Heartbreak Hotel

Haiti

Heartbreak Hotel

In 1935, British journalist James Agate admitted to obsession with a juicy but fundamental...
The Hoax Down Under

Media

The Hoax Down Under

Say what you like against us Australians, there is one activity where we excel, and that i...
Sam Francis & Me

Remembrance

Sam Francis & Me

You have no idea what joy lies in discovering that there is another human being in one's h...
The Customer is Always Wrong

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The Customer is Always Wrong

What is lacking in Peter Gay’s account of modern art is a serious effort (or any effort) to explain that maniacal anti-bourgeoisie hatred which Baudelaire and, especially, Flaubert injected into modernism’s bloodstream. It was a hatred all the more ridiculous, and all the more dangerous, because it took the form of masochism: its artistic adherents being, after all, bourgeois themselves. Not a single aristocrat or prole in the entire bunch. Save for this obvious masochistic element, the emotion thus generated did not differ from Der Stürmer’s subsequent loathing of Jews, or from Stalin’s eventual cheery talk of “€œexterminating the kulaks as a class.”€ Fortunately, mere historical accidents”€”of the kind that Marxists, with their infantile determinism, suppose to be impossible”€”prevented Baudelaire and Flaubert, at least, from acting on their own hate’s implications.

The Death of Music by the Spirit of Government Subsidies

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The Death of Music by the Spirit of Government Subsidies

Clearly something went horribly wrong with classical music in or shortly after 1945, something which left the old guard blissfully unaffected, yet which was almost bound to demoralize creators still in their youth. Gradually the solution came to me: What characterized classical musical production after 1945″€”and what had almost never characterized classical musical production before 1945″€”was something so obvious, so much a part of our daily lives in 2007, that we seldom give a thought to it: namely, unlimited taxpayer funding.

Did I Kill Robert Lowell?

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Did I Kill Robert Lowell?

I knew nothing of Lowell. I knew nothing of poetry, other than the sub rosa collection of obscene limericks then doing the classroom rounds, thanks largely to myself. I knew nothing of Jonathan Edwards, the poem’s putative subject. I listened to the first lines of “Mr. Edwards and the Spider.” At first I felt little interest. Then, gradually, it was as if a neutron bomb had gone off inside my head.

Confessions of an Australian Organist

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Confessions of an Australian Organist

There’s no limit to what troublemaking choristers can achieve. I have been present when a tenor has simply walked out of the choir in the middle of Mass, apparently because he was afraid that if he stood near the sopranos and altos, he would get Girl Germs. I have even been present when a politically extremist goon infiltrated a choir…. Perhaps I shouldn”€™t actually refer to him as “€œneo-Nazi”€, but let’s just say he had a criminal record for violence against Asians in protest marches, and that he publicly denied that the Holocaust ever happened, and that he was said to have been kicked out of another church because he kept giving Hitler salutes.

Falstaff in a Fedora

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Falstaff in a Fedora

If Taki were a singer, he would be George Melly. Alas, if Taki were George Melly, he would be dead. George Melly was a “€œfat and fairly famous”€ (his second wife’s words) British entertainer. He died in London on July 5, a month before his 81st birthday. The Melly resume defied a one-line apophthegm–blues singer, jazz singer, journalist, screenwriter, historian of surrealist painting, all were equally accurate descriptions and all were incomplete”€”but if a single word could suffice to sum him up, that word would be the cobweb-laden “€œvaudevillian.”€

Un-Killing Whitey: The Achievement of Sam Francis

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Un-Killing Whitey: The Achievement of Sam Francis

To those of us who knew and respected for years the journalism of Samuel Francis (1947-2005), it remains hard to believe that he is gone. The outlets that regularly published him “€“ Chronicles, VDARE, The American Conservative, Middle American News and others “€“ seem, as their editors would doubtless admit, strangely diminished without his copy. At least we now have what has long been lacking: a comprehensive Samuel Francis Reader, by which existing admirers can observe afresh his versatility, and (with luck) new readers can be lured on board.

Britain in the Ashtray: Notes on a Scandal

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Britain in the Ashtray: Notes on a Scandal

There is no reason to suppose that this film’s near-perfect depiction of nihilism exaggerates, in any way, the quotidian horror of Britain under Blair. There is every reason to suppose that, if anything, it understates such horror. The British dispatches from Theodore Dalrymple, Peter Hitchens, and Geoffrey Wheatcroft regularly convey to us a land as unrecognizable from its 1970s self (some of us remember that self from our youth) as today’s Spain is from Franco’s.


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