Walt Whitman and the World at Our Disposal

An estimable poet in his own right, C.K. Williams has written an accessible, short study of Walt Whitman’s poetry. Part of a writers-on-writers series recently launched by Princeton University Press, On Whitman is a slight book, an appreciative meditation rather than a critical study… . . Continue Reading »

Riding Away

The cost of even a small state university’s embarrassment, of its hunger to be just like everywhere else, is paid by abortions and the knocked-up, messed-up young women who were thrown to the wolfish boys, unconstrained by either manners or morals… . Continue Reading »

They Did It

They did it, the blood-hungry fools. Last night, just after midnight out in Draper, Utah, they trussed up Ronnie Lee Gardner like a scarecrow, pinned a target on him, and pumped four .30-caliber bullets into his chest. This execution was so unnecessary, and because it was unnecessary, it was simply and completely wrong. They shouldn’t have done it”because they didn’t have to do it… . Continue Reading »

The Neglected Fireplace: Protestantism and the Arts

Protestants in the arts seem to be caught in a holding pattern of vision casting. In his recent book Senses of the Soul, the prominent evangelical theologian William Dyrness suggests that despite a surge of interest in the arts in Protestant intellectual life, there is still a “residual suspicion” regarding the arts in Protestant congregations… . Continue Reading »

Thomas Kinkade’s Cottage Fantasy

The painter of light has entered a dark period. Thomas Kinkade, the self-proclaimed (and trademarked) Painter of Light™, is beset with legal troubles. Several years ago, art gallery owners successfully sued his Kinkade’s Media Arts Group for millions after it was revealed that he and company officials used invoked God and their “higher calling” to hide the financial risks of the investments… . Continue Reading »

Metaphysics and the Common Good

You’ve always wanted to visit Rome, but your spouse dreams of hiking in the Alps. Your teenage son wants to go to London, while your daughter lobbies for Paris. But although everybody has substantive reasons for their preferred destination, nobody says so, and you end up in a more and more tedious argument about which place has the most convenient flights… . Continue Reading »

Blood for Blood

Absent a Board of Pardons intervention today, or some other unlikely event, Ronnie Lee Gardner will die this Friday, June 18”shot by firing squad in Utah as the penalty for his 1985 conviction for the murder of a lawyer during his failed attempt to escape while on trial for another murder… . Continue Reading »

Nonsense Drives Them Away

Gary Saul Morson, a professor of Slavic languages and literature at Northwestern University, teaches a popular course on the Russian novel at this renowned school in Evanston, Illinois. As such, he might be expected to welcome a defense of the humanities from any quarter. But in his review of Martha Nussbaum’s latest book, Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, he amply shows how some self-styled friends of the humanities are to a great extent the cause of the doldrums into which they have fallen… . Continue Reading »

The First American Everyman

American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists is a book about a man who, the author readily admits, is neither an American nor a saint. Yet, writes John Wigger, Francis Asbury “came to understand ordinary Americans as well as anyone of his generation” and “lived one of the most remarkable lives in American history.” … Continue Reading »