Its Own Worst Enemy

Freedom of the press is under attack, and President Donald Trump is to blame. So goes the media narrative.

Mark Levin accepts the premise that freedom of the press is at risk, but places the locus of blame on the media itself. His new book Unfreedom of the Press takes the media to task for “destroying freedom of the press from within.”

None the Wiser

It’s clear that Tim Blake Nelson sincerely loves Socrates.

You may know Nelson as an actor from his turns in Coen Brothers works like the impossibly sympathetic and goofy Delmar in O Brother Where Art Thou, freaking out about his buddy being turned into a frog. Or, more recently, you may have seen him as the cheery and violent gunslinging “songbird” Buster Scruggs on Netflix. Now he’s written a play, Socrates, currently running at the Public Theater in New York, about the second-most salient self-sacrifice in human history. It’s poignantly set and incredibly cast, conjuring a world of Plato and Aristotle and Aristophanes that’s engrossing. It’s full of love, and it’s full of rage.

Real Americans

When I walked into the “Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing” exhibit at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, I entered a pristinely curated history book. The black-and-white photographs hanging neatly on the walls provide the museum’s visitors with an account of history by the people who lived it. There are ex-slaves and their children still working in fields under direction of white plantation owners, with dusty faces gnarled from sun; migrant workers in the Dust Bowl whose hands are sun-burnt and calloused from field work, standing by their underfed children; somnolent stares from across a segregated taproom; and wet eyes of Americans entering internment camps at the dawn of the Second World War.

Warren Zevon: A Genius and Disaster

There aren’t actually all that many lines in pop music that tell you, simply by their construction, who their writer was. And a man named Warren Zevon had a surprising number of them. You hear something like, I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand / Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain, as he sang in his 1978 “Werewolves of London.” And you know it has to be him. Only him. The genius and the disaster that was Warren Zevon.