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Klavan On The Culture

More On Conservative Culture

November 21st, 2014 - 10:52 am

And while we’re talking about conservatives and the culture, here’s Bill Whittle and I talking about…  well, conservatives and the culture!

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Dark Hearts:  The Secret of Haunting Melissa, should be available for download from the iTunes store this Thursday, the 20th, tomorrow as I write. This is the sequel to the innovative ghost story in an iOS app, created by Neal Edelstein and scripted by me. I haven’t seen the whole thing yet, but I’ve seen a lot of it and I can say without reservation that it looks absolutely terrific. Neal did a fabulous job with the material and so did the cast from the beautiful Kassia Warshawski — Melissa — on down.

Take a look at the trailer below, then get the app. It’s free though there are in-app purchases. If you have an Android…  dude, buy an iPhone.

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Actress, writer and Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Lena Dunham is the Barack Obama of Hollywood: a mediocrity elevated to icon status because she plausibly represents false ideas that make the left feel virtuous. In Obama’s case, the ideas are about the virtues of wealth redistribution and American non-exceptionalism. With Dunham, the ideas are about sex and feminism. Like Obama, Dunham is not very good at what she does but it doesn’t matter because she does what the left needs her to do so they support her.

The recent season finale of Dunham’s HBO show Girls garnered under 700,000 viewers which, by television standards, is essentially none. And yet if you read articles about her, you’ll find the show repeatedly described as a hit. Why do people describe it as a hit? Because even though it’s not watched by a lot of people, it’s watched by the right people. Who are the right people? The people who describe the show as a hit. There’s a reason this is called the Echo Chamber.

Recently, my friends at Ben Shapiro’s website Truth Revolt did for Miss Dunham what the economy and ISIS have done for Obama. They introduced her to non-leftism, also known as reality. They quoted sections from her recent autobiography Not That Kind of Girl under the descriptive headline “Lena Dunham Describes Sexually Abusing Her Little Sister.” Miss Dunham threatened to sue the site for quoting her verbatim! Then she canceled parts of her book tour. Then she went on a “rage spiral.” Then she jumped up and down three times and went through the floor like Rumpelstiltskin. Okay, that last part is a joke — but only just.

But the point is that the folks at Truth Revolt have recognized the revolting truth: liberty lovers need a cultural echo chamber of our own. It’s not enough to have talented artists and good works. We need a cultural infrastructure building up the good and tearing down the bad and bringing our view of culture to the forefront of the public’s attention. We haven’t got that infrastructure in place yet, but we’re getting there, as the TR-Dunham duke out shows.

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November 9th, 2014 - 9:21 am

I’m heading off this week to the David Horowitz Restoration Weekend in Florida and will try to blog from there on what I hear and learn. Meanwhile, here’s Bill and I chatting on PJTV about the value and danger of cynicism:

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Dark Hearts: The Secret of Haunting Melissa

November 6th, 2014 - 10:42 am

Some of you were probably too busy voting Democrats out of office to notice that a terrific new trailer for the Haunting Melissa sequel came out on YouTube last week. HM was director Neal Edelstein’s innovative ghost-movie-in-an-app that climbed the App Store bestseller list in 2013. The script to that film was by your humble correspondent as is the script to the sequel, Dark Hearts: The Secret of Haunting Melissawhich is due out later this month:

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Download the free app here.


Vote: Here’s Why

November 4th, 2014 - 7:24 am

If you missed this, watch trumpeter Chris Botti play the National Anthem as if everyone who ever died for our freedom were in his heart as he played. And watch the faces of the players at the Colts-Giants game as the music runs through them like a binding thread more powerful than the things that separate them. Then vote because…  well, if you gotta ask, you’ll never know. H/T TheBlaze.

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Peggy Noonan made an interesting comparison in her Saturday WSJ column. (Don’t complain that it’s behind a paywall. You’re a capitalist; pay the woman for her work!) She told of her great-aunt’s immigrant journey from Ireland to Ellis Island.  During the course of the nine-day trip, the woman was checked daily for any illness that might be contagious. Only when she was found to be healthy was she cleared to enter the country.

The great-aunt proudly saved the health card that marked her fit to immigrate and passed it on to Noonan, who framed it. Noonan reflects on the graciousness and gratitude of that sort of nation-building immigrant, as opposed to the reaction of American nurse Kaci Hickox, who was exposed to Ebola and threatened to sue when officials wanted to quarantine her to protect others.

Speaking of her great-aunt, Noonan writes, “I miss such humility, don’t you? Did we fail to encourage it by forgetting to honor it? Or, if these questions are insufficiently ideological, whatever happened to courtesy to the collective? We should bring it back.”

This is me talking now, not Noonan, but I think we can see the same shift in attitude from the great-aunt’s humility to Hickox’s I’ll-Sue egoism in a lot of places. Consider the Muslims so eager to cry out against “racial profiling” when police target them for investigation. Their religion is suffering a worldwide plague of violence, yet rather than sacrifice a bit of time and precious dignity to help insure their neighbors’ safety from that plague, they want us to reinvent reality to serve their convenience.

Blacks, too, who harrass the police assigned to protect their high-crime neighborhoods. They claim the cops are racist for stopping and frisking the suspicious when the truth is the officers are trying to protect the majority of non-criminals in their areas, not to mention the rest of us.

Illegal immigrants demanding their “rights,” while breaking the laws that sustain those rights; same deal.

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“Pastor Speaks Out on Houston Mayor”

October 31st, 2014 - 4:53 am

A great piece from WND on the likewise great Jesse Lee Peterson:

If there’s one thing the Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson has learned after 25 years of battling in the trenches of the culture wars, it’s that the enemy never rests, never gives up, never falls down on the job.

Conservative Christians, Peterson says, don’t seem nearly as unified or committed. And that’s why they don’t win many battles…

If Christians had anywhere near the stamina to fight for good as the other side fights for evil, they would not be witnessing the historic transformation of American society that is taking place today, he says.

“Not only will Christians not fight against the liars, but they’ll fight against you for not backing down to the liars,” Peterson said. “If Christians were strong, there’s just no way evil would be winning. Because evil doesn’t give up. You have to destroy evil. You can’t play with evil. You can’t be nice to evil.”

As usual, Jesse is cowed by left wing opposition and pulls his punches…  okay, joking. Read the whole article here.

New Ghost Stories for Halloween

October 29th, 2014 - 4:44 am

Here’s a find for my fellow ghost story lovers, just in time for Halloween. Wandering aimlessly about the internet, I stumbled on a British site called The Fiction Desk. They apparently run an annual ghost story competition and then publish the winners as an anthology. So okay, for eight bucks I’m game. I downloaded last year’s book — New Ghost Stories — to see if there was anything worth reading.

And yes, I’m delighted to report there very much is! The ghost story is hard to do and I’m a connoisseur and very particular. A good ghost story doesn’t horrify but is marked by a shudder at the crisis point and a fine long chill afterward. M.R. James did it routinely; E.F. Benson and E. A. Poe both did it spectacularly a few times; Stephen King is a modern master when he puts his mind to it. There are many others less well known, but my point is, it takes real skill to pull it off.

All the stories in this anthology are skillful. All are well written. Most are pretty spooky. Some are very good. One — Chalklands by Richard Smyth — is downright excellent: beautifully written, wonderfully imagined, expertly constructed — and it delivers a genuine long-lasting eerie scare.

I’ve read a lot — a lot — of anthologies that include the most famous living names in the genre. This anthology can stand up with any of them. I realize eight dollars isn’t chump change, but these lesser known writers could all use support. So if you have the coin and enjoy a good ghost story, this is a solid anthology and good bedtime reading for the 31st.

How the Left Hijacks Liberalism

October 26th, 2014 - 1:15 pm

This is not a liberal.

Many leftists seem to have confused their political opinions with their virtue. They may have disagreements among themselves from time to time, but if there’s one thing they know it’s that all those on the right are wicked. I wish I could share their conviction that everyone who disagrees with me politically is bad, but I know there are many good and decent people who vote Democrat.

The question is: Why? Why do they vote that way?

The modern Democrat Party is leftist. We know that leftism is bad for people. We know leftist welfare policies have destroyed the black family. We see how feminism turns women into weak, quivering, delicate creatures fearful of a word or gaze. We understand how multiculturalism empowers the most intolerant and violent of terrorist thugs. What is it that makes nice folks attach themselves to a political position that does so much damage?

I think it is because they are liberal and the left has hijacked liberalism.

I am a liberal myself. In fact, I became a conservative because I’m a liberal. Liberalism — the belief that individuals should be as free as possible in their thought, speech and action — is what my conservatism seeks to conserve. Nowadays I sometimes hear people describing this position as Classical Liberalism as if there were some new, improved, modern liberalism that had replaced it. Alas, not so!

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