It’s more than an oxymoron and less than Jonah Goldberg’s new book makes it out to be.
Author Archives: Michael Solot
Boys Will Be Boys
What happened when an ambitious researcher tried to fool Mother Nature.
Yo-Yo Ma at Orchestra Hall, March 8 By Michael Solot When Yo-Yo Ma arrives at a certain pitch of intensity in performance, you not only hear his passion in the music but see it plainly in the man. He snaps his head sharply in time to the beat, whipping his hair this way and that. […]
Robert Hughes stumbles on his journey through American art history.
The best translations of Homer try to make something new out of the work. That doesn’t mean making Homer modern; it means finding a way to let him be universal.
Who Do We Think We Are
According to Stephen Jay Gould, this is the age of bacteria. But humans flit into a single instant of the immense span of time and assume that the whole party has been waiting just for us.
Reading: Genocide and the Average German
The “good German” was always something of a cartoon; Hitler’s Willing Executioners demonstrates that he is also a lie.
Reading: Attack of Conscience
Austria Nursed a serpent in Thomas Bernhard, author of a lacerating assault on her Nazi past
H.L. Mencken Again
Fred Hobson’s biography would have been a better book if he’d spent a little less time sniffing around old Henry’s bedroom.
Window on the World
Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist at the Art Institute of Chicago, through May 28 The umbrella has become the very foremost badge of modern civilisation. –Robert Louis Stevenson, 1871 Is there anybody in this great humping city who has not taken a few minutes to sit down on a park bench, say, for the sole purpose […]
Tales Told by Idioms
Two new slang dictionaries take on the language of the street–with mixed results.
Reading: On Coke and Muzak
Capitalism’s most spectacular successes don’t come from meeting old needs in new ways–building the proverbial better mousetrap–but from creating entirely new needs and going all out to fill them.
Reading: A Man and His Hand
Nicholson Baker’s recent novels are expressions of the ultimate schoolboy ethos, modern epics of masturbation.
Reading: Black Metropolis Revisited
In 1945, when this U. of C. classic was first published, the ghetto was a much different place. And sociology was a much different discipline.
Reading: A Novel Hypothesis
Was it Jane Austen’s purpose to advance the cause of Western imperialism? Edward W. Said thinks so.