, and Center putting in their two cents on the culture wars that are polarizing our nation. As a conservative myself, I’ve been fascinated by the rise of “LeftTube,” a loosely connected group of leftist YouTubers that have formed in response to the rise of right-wing political content on YouTube. These content creators provide good insight into how the Left is responding to the Trump era, and more importantly, where it is going. Over the course of a series of shorter posts, I will be picking a certain prominent Leftist YouTuber, and I will uncover a central point they make that I think is worth exploring.

Thoughts about Memory, Myths, and Memoirs

It seems as if memory — both when it works and when it doesn’t — is in the news a lot today. In the world of science, we’re being told that, if we moisturize our bodies, we may have a better chance of preventing Alzheizmer’s, as well as a host of other illnesses.

Elsewhere we read that, if you apply electrical stimulation to elderly people’s brains, you can revitalize their memory so it’s as if they’re in their 20s again. A lower tech suggestion is just to eat lots of garlic.

Howard Butcher at National Review: Homer Meets Generation Z

The author of Jonah: A Novel of Men and the Sea reveals his literary insights from his teaching experience

Is technology killing students’ ability to read classical literature?

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