Liz Lochhead’s selective boycott

The poet Liz Lochhead, known to a generation of Scottish schoolchildren as “the one that’s not Carol Ann Duffy”, has joined calls for a boycott of Batsheva Dance Company. Batsheva is an Israeli troupe which – unless Lochhead gets her way – will be performing at the Playhouse on Thursday as part of the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland’sContinue reading “Liz Lochhead’s selective boycott”

Unkind to mankind on screen

“There is a greater good, and for that you must be sacrificed,” explains the Director (played by Sigourney Weaver), the figurehead of a mysterious organization with the cheery corporate goal of staving off the end times. We are in the dying moments of The Cabin in the Woods, a campy horror movie written by JossContinue reading “Unkind to mankind on screen”

Dayan’s lesson

Moshe Dayan, Ariel Sharon once said, “would wake up with a hundred ideas. Of them 95 were dangerous; three more were bad; the remaining two, however, were brilliant.” The historian Mordechai Bar-On, who has published a new book on his former boss Moshe Dayan: Israel’s Controversial Hero (Yale, £18.99), would argue that the late IsraeliContinue reading “Dayan’s lesson”

A love letter with laughs

Screwball, the most American subgenre of comedy, is satirical but gentle-satirical. It pulls its punches. Not about its leads, whom it skewers mercilessly, but about bigger social questions. There is no political consciousness to be found in a screwball comedy, or at least not one with the edge of a critique. Even the Depression-era ribbingContinue reading “A love letter with laughs”

Reign of ignorance

America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered In the Obamacrats) By David Gelernter Encounter, 185 pages Why is the American academy so monolithically left-wing? David Gelernter, himself a tenured professor of computer science at Yale, attempts an answer in his new book America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered In theContinue reading “Reign of ignorance”

Tzipi Livni resigns, Newsweek list-compilers hardest hit

The announcement brought a hush to the faculty lounges. In the newsroom of Haaretz, tambourines fell silent; the morning rendition of Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu cut off mid-chorus. Over at the New Israel Fund, filing of petitions to demand the Supreme Court demolish yet another home in Judea and Samaria was put on hold. ThereContinue reading “Tzipi Livni resigns, Newsweek list-compilers hardest hit”

Attacking Ann Romney

And so it begins. With Rick Santorum out of the race Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee. The Democrat smear machine has begun in earnest. Most seasoned observers predicted class warfare rhetoric would play a critical role in the Obama campaign’s case against Romney. What no one predicted was how quickly Democrats would targetContinue reading “Attacking Ann Romney”

Santorum’s exit

So I’ve been pretty mean about Rick Santorum. I’ve made fun of his interview tantrums and his weird obsession with the possibility that, somewhere, right now, in Vermont, two guys called Bruce and Bernard could be picking out matching his’n’his dressing gowns at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I mocked his condomnation (trademark pending) of birthContinue reading “Santorum’s exit”

Barack Obama, Derrick Bell, and the politics of hugging

Let’s dispense with a few misconceptions, shall we? No, of course it’s not racist to object to the late Professor Derrick Bell’s contributions to critical race theory. It’s not racist to object to the protest – essentially for racial hiring quotas at the Harvard Law faculty – depicted in the video released by NorContinue reading “Barack Obama, Derrick Bell, and the politics of hugging”