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Klavan On The Culture

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Why I Write

November 29th, 2012 - 6:50 am

Some artists create in order to hold the mirror up to nature, others to forge in the smithies of their souls the uncreated conscience of their race. I do it so I get to sit next to women who look like PJTV’s Alexis Garcia. My work here is done. And if you’d like to sample it, check out my new adventure novel If We Survive.

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Between The Covers with John Miller

November 28th, 2012 - 8:13 am

For those who’d like to learn more about my new adventure novel If We Survive — or merely to spend a pleasant ten minutes listening to my mellifluous voice — here’s an interview I just did with National Review Online’s John Miller for his podcast Between the Covers.

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I’ve been traveling so much, I haven’t had time to blog at any real length — and I’ll be traveling for a few more days still. Some of this is to promote my new young adult adventure novel If We Survive, and if you haven’t yet bought this for the young adult in your life — or bought it pretending it’s for a young adult while secretly reading it yourself — c’mon! It’s good! Buy it! Now.

One interesting aspect of my most recent trip was that it began among conservatives at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend in Florida and ended among friends and family in New York, many of whom are on the left. It was downright bizarre to spend time with, say, Ann Coulter — who is smart, sweet, generous and kind — and then, only days later, hear her off-handedly derided by lefties as bigoted, evil and cruel. And because my lefty friends and relatives are lovely people, I wondered greatly at this disparity between their firmly held convictions and the truth.

Leftists of good will (and don’t write in to say there aren’t any because it only proves you don’t get out enough) profess themselves appalled by what I’ll call the lack of decorum of right-wing commentators. Ann called someone a retard! Rush called someone a slut! Glenn or Sean called some radical a radical! Who says such awful things??? It doesn’t seem to matter to these lefties that Chris Matthews routinely slanders people as racist who are not; that Paul Krugman blames right wingers for violence they didn’t commit; that network news anchors attribute foul motives and actions to a peaceful and patriotic Tea Party while glorifying the violent and anti-semitic Occupy movement. These left-wing commentators may lie like dogs — but they have decorum! They don’t use words like retard and slut. They don’t raise their voices. You could invite them to dinner without embarrassing yourself.

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Me on Red Eye

November 24th, 2012 - 5:55 am

I had the pleasure of joining the gang at Red Eye this week, hosted by TV’s Andy Levy with Greg Gutfeld doing double duty on The Five. Here’s the show complete — remember this is Red Eye and not all content is suitable for all viewers.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21st, 2012 - 9:55 am

Did someone say eat Turkey?

Be thankful you used to live in the greatest country on earth. Until, you know, it was fundamentally transformed. Which reminds me of an old joke:

man walks into a bar. He has an orange for a head. The bartender pours him a drink and says: “So—you want to tell me about it?”

“Well, I was walking on the beach,” says the man with an orange for a head. “I found an old lamp in the sand and took it home. When I polished the lamp, a genie came out and offered me three wishes in return for setting him free. Thinking it was some sort of trick, I offhandedly wished for a million dollars. Instantly, the doorbell rang. A man had arrived to tell me I’d won a mail-order sweepstakes for exactly a million dollars. So I returned to the genie and wished I could have sex with every Playmate of the Month for last year. The doorbell rang again—and all 12 pinup girls came prancing in, at my service. I went back to the genie a third time,” says the man with an orange for a head, “and I think this may have been where I made my mistake.”

“What did you do?” says the bartender.

“I wished to have an orange for a head.”

For the connection between that and the election, read the rest here. And more seriously, have a great day.

Me on Homeland

November 19th, 2012 - 1:16 pm

Here at the link is R.J. Moeller’s new Big Screen/Small Screen culture podcast, featuring me discussing the show Homeland:


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Want to Occupy Something? Occupy Gaza!

November 16th, 2012 - 11:53 am

There’s fighting in Gaza – and at @stevencrowder on Twitter after the Crowder-man weighed in:

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Steven’s getting slammed by the Jew-hating left (and oh yes, they are), so you might want to give him your support.

And speaking of Gaza, I’m at the beautiful Breakers hotel in Palm Beach at the David Horowitz Restoration Weekend, where I just listened to a brilliant talk by Wall Street Journal foreign affairs columnist Bret Stephens. As editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, Stephens had supported Israel’s surrender of Gaza, hoping it would force the Palestinians to demonstrate their ability to run a state and garner Israel international cred for its statesmanship and restraint. He now realizes this was wrong in every respect. Gaza became a terrorist outpost. It’s been firing on Israeli civilians since it was let loose in 2005. When Israel took restrained and cautious retaliatory action in 2008, it was slandered in the now-infamous Goldstone Report from the UN – for which the author apologized too late. The Hamas thugs in Gaza went back to hitting Israel and no one said a word. Now Israel is fighting back and we’re hearing the usual whining about how the Jewish nation should behave in such a way as to insure its own destruction, rather than crushing these Islamist villains as they deserve.

For my money? Israel should go in there and just take the place over again. The left likes to Occupy everything, right? Well, Occupy Gaza, baby. It’s got to be an improvement over this.

The best line in Stephens’ speech: “I’m in favor of a two-state solution, if the other state is Canada.” I had my own take on that:

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Sex, Lies, and… Benghazi?

November 14th, 2012 - 7:13 am

You can’t make this stuff up — or can you?

If I were a writer of crime and suspense novels — oh, wait, I am a writer of crime and suspense novels — the machinations behind the burgeoning sex scandal centering on former CIA Director David Petraeus would go something like this.

A smooth-but-shifty White House operative takes Petraeus for an unbuggable walk-and-talk in the shadow of the Washington Monument. Speaking in the smarmily evasive language of all fictional blackmailers, the operative says something like this, “You’re scheduled to testify before Congress about this unfortunate little affair at the Benghazi consulate a few days ago. The official line is that it was due to a spontaneous riot sparked by an irresponsible video. I believe you’ll want to support that line about the affair before Congress lest the administration be forced to reveal your affair and congress with Ms. Vagina Goodhead or Paula Broadwell or whatever her absurdly salacious name is.”

Long story short, Petraeus knuckles under to preserve his career, testifies dishonestly before congress — then, when the election is over, the Chicago thugs in the White House double-cross him and reveal the affair anyway because they know if Petraeus admits the blackmail and recants his testimony he’ll do time for perjury.

Of course, the problem with this story is that it’s too unbelievable that such a conspiracy could be kept quiet with America’s news media on the case, hunting down the truth with all the resources at its disposal…  oh, wait.

And if you like this exciting story, please take a look at my new novel If We Survive:  it’s about unlucky Americans who get caught behind the lines of a Communist revolution. Yeah, it’s an allegory about the election.

Makers and Takers and… Someone We Forgot!

November 11th, 2012 - 8:38 pm
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I’m going to write one more post about the election and then knock it off and go back to writing about the culture and about politics from a broader perspective.

One of my personal rules in life is this: whenever I start feeling a satisfying swell of righteous certainty, I begin to suspect that I might be wrong. You may not always be in error when you begin a sentence with, “Well, sir, if you would just read your Constitution…” or “the Word of God clearly says…” but the odds in favor of your making a pompous ass of yourself are, trust me, astronomical.

So I should have known we had a serious problem when I felt that righteous surge at Mitt Romney’s now infamous 47% remarks:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.

I did not agree with this — but I did agree with what I thought he meant: there are too many takers and not enough makers nowadays. And even as the Democrats beat the words like a drum, I defended Romney’s comments to my friend E.J. McMahon at the Manhattan Institute’s Empire Center. E.J., one of the savviest political observers I know and one of the best predictors of political outcomes, told me almost the moment these words were made public — not that they would cost Romney the election, but that they represented the sentiment and approach that would, in fact, cost him the election.

He was right. I was wrong. I owe him dinner.

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It’s All Over. Not.

November 9th, 2012 - 10:31 am

First, some wisdom from Deadwood, via the wonderful Jonah Goldberg at NRO:

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I think it was Orson Welles who said, “If you want to tell a story with a happy ending, it all depends on where you stop.” To put it another way: every story is a tragedy, if you tell it to the end.

As with lives, so with republics. Freedom is a living thing. It dies. Conservatives are like doctors. They can only win for the moment, the day, the year, the election cycle. And no matter the victory, time only goes one way. The republic grows older every day, the people travel further from their founding values and nothing lasts forever.

There are many responses to that situation. Only one of them is wise: good cheer and defiance. Keep laughing; fight back; fear nothing. Mortality makes time too precious for despondency and death makes a fool of fear. There’s nothing to worry about: disaster is certain. And nothing can be that serious since, whatever it is, it’s guaranteed to end.

Since Tuesday, I have heard enough conservatives saying, “It’s over! We’re through!” in serious, important-sounding voices to last me the next four years. I don’t care how important you make it sound, it’s whining; any child can do it. I’ll let you know when it’s over by putting you in the ground and throwing six feet of dirt onto your face. Until you get that secret signal, really, pull yourself together.

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