You Can Say That

While I was talking with our longtime contributor Hadley Arkes this month, he quoted a statement that I haven’t been able to get out of my head: “One man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.” It’s a simple maxim, easy to remember, with balance and brevity plus the air of a schoolmarm’s . . . . Continue Reading »

In Praise of Folly

The reactions to the attack on Charlie Hebdo highlight the odd affinity between the left and radical Islam and also draw attention to the unsung—and Augustinian—champions of liberal democracy: Satirists. Continue Reading »

My Life With Charlie Hebdo

As a student at the Sorbonne in my early twenties, back in the mid 1990s, every Wednesday before hitting the subway I would buy Charlie Hebdo. I was young, I was studying French literature in the course of becoming a teacher, and Charlie Hebdo was a weekly break from the classics. I didn’t pay much attention to the politics, which were far left. My friends and I would discuss the drawings, our favorite part of the magazine: “This one is perfect!” “Right on!” “And this one! Poor [insert name of politician]! They really got him!” “But Charb exaggerates in this one—it’s just mean.” Continue Reading »