The Conversation

Culture: Cultural happenings and discussions.

Conservative Writers: Pit Bulls v. Show Dogs

Mar 8, 2013 9:59 AM PT

Please disregard the headline of this article by Mark Judge of Real Clear Books.  In between the jabs against various friends, he makes some good points.

Reconnecting with Buckley's wonderful prose revealed something quite clearly: conservative journalism has plenty of pit bulls, but it lacks show dogs. It needs some graceful writers.

Conservative journalists at places like Breitbart, the Weekly Standard and National Review -- the magazine Buckley founded -- are skilled at lawyerly argument, at performing surgery on the bias of the mainstream media. But they haven't developed their muscles for artistic long form journalism.


The lack of good literary conservative journalism is a product of the success the right has had in creating its own media over the last ten years. Because liberals controlled the media for so many decades, the digital revolution was an intoxicating rush for many on the right. All of a sudden, if a liberal journalist told a lie, it could be instantly rebutted on the web. Suddenly, we could interview our own heroes, and write our own stories.

Yet because there was more money and hits to be had in boxing with the left rather than producing artful long form journalism, we had a glut of right-wing books and media attacking the left. Stars were made out of young right-wingers because of their success in humiliating the left, not necessarily for their writing skill.

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Who does not like the First Lady?!?!?!

Mar 7, 2013 11:50 AM PT

My criticism of the First Lady has little to do with her fashion sense (which is hit or miss, I think), but this exchange between the New York Times and famous designer Vivienne Westwood is revealing:

Q. You must love our first lady, who is famous for recycling her clothes.

A. Don’t talk about her. It’s dreadful what she wears.

Q. What?

A. I don’t want to talk about it. Really, I can’t. She’s a very nice looking lady, but it’s a nonstarter regarding clothes that suit her. Jackie Kennedy was a different matter altogether. It just has to suit her and be something that makes a human being more glamorous. That’s what fashion is there for. It’s there to help, not just to make you look more conservative.

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I (We) are the "blacks" that can fix the black community

Mar 6, 2013 2:21 PM PT

We are the 50 year olds--plus or minus a few years--who must rise above our upbringing (if your early life was a negative one.)

We're the generation that made a choice not to live in the affirmative action "black halls" on college campuses. I chose the open lottery system like most students. Why is this simple choice important? Because we decided we would not be told who and where to be, and how to act. For those who took a different path but still achieved and have skin in the game of life the task is still the same.

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Kid I grew up with becomes Israel's Hugh Hefner

Mar 6, 2013 4:36 AM PT

My friend Daniel Pomerantz wrote to me a few months ago from Israel, where he moved a couple of years ago, to say that he was involved with an exciting new publishing project but couldn't tell me what it was just yet.

Turns out it was Playboy Israel, which launched Tuesday. Yes, I am jealous, and also amazed by how a kid from Skokie, IL has figured out a way to fulfill every (straight) Jewish boy's ultimate career fantasy.

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Sickest mashup ever

Mar 5, 2013 1:30 PM PT

I'm sure there's a lesson in here for conservatives about pop culture. But my brain's too exploded to figure it out.

Lady Bosses

Mar 4, 2013 6:56 AM PT

Having spent decades working in psychology, a field heavily populated by highly competitive women, I had certainly seen the queen bee before: The female boss who not only has zero interest in fostering the careers of women who aim to follow in her footsteps, but who might even actively attempt to cut them off at the pass.

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106 Year Old Woman To Graduate From High School

Mar 1, 2013 7:48 PM PT

Reba Williams, a 106 year old woman from Columbus, Ohio will receive her high school diploma soon. According to the Mansfield Journal:

Williams was born Jan. 23, 1907, in Germantown, Pa. to Sherman and Myrtle Lavata Williams. Her family moved to Mount Vernon when she was a child.

She never graduated from Mount Vernon High School even though she completed all 12 years.

Her daughter Lavata Williams said Reba refused to read a book a teacher assigned. The school even asked her to take it home and read it over the summer and they would give her the diploma if she wrote a report.

“(Reba) said the book was not worth reading and she’d already read it once and didn’t like it and wasn’t going to read it again,” Lavata said. “My grandmother told me the story more than once.”

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