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The Art of the Question

The Art of the Question

By Joseph Woodard | With typical ashen-gray melancholy, the old dean of St. John’s College once warned about the Great Books seminar: “You have to let a thousand golden moments just pass by… a thousand brilliant insights slip away…”  Back then, I thought he was talking about the timetable, the students, or even rules for tutoring. He was saying that and more. A great work is not a formula. It is a real thing: an old manor house with twisting corridors and hidden…

How to Fight Being Cancelled

How to Fight Being Cancelled

By Grace Daniel | By now there are enough “cancel culture” stories to fill volumes. After my own story about standing up to a woke mob—and succeeding—went viral on Twitter, I decided to speak out, because I am convinced that Americans need more encouraging stories about standing up to cancel culture, and information on how they can do it themselves. In order to withstand attacks, you’ll need to be armed with an understanding…

Of Art And Ethics And Their Children

Of Art And Ethics And Their Children

By Micah Meadowcroft | I don’t think it will come as too much of a surprise to anyone if I say that in high school I was a dedicated fan of the band Mumford & Sons. Americana instrumental flourishes (banjo rock solos) paired with a decidedly Anglo lyrical tradition (Shakespeare, the King James Bible…Plato?) and crystalline earnestness was…

Why I Need an AR-15

Why I Need an AR-15

By Dan Gelernter | I don’t need an AR-15 for hunting: It’s not even legal to take a deer with one in my state—the caliber is too small. I also don’t need an AR-15 for self-defense, though I’d want to have one if someone broke into my house. And I certainly don’t need one just because it’s a beautiful piece of engineering. I need an AR-15 because the government doesn’t want me to have one. Governments hate private weapons, and have always hated…

Attempting to Newspeak the English Language?

Attempting to Newspeak the English Language?

By Douglas Blair | In a social engineering move that seems straight out of the pages of George Orwell, Google recently introduced an update to its Google Docs platform that encourages users to use more “inclusive” language. Inclusive language advocates argue that words like “he” and “she” are transphobic, or that phrases like “blind date” “build on the millennia of discrimination people with disabilities have encountered.” In short, making language…

Freedom and Identity

Freedom and Identity

By John F. Doherty | “There is no doubt,” Joseph Ratzinger has written, “the era we call modern times has been determined from the beginning by the theme of freedom.” Today, says writer Jacques Philippe, “freedom appears very nearly the only value about which people still agree unanimously.” Most recently, this enthusiasm for freedom, the power of self-determination, has focused on the self as such, or identity. Some, as Yuval Levin notes…

Freedom of Expression in My Classroom

Freedom of Expression in My Classroom

By Mark Mercer | University students should be free from threat of institutional censure to state any opinion they wish and to state their opinions using whatever language they wish. At our university, however, students do not enjoy this freedom of expression. Various documents at Saint Mary’s University constrain what students may say and how they may say it. Students engaged in critical discussions of sensitive topics…

A New Segregation?

A New Segregation?

By Mark Bauerlein | As many of our readers who are parents know, it’s college planning time, and high school seniors scanning the amenities of the campuses they’ve chosen may be surprised by a particular feature they hadn’t expected: dorms and events for persons of color only, no whites allowed. I heard Dennis Prager discuss one example on the radio the other day, and it appalled him, as it does many conservatives… 

The Liberal Arts for Loss and Lament

The Liberal Arts for Loss and Lament

By Alex Sosler | For what purpose is our suffering? If this year of COVID has accomplished anything, it’s forced me to slow down. If you can remember back to those beginning months, there was one long pause from our collective work-a-day world. What do I do now? At first, it was a nice break. But then, slowly creeping inside me a question lingered: Why is this happening? Outside of the normal tragedies of the year…