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Klavan On The Culture

Monthly Archives: June 2011

A Cultural Observation

June 10th, 2011 - 7:00 am

Just to end the week with a cultural observation.  I went and saw Thor the other day – which is pretty much what you’d think it would be, an amusing superhero diversion for those who are into amusing superhero diversions.  In the story, based on the Marvel comic – inspired by Norse mythology – Thor comes to earth to learn to be a less aggressive and arrogant modern dude so he’s worthy to be king of mythical Asgard.  Now, of course, me, I was wondering:  Why?  I mean, he’s the God of Thunder.  Can’t he just hit bad guys over the head with a hammer?  But the point is that the mixing of orotund Norse gods with laid back, ironic modern American folk is the running joke of the movie.

And what’s interesting about this is that the theme of classical stories bleeding into the modern world seems to be going around like… a theme that’s going around.  It’s featured in at least two TV series due to begin in September:  Grimm – in which a descendant of the famous brothers becomes a Big Bad Wolf hunter in the present day – and Once Upon a Time, in which a lady bounty hunter discovers a town in which banished fairy tale characters live.

Not to make too much of this, but just as something to think about:  I wonder if the hankering to bring the great old stories forward into the ironic, above-it-all modern era is a reaction against our anemic and increasingly secular culture…  or to put it another way:  I wonder if it’s a further sign of a rebellion against the leftist monopoly of Hollywood and publishing that has brought that cultural anemia about.

KOC: The One State Solution

June 9th, 2011 - 11:24 am

I’ve gotten a number of requests for a transcript of my latest episode of PJTV’s Klavan on the Culture , “The One-State Solution.”  I’m posting it here.  If you re-post or translate, please give credits and links where due.  Thanks very much.

“KOC:  The One State Solution”

This is Andrew Klavan on the culture.

In an effort to bring peace to the Middle East, President Barack Obama has proposed that Israel should return to its 1967 borders in exchange for being annihilated by its enemies.  This would be an extension of the brilliant 2005 trade-off in which Israel gave up control of the Gaza strip in return for being relentlessly attacked by rocket fire while Palestinians voted to give leadership in the territory to Hamas, a terrorist organization bent on Jewish genocide.

But enticing as this offer may be, Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu has subtly indicated his displeasure with the president’s idea by flying to Washington and carefully explaining to Obama the meaning of the ancient Biblical phrase, “Kish meir Yiddische Tuchus.”  This creates a major obstacle to achieving the so-called two state solution – a proposal that would bring about lasting peace by dividing the area fairly between the Israelis and those who have sworn to exterminate them if it’s the last thing they ever do.

That’s why today we here at Klavan on the Culture would like to lay out what we consider the only plan likely to bring tranquility, freedom and justice to the region:  The one state solution, in which the entire Middle East is given to the Jews.

That’s right.  The one state solution is a proposal of genius that would not only help the Palestinians but would instantly achieve the noblest goals of the so-called Arab Spring.

For instance, turning the entire Middle East into one big Israel will secure religious freedom for everyone in the area.  As things stand, Muslim states either ban other religions completely or torment their practitioners to the point of extinction.

Not so Israel.  Although Jimmy Carter and other leftists pretending not to be anti-semites have accused Israel of practicing religious apartheid, the fact is Muslims and Christians have full freedom of religion in the Jewish state.  They can and do vote and serve in the Israeli Parliament and Supreme Court; they can and do volunteer to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces.  And only under the Jews, are the religious sites of the holy land open to all.

Indeed, once the entire Middle East becomes Israel, most of the region’s Arabs will be freer and better off in every way than they’ve ever been before.  The United Nations reports that Israel is far more democratic and more advanced in human development than any Arab state.  And, of course, only in Israel is that half of the population sometimes known as “women”—or “sweetheart” or “baby”—given full human rights.

Handing control of the Middle East over to the Jews is such a terrific idea.  In fact, many of you may be thinking, hey, maybe the Jews should run America too.  Of course some anti-semites believe the Jews already run America, but that’s ridiculous.  If the Jews ran America, we wouldn’t be 14-trillion dollars in debt.  Knuckleheads.

For more information on Israel, try searching the subject on frontpage magazine at frontpagemag.com.

This is Andrew Klavan on the culture.

Now I Am Happy

June 8th, 2011 - 7:00 am

Ann Coulter’s new book Demonic:  How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America just showed up at my doorstep from which it was transferred instantly to the top of my reading pile.  Now I be a happy dude.  So far, I’ve only had a chance to glance at the first few pages.  Here’s where Ann states her thesis:

“The demon is a mob and the mob is demonic…  The Democratic Party is the party of the mob, irrespective of what the mob represents.  Democrats activate mobs, depend on mobs, coddle mobs, publicize and celebrate mobs—they are the mob.  Indeed, the very idea of a “community organizer” is to stir up a mob for some political purpose.  “As so frequently happens when a crowd goes wild,” historian Erik Durschmied says, “there is always one who shouts louder and thereby appoints himself as their leader.”  Those are the people we call “elected Democrats.”

I’ll blog about it when I’ve read the rest.  For now, though, those of you who are accustomed to my sober and steadfast maturity of perspective will know that I’m not going to make any inappropriate remarks about the SMOKING HOT author photo on the back cover.  However, I can’t say with certitude that I won’t spend the rest of the week tweeting Ann lewd snapshots.

I mean, women like that…  right?

Me on Steyn

June 7th, 2011 - 7:00 am

I have a new article up about Mark Steyn in City Journal:

Back in the nineties, when I was living in London, I stumbled on a minor columnist of major brilliance. Now and again, I’d find him in some newspaper, writing about a television show I’d never seen or a second-rate play I never planned to see, and I’d remark to my wife how strange it was that a writer of such enormous talent should be wasting his time tossing off articles about such trivia.

One day, walking through South Kensington, I saw him on the street; I recognized him from his byline photo. I wanted to introduce myself and say something on the order of, “Look, I don’t know much, but I know a fine mind and terrific prose when I see them, and by gumbo, lad, you should lay off this irrelevant cultural fluff and write about something that matters!” Unfortunately, I have struggled with shyness all my life, and the shyness nearly always wins. I let him pass, and tragically, without my encouragement, Mark Steyn’s career vanished without a trace.

No, of course I’m joking…

Read the whole thing here.

I Blame Women

June 6th, 2011 - 12:00 am

I was so delighted to have my blog return to PJ Media that I really wanted to start off by writing about something important, an issue that really makes a difference in people’s lives, or an idea that perhaps you hadn’t thought of before, that might change the way you look at things.  But then I realized:  I haven’t made any jokes about Congressman Anthony Weiner’s penis yet.  So here we go.

As everyone knows by now, Weiner allegedly tweeted a photo of his erect Democrat to a young woman and then allegedly lied about it while yelling at (and even calling the cops on) reporters who were trying to get at the truth.  For purposes of this paragraph, the word “allegedly” means “obviously.”

Of course, being a professional writer, I would consider it beneath my dignity to make some sort of coarse remarks about all this in which the congressman’s name is used as slang for male genitalia or the word “tweet” is used as what we professional writers call a “slant rhyme” for female genitalia.   Instead, I wanted to take a serious look at this situation and get at the reasons men such as Weiner behave in this grotesque way.

I blame women.  No, really.  Women — by which I mean each and every single member of the female gender — you know who you are — need look no further than themselves to explain why Weiner-types behave toward them in this fashion.   We men are always hearing complaints from women about how badly we treat them, what pigs we are, how pushy and abrasive…  on and on.  But what these same women conveniently fail to mention is that this stuff really works on them!

Charles C. Johnson writing about Weiner’s johnson at Big Government reports that the media has long described Weiner as “a lean, mean dating machine,” who has “a bevy of babes surrounding him,” wherever he goes.  In other words, this guy has been cleaning up in the romantic department.  Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t seem to have any trouble getting dates either.  Neither did alleged serial rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn of the IMF.  Chicks dig these creeps!

So, then, ladies — what do you expect?  All we guys want is for you to love us.  If this is the sort of guy you follow after in droves, this is the sort of guy we’re encouraged to be.  And I have to admit:  I don’t get it.  I look at Weiner and I see a rude, arrogant, entitled and clearly dishonest little piece of Democrat thoroughly convinced of his wholly non-existent superiority.  Physically, he’s a dead ringer for a turtle that’s been pulled out of its shell.  And as for his manners…  did I mention he takes pictures of his absurdly eponymous package and sends them to women on Twitter!

And that’s the sort of stuff that wins you over, ladies?  Well, if it is, expect to see a lot more of it.  It’s Darwin 101:  men evolve to attract the opposite sex.  By natural law, women get what they want from men…  it hardly seems fair for them to complain about it when it turns up in their inbox.

So women, here’s some free advice.  Stop dating creeps.  It only encourages them.  The day Weiner can’t find a warm twit to tweet his weiner to is the day you twits find tweeter weiners to tweet your twits.  I think you all know what I mean.