Culture

Review: ‘Justice on Trial’

We won't be fooled again

With tensions high as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepared to vote on advancing Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, senators packed into an anteroom—and turmoil ensued.

Review: Free For All ‘Hamlet’ at the Shakespeare Theatre Company 

A prince of Denmark for the internet generation 

Let's get the basics out of the way. Hamlet is one of the greatest plays in history. The Shakespeare Theatre Company is a celebrated professional troupe. The Free for All series makes world-class theatre accessible to everyone, free to anyone willing to spend the time. It's good! Residents of the DMV, citizens of the states, tourists from the imperial provinces, go see it before July 21. It is time well spent. 

Review: ‘The Age of Addiction’ by David Courtwright

The new prohibitionism

America is a nation of habits. Roughly one in four Americans has drunk to excess in the past month. Twenty-eight million smoke cigarettes daily; 11 million have a pack-a-day habit. Ten million are addicted to gambling. Twenty-six percent of U.S. adults are online "almost constantly." We spend roughly six hours a day watching "video" of all kinds, including that consumed by the 80 percent of men and 26 percent of women who are weekly porn users.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

The wonder of space faded under social commentary

"Beyond the circle of the moon," Aristotle observed, "there is no evil." It's one of those curious lines that reveal the divide between what we once were and what we now are—a divide marked by that almost over-famous "one small step" Neil Armstrong took on July 20, 1969, as he stepped out of the lunar module and walked upon the moon.

Review: ‘Stuber’

Stuber succeeds in breathing new life into the buddy movie

Buddy movies are the ultimate in male wish fulfillment, a romantic comedy without romance, a vision of a perfect friendship forged in hardship, self-sacrifice, and mutual understanding.

SCARE QUOTES: The Most Relatable President Ever

Review: 'How To Think Like Obama' by Daniel Smith

What do Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Bill Gates, Leonardo da Vinci, Stephen Hawking, and Sigmund Freud have in common? For starters, they have all earned the right to be mentioned in the same breath as Barack Obama in a discussion about history's greatest thinkers.

Listening Well

Review: ‘Dignity’ by Chris Arnade

Dignity is a book about giving voice to the voiceless, and it should be assessed by how well it achieves this goal. Where it succeeds it is moving, even heart-wrenching. But even the ways in which it fails tell us something about the problems of connecting America’s two halves.

A Race Against Reality

Review: 'The Gifted School' by Bruce Holsinger

Who would bother trying to write a novel of social commentary these days? You know, like Dickens, with Bleak House (1853). Or Trollope, with The Way We Live Now (1875). Or even Upton Sinclair, with The Jungle (1906). However much novelists might think they've found the perfect metaphor—the ideal synecdoche—for laying bare a culture's hypocrisies and inner mechanisms, cultural revelations now come along faster than good novelists can write. Actual events will beat them to the point, and the real world will prove weirder and more telling than any imaginary world could have predicted.

The Best and Worst Songs to Play at Your Fourth of July Party, Ranked

Hogan on the guitar, good. 1812 Overture, bad.

How's an intelligent, discerning patriot supposed to know which troop-supporting, jingoistic tunes to play while grilling up some dogs and shooting off illegal explosives? By listening to me, obviously. Here's the comprehensive ranking of the best and worst songs to play at your Fourth of July soiree: