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PJ Lifestyle

Dave Swindle

David Swindle was the associate editor of PJ Media from 2011 through April of 2015. He has written and edited articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edited the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at davidswindle @ gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, and at PJ Media from 2011 through April of 2015. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for WTHR.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.
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125 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing the Wit & Wisdom of Walter Hudson

Saturday, October 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

So far in this ongoing series compiling and organizing the best work from PJ Lifestyle’s contributors I’ve focused on critics and analysts of popular culture from all over the place. To the north in Canada, the punk rock capitalist canadian: “136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture.” To the South, guaranteed smiles from a gifted Georgia writer: “116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen.” And to the East Coast, in the wilderness of New Jersey, taking back feminism: “194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

Also check out these shorter collections from two newer contributors, focusing on war and comic books: “Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture” and “15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois.”

Today I highlight two more PJ Lifestyle writers who lead the way in other important fronts in the culture wars. What more appropriate way to promote the section’s family themes than to showcase the diverse perspectives from a mom and a dad? Paula Bolyard and Walter Hudson have both been inspirations to edit, learn from, and befriend over the past few years. They’ve both helped to shape my thinking for the day when I become a parent. Take a look at some of their articles and you’ll see why I’m so optimistic about the impact they can both have on the culture…


How is a father to raise sons in a popular culture as decadent as what we have today? Especially when it’s only going to get worse? What needs to be done politically to create a better environment to raise a family? What ideas do potential fathers need to embrace to become men strong enough to raise a happy, healthy family?

To try and figure out questions like these I turn to the deeply thoughtful writings on culture, politics, news, religion, and philosophy of my friend Walter Hudson.

Back in April I assembled this collection here, which is still a good introduction to the work of a writer/activist I admire a great deal: “10 of Walter Hudson’s Greatest Hits.” Among the pieces included in it is a series of four articles exploring a debate between Christians and the secular followers of Ayn Rand. Over the course of the pieces Walter began to develop a synthesis between the two approaches. This has been a regular theme in his work — the attempt to integrate and balance the conflicting ideological tendencies of the religious conservative and the secular libertarian. Just as Walter works to articulate ways to overcome ideological and religious divides, his prescriptions on racial controversies provide clarity and courage.

Walter also brings his combination of views to analyses of pop culture, in a sense bridging the family, political, and pop cultural worlds. Be sure and check out his writings on video games and film.

Which of these subjects would you like to see Walter explore more in future articles?  Please leave your comments below or hit us up on Twitter: @WalterHudson and @DaveSwindle. And also check out new today: “These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You.”


Walter Hudson’s Guide For Making Peace Between Christians and Objectivists

  1. 5 Common Accusations Leveled at Christianity
  2. Christianity on Trial
  3. 6 Fatal Misconceptions
  4. Onward Christian Egoist

Fatherhood, Parenting, Marriage and Relationships

  1. What My Sons Teach Me About God
  2. BREAKING: Sex May Result in Children
  3. How Your Child’s Rebellion Mirrors Your Own
  4. Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?
  5. Learning from China’s Marriage Crisis
  6. Rise of the Thought Police: Bullying Your Children into Forsaking Their Values
  7. Study: Being Born Without a Father Leads to Anger, Hate, Suffering
  8. 10 Barriers to Healthy Relationships Explored in Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon

Life Advice

  1. American Immaturity: How We Grow Up After We Grow Old
  2. 5 Ideas You Need to Rise From Poverty to the Middle Class
  3. 6 Warnings I Would Send My Younger Self
  4. 6 Lies Millennials Must Reject
  5. 10 Fiction Stories I Love, Which School Forced on Me


  1. Believing in Christmas from Santa to Christ
  2. Whose Morality Is It Anyway?
  3. The Distinction Between Sin and Crime
  4. What Zombies Teach Us About Human Nature
  5. The Gospel from Planet X: Why Aliens Ignite the Imagination
  6. The Church Shouldn’t Promote Self-Esteem
  7. Ariel Castro and the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  8. What Price Will American Christians Pay for Their Faith?
  9. Why Christians, Jews, and Everyone Else Better Take an Interest in Heaven and Hell
  10. Religion Ought to Be Divisive
  11. To Know God, We Must First Confess Not Knowing Much
  12. Of Thugs and Men
  13. Why Not a ‘Foul-Mouthed’ Pastor?
  14. The Haphazard Theology of Louis C.K.
  15. Comedian Doug Stanhope Rails Against Christian Tornado Survivors
  16. 7 Ways Noah Turns the Bible Upside Down
  17. Altruism Has No Place in Christianity
  18. Love and Altruism Prove Opposite
  19. How Would Jesus Vote?
  20. This Christian Ministry Just Went Galt
  21. We Evangelize That Which We Love
  22. Should You Be Allowed to End Your Life?
  23. Do Religious Rights Require Religious Laws?
  24. A Christian on Coulter’s Ebola Comments

Critiquing Conspiracy Theory Culture

  1. The Red Placebo: Confessions of a Former Conspiracy Dabbler
  2. 10 Ways Jesse Ventura Ruined His Reputation (Without Chris Kyle’s Help)

Ideology, the Tea Party, and Activism

  1. Pouring the Tea into the GOP
  2. Our Idiot Brother: The Tea Party’s Relationship to Occupy Wall Street
  3. Tea Party Taboo: Tackling Social Issues
  4. Tea Party Taboo: The Atheism of Ayn Rand
  5. Hunkered Between Santorum and Paul Lies Peace Through Total War
  6. Killing Newborns Okay by Oxford Academics
  7. How Drama Queens Sabotage the Tea Party
  8. 8 Reasons Why Today’s Occupiers Are Tomorrow’s Tea Partiers
  9. The Ron Paul Machine vs. the Republican Establishment: 6 Steps Toward Unity
  10. Tea Party Reaction to Romney-Ryan as Fractured as Movement
  11. 6 Green Lies Threatening to Starve You
  12. Tread Upon: What’s Next for the Tea Party?
  13. Would You Meet Your Killer Halfway?
  14. 5 Lessons Worth Learning at RightOnline
  15. 6 Ways Activists Sabotage Their Cause
  16. 3 Ways Marijuana Sorts Conservatives from Libertarians
  17. The Number One Reason Why the Left Always Wins
  18. Ann Coulter Was Right to Tweak Libertarian Voters
  19. Should Small Government Be Our Goal?
  20. What’s the Libertarian Answer to ISIS?
  21. Hamas: A Litmus Test for Libertarians
  22. Confronting Antisemitism Within Our Ranks
  23. We Are All Radicals Now


  1. On Tea Party, Morgan Freeman Should Follow His Past Advice
  2. 8 Ways Blacks Perpetuate Racism and the Only Way to Thwart It
  3. Paul Ryan’s Black Ex and the Art of Race Baiting
  4. Are Young Black Men Rejecting Obama?
  5. 5 Tips for Coming Out as a Black Conservative
  6. Will Justice Outlast the Trayvon Martin Hysteria?
  7. What’s More Offensive than Blackface?
  8. Kanye West’s Ingenious Solution to Racism
  9. Martin Luther King’s Discriminatory Dream
  10. Why The Fantastic Four Casting Annoys This Black Man
  11. Why Would a Racist Vote Democrat?
  12. Is the DOJ Correct to Ban Religious and Racial Profiling?
  13. Obama Cites ‘Gulf of Mistrust’ Between Minorities and Law Enforcement
  14. Was Darrien Hunt Shot Because He Was Black?
  15. Dealing Honestly with ‘White Privilege’
  16. Ferguson: To Kill a Mockingbird’s Epilogue
  17. What if the Rioters Were White?
  18. Jesse Jackson Pivots from Ferguson Riots to Bigger Government
  19. Can a Dress Code Be Racist?
  20. No, ‘Illegal’ Is Not Like the N-Word


  1. Porn for Women: The Twilight Saga
  2. Greed Is Good: The Villainy of the On-Screen Capitalist
  3. 6 Punches Director Zack Snyder Must Land in Man of Steel (Revisited)
  4. Is Man of Steel the Year’s Best Sci-Fi Film?
  5. Killing in the Nolan Multiverse
  6. Matt Damon’s Elysium Takes ‘Occupy’ to Space
  7. Why M. Night Shyamalan Sucks (and How He Can Be Great Again)
  8. The Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies Coming in 2015

Star Wars and Star Trek

  1. Star Wars Games Which Need to Get Made Already
  2. Folly of the Jedi
  3. 7 Directions No Trek Has Gone Before
  4. Why Disney Brings New Hope to Star Wars
  5. Lucasfilm to Partially Reboot Star Wars
  6. Star Wars Casting: Is Disney Pulling a Jedi Mind Trick?
  7. Kevin Smith’s Read on the Future of Star Wars
  8. 10 Stand-Alone Star Wars Films Which Can Take Our Money Now
  9. The Top 10 Reasons Why the Star Wars Prequels Sucked
  10. The Top 10 Things Lucas Got Right in the Star Wars Prequels
  11. Top 10 Reasons to Get Excited About Star Wars Rebels

2014 Movie Trailer Series

  1. The 10 Most Popular Movie Trailers Released So Far This Summer
  2. Top 10 Most Popular Midsummer Movie Trailers
  3. The 10 Most Popular End-of-Summer Movie Trailers
  4. September’s 10 Most Popular Movie Trailers

James Bond

  1. The Top 10 Most Worthy Bond Villains
  2. The 10 Most Memorable James Bond Henchmen
  3. The 10 Most Remarkable Bond Girls of All Time

Video Games

  1. Star Wars: The Old Republic Delivers the Adventure and Excitement
  2. Bioshock Infinite Vs. American Exceptionalism
  3. 7 Real Life Lessons Learned in Video Games
  4. Game Over: 6 Horrible Choices Dragging Down Nintendo
  5. The Anti-Gospel of Bioshock Infinite
  6. Banning Video Games Will Not Save Children’s Souls
  7. Beating Back the Nazi ‘Sickness’
  8. Market > Microsoft: Unpopular Xbox One Features Abandoned
  9. Man of Steel the Video Game?
  10. What Zelda Teaches Us About Privacy
  11. This Ain’t Your Daddy’s Grand Theft Auto
  12. 5 Ways Grand Theft Auto V Makes You Feel Like a Criminal
  13. Game-Changer: The Next Generation of Gaming

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These 150 Paula Bolyard Articles & Blog Posts Will Inspire You

Saturday, October 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle


So far in this ongoing series compiling and organizing the best work from PJ Lifestyle’s contributors I’ve focused on critics and analysts of popular culture from all over the place. To the north in Canada, the punk rock capitalist canadian: “136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture.” To the South, guaranteed smiles from a gifted Georgia writer: “116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen.” And to the East Coast, in the wilderness of New Jersey, taking back feminism: “194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

Also check out these shorter collections from two newer contributors, focusing on war and comic books: “Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture” and “15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois.”

Today I highlight two more PJ Lifestyle writers who lead the way in other important fronts in the culture wars. What more appropriate way to promote the section’s family themes than to showcase the diverse perspectives from a mom and a dad? Paula Bolyard and Walter Hudson have both been inspirations to edit, learn from, and befriend over the past few years. They’ve both helped to shape my thinking for the day when I become a parent. Take a look at some of their articles and you’ll see why I’m so optimistic about the impact they can both have on the culture…


Paula is tremendously persuasive and compelling in her journalism exploring the world of home schooling. Her critiques of public school education and teachers unions have also shaped my perspective. When I have children someday they’ll be homeschooled. That’s Paula. She’ll change your mind too.

But Paula illuminates on a whole swath of issues. Our collaborations began when PJ was looking for an Ohio contributor in 2012. Paula provided very insightful, accessible coverage then and has returned to covering her home states’s news political controversies, and culture. Post-election I was eager to see Paula explore other topics. She’s had many successful articles on everything from parenting advice to religious commentaries to life reflections to goofy nostalgia pieces. Her pro-life articles are some of the best I’ve ever read — models of how to articulate values and win over fence-sitters.

After you check out a few of Paula’s articles please get in touch with us and let us know what kinds of ideas you’d like to see her explore in the future. Please leave your comments or hit us up on Twitter: @Pbolyard and @DaveSwindle

And now also check out today: “125 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing the Wit & Wisdom of Walter Hudson.”



  1. When Teachers Act Like Thugs ‘for the Children!’
  2. A Parent Guide to Teachers’ Unions
  3. Has a Century of Progressive Education Turned Us into Obedient Sheep?
  4. Should Parents Take Over Failing Schools?
  5. When Radical Teachers Occupy the Department of Education
  6. Can the Left and Right Find Common Ground on Common Core and High-Stakes Testing?
  7. Arming Teachers in Schools
  8. What is the Cultural Profile for the Class of 2017?
  9. Shelter-in-Place: This Generation’s Duck-and-Cover
  10. Weeping, Confession, and Hugs Replace Reading, Writing, and Math at School
  11. 10 Terrible Common Core Homework Assignments
  12. Should Colleges Have Parent-Teacher Conferences?
  13. Are We Getting Carried Away With Common Core Curriculum Phobia?
  14. 10 Things Your Kids May Never Read Because Common Core Neglects Cursive
  15. How Parents Are Winning the Common Core Debate
  16. Common Core: As Untested as the U.S. Speed Skating Suits
  17. How Can Parents Fight Back Against Federal Bleacher Bullies?
  18. Ohio Lawmakers Hold Common Core Repeal Hearings
  19. Terrorist-Supporting Kent State Professor’s Incendiary, Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts
  20. More Outrage at Kent State About a Sweatshirt Than a Terrorist Sympathizing Professor


  1. Think You Could Never Homeschool?
  2. Ohio Gives Homeschoolers Equal Access to Sports and Other Activities
  3. Will Your Kids Grow Up to Be Weird if You Homeschool Them?
  4. What If All the Homeschoolers Suddenly Enrolled in Public School?
  5. 7 Objections to Homeschooling Teens
  6. How Common Core is Coming to Homeschoolers
  7. Are Elite Colleges and Universities Discriminating Against Homeschoolers?
  8. 4 Secrets from the Hidden World of Homeschoolers
  9. Does Homeschooling Reduce Opportunities for Women in the Workplace?
  10. An Open Letter to Grandparents of Homeschooled Kids
  11. Ohio Lawmakers Want Social Workers to Have Veto Power Over Decision to Homeschool
  12. UPDATE: Controversial Ohio Homeschool Bill Withdrawn After Grassroots Tsunami Opposes
  13. German Homeschooling Family Can Stay in U.S.
  14. Do Homeschoolers ‘Rob’ Public Schools of Tax Dollars?
  15. Strong Religious Beliefs Can Shape How Women View Homeschooling
  16. 5 Pro Tips for Homeschoolers
  17. The Top 10 Reasons to Join a Homeschool Co-op
  18. The Top 10 Reasons to Avoid a Homeschool Co-Op
  19. Homeschooling Family Ordered to Follow Common Core Curriculum

Family and Parenting

  1. 4 Benefits of Marrying Young
  2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting (Your College Kid Home for Christmas)
  3. Raising Boys Who Grow Up to Be Men Who Go to Combat With Women
  4. 5 Busybodies Who Want to Parent Your Kids
  5. Stay-at-Home Moms: Will Your Kids Judge You for Choosing Them Over a Career?
  6. Small-Town Values and Two-Parent Families
  7. 7 Quick Tips for Parents of New College Students
  8. The 5 Best American Historical Fiction Books to Read Aloud to Your Kids
  9. What We Taught Our Boys About Girls Like Miley Cyrus
  10. Was Bad Parenting to Blame for the Sandy Hook Massacre?
  11. Is Your Child a Stealth Dyslexic?
  12. I Agree With Camille Paglia on This Kind of Family Planning for Teens
  13. Implementing Andrew McCarthy’s Proposed Compromise on the Marriage Question
  14. How Do You Survive When Your World Shatters?
  15. How Did We Survive Childhood Before the ’90s Safety Nannies Came Along?


  1. How I Evolved on Guns During the #BostonPoliceScanner Manhunt
  2. Evolving on Guns: Considering the Morality of Gun Ownership Now That I Refuse to Be a Victim
  3. Evolving on Guns: My First Foray into Gun Culture


  1. How to Commit Voter Fraud in Ohio
  2. It’s the Gas Prices, Stupid
  3. Will We See a Florida Recount Rematch in Ohio?
  4. Does Obama Have the Stronger Ground Game in Ohio?
  5. Ohio: Somali Voters, ACORN Tactics, and Voter Fraud Allegations
  6. Ohio Post-Mortem: Glitz, Gimmicks, Sleight-of-Hand, and Witnessing Fraud
  7. Is Ohio Governor John Kasich the Chris Christie of the Midwest?
  8. Cleveland House of Horrors: Should Somebody Have Done Something?
  9. Cleveland Kidnapper Ariel Castro Sentenced to 1000 Years, Blames Victims
  10. Cleveland House of Horrors Demolished
  11. Ohio’s Ashland University Slashes Tuition by $10,000
  12. Ohio Paper Can’t Find a Single Person to Argue Against Legalizing Pot… Really??
  13. The Top 10 Things to Do in Cleveland
  14. Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Proposes ‘Win Tax’ for Cleveland Sports Teams
  15. Federal Judge Orders Ohio to Restore Early Voting on 3 Days Before Election Day
  16. Conflicted About LeBron’s Return to Cleveland
  17. Ohio Teachers Threaten to Strike Over Being Forced into Obamacare Exchanges
  18. Cleveland School Dumps FLOTUS Lunches for Chipotle-Style Burritos and Clam Chowder
  19. Cleveland VA Still Mired in Huge Backlogs


  1. Hundreds of Drive-In Theaters May Close Permanently at End of Season
  2. The 1970s Culture Clash in 2 Songs
  3. 10 Modern Technologies We Lived Without in Primitive, Pre-Millennial America
  4. 5 Memories That Will Make You Nostalgic for the 1970s
  5. The 10 Most Terrifying Public Service Announcements from the 1970s
  6. The 10 Most Essential Women’s Shoes in the 1970s
  7. Whatever Happened to Our Top 10 Favorite Tiger Beat Cover Boys From the 1970s?
  8. 10 Comic Book Ads That Destroyed Your Faith in Humanity Before You Hit Puberty

Life Advice and Reflections

  1. Baseball: The Last Refuge from What Divides Us
  2. On September 11, Another Pilot Died in His Seat
  3. 9/11 as the Chilling Details Unfolded Online
  4. Things We Take for Granted
  5. Get Off the Phone!
  6. 5 Reasons To Remain Optimistic That We Haven’t Lost America Yet
  7. 5 Things to Grab When You Hear the Tornado Sirens
  8. The Sacrifice of One
  9. 10 Surprisingly Unconventional Uses for Your Crock-Pot


  1. Christian Churches Occupied, Shia Mosques Destroyed, Nuns and Orphans Kidnapped in Iraq
  2. Marco Rubio and the Progressive Atheist Orthodoxy
  3. Dear Sister Wives Star Kody Brown: Love Should Be Exclusive, not Divided
  4. The (g)odless Inaugural Prayer
  5. Is a Spiritual Revolution the Missing Link in Our Quest for a Political Revolution?
  6. New Great Awakening: Should Pastors and Churches Be Involved in Politics?
  7. New Great Awakening: America Is Not a Christian Nation
  8. New Great Awakening: Does God Promise to Heal Our Land If We Pray?
  9. New Great Awakening: When Politicians Speak for God
  10. The Atheist Who Silenced the Astronaut
  11. What Would Dietrich Bonhoeffer Say to Anthony Weiner?
  12. Fal$e Teacher$ — Christian Rapper Shames Prosperity Preachers
  13. Is Your Church Too Old — Or Too Young?
  14. Why Liberals Hate Tim Tebow
  15. Should Christian Parents Send their Children to Public Schools?
  16. Will the Tolerance Agenda Destroy Christian Higher Education?
  17. A Model of Interfaith Dialogue: A Southern Baptist at Brigham Young University
  18. How about Celebrating Reformation Day instead of Halloween?
  19. At Least We Don’t Have Marauding Hippos in the Streets of America
  20. Right This Very Minute Someone Is Being Tortured
  21. Peace with God Amid Christmas Chaos
  22. Thanks to Our Atheist, Agnostic, and Liberal Friends for Their Help in the Liberty Wars
  23. Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?
  24. The Resurgence of God in Academia
  25. Will Christianity Survive the Sexual Revolution?
  26. Is Heaven Is for Real… Real?
  27. British PM David Cameron Emphasizes the Importance of Christianity in Society
  28. Where Was Jesus on Saturday Between His Death and Resurrection?
  29. Have You Done Enough for God This Easter?
  30. A Moment of Prayer on the Campaign Trail
  31. Sarah Palin: ‘Waterboarding Is How We Baptize Terrorists’
  32. 10 Quotes on Faith and Freedom from Eric Metaxas’ Hillsdale Commencement Address
  33. The Left’s Anti-Christian Bigotry Strategy 2.0
  34. Jesuit Priest Abducted in Afghanistan


  1. Extreme Makeover: Planned Parenthood Edition
  2. 5 Things Planned Parenthood Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pregnancy Resource Centers
  3. Can This Powerful Song Change the Hearts of Abortion Supporters?
  4. Blood on Humanitarian Icon Mandela’s Hands
  5. The 3 Deadliest Words in the World: ‘It’s a Girl’
  6. What Happens to America’s Aborted Babies?
  7. Is It True That 50 Years Ago Christians Didn’t Care About Abortion?
  8. Obama’s America: Abortion Deserts Across the Country
  9. Ohio Cracks Down on Unsafe Abortion Clinics


  1. 5 Covert Conservative Lessons in Downton Abbey
  2. Best Moments from the Season Premier of Duck Dynasty
  3. Who Are You to Judge Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson?
  4. The Touching Asperger’s Storyline on Parenthood
  5. Why We Will Miss Downton Abbey


  1. 10 Ladies’ Room Rules That Will Keep Other Women from Hating You
  2. The 10 Dumbest Fireworks Fails
  3. The 10 Most Amazing Pet Home Birth Videos
  4. 11 Curious Spurious Correlations

Activism and Ideology

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10 Tricks to Get More Organized With Your Online Writing

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This article was first published January 4, 2014 as “10 Rules For Keeping a Journal in the New Media Age.” I haven’t always lived up to its goals throughout the year but when I’ve most needed to get focused again in my creative routine I’ve returned to the structure and rules it provides. I’m republishing it again with my younger brother Jeremy in mind — he’s recently started writing more diligently, providing some popular articles for PJ Lifestyle. But there are other writer friends too who I’m thinking might find it useful too.

10 Rules for Keeping a Journal in the New Media Age #writing #journaling #selfimprovement

I have decided to accept my limitations. With the nature of my editorial work across the PJM network of sites and the unpredictability of the usual day with The Wife in her final year of graduate school it has proven difficult to stick to a daily reading/writing regimen. Some days the editorial load is heavier than others unexpectedly, other days where I intend an even reading/writing split one or the other might end up predominating. If I’m in a research groove, finding new connections across books and finally beginning to grasp difficult concepts then I’m going to run with it. Likewise when the writing muse bestows her blessings you don’t tell her to shut up.

There’s a factor in all this scheduling and productivity planning work that often gets overlooked: moods. So much of being a creative person is about learning to channel one’s emotions into art, writing, and communicating. We have to learn to recognize what state of mind we’re in at any given time and then take advantage of it. Reading, writing, editing, and publishing are all four different processes. And I’ve found that circumstances and subjective moods lend themselves to each task differently. The state of mind one needs to edit an article is not the same as for writing or for researching.

One thing I’m going to try and do more this year is focus on each individually. Helping me do that will be a closer focus on using the handwritten journal as a catalyst to organize the day and facilitate more writing. Here are 10 ways that I’m going to do it, in the style that I’m going to explore this year — creating combinations of photographs, blogging, and embedded video juxtapositions.

Nothing Sacred – links to titles in the photos will be featured at the bottom of each page…

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‘They Were the Ones Who Brought the Book to Life’

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

See more of my friend Bosch’s great art work at his blog and follow him on Twitter. Also check out my article “10 Badass Moments from Bosch Fawstin’s The Infidel #2.”

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194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle


Back in May I assembled this collection featuring “10 of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Greatest Hits.” Today I present a broader assortment of her writings organized by theme and subject. The first section gathers Susan’s analysis of Lena Dunham’s HBO show Girls. Through dissecting the show Susan presents her “Biblical Feminist” approach to cultural analysis and ideological activism. The root of Susan’s variation of Feminism comes through understanding the Torah in the context of A) the competing ancient Pagan value systems in the Middle East which the Israelites fought against, and B) their parallels today in postmodernism. The conclusion of her Girls series captures her ethos which I share:

The western world tends to see time in a linear sense as if we are always progressing towards perfection as we distance ourselves from our primordial past. The God of the Bible has a completely different perspective, beginning with his name: YHVH (the Tetragrammaton) has a literal meaning “I Am, I Was, I Will Be.”  In other words, there is no beginning nor end point for God. Likewise, the Israelites were given a yearly schedule that flowed in cycles known as seasons. We may have moved away from our agrarian roots, but theEcclesiastical lyrics put to song by The Byrds still apply: “To every thing there is a season, a time and purpose under heaven.”

As the western world embraced and assimilated what is essentially Biblical Hebraism, adopting a biblical faith in a Messiah and melding pagan practices with adherence to the cultural norms of ancient Israel known as “commandments,” we grew as a  society. We overcame disease, poverty, and ignorance in many areas of life. Not ironically, the same forces that demand we turn away from our biblical foundation have also managed to plunge us into a neo-Dark Age. Modern medicine now faces new plagues, radical governments threaten new poverty, and ignorance is more rampant than ever. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the popular branding of Girls as a show that empowers women.

Modern feminism has returned us to the chains of ancient pagan culture. These goddess feminists think they can get away with it because they’re sure we see the world as they do: in lines. We are marching, they think, farther and farther away from the evidence of our ancient past when, all the while, we are being led back into the same ideologies that bound us as temple prostitutes and mothers of the state thousands of years ago.

Susan takes this moral clarity and creative style to a number of subjects beyond trendy TV shows. She covers cultural controversies, debates within feminism, political hot issues, and ideological squabbles. She also has deep things to say on history and philosophy and the news from Israel and the Middle East. This past summer she also developed a sequel to her Girls series in her writings defining “pop culture polytheism,” the way in which some worship celebrities as the ancient Pagans once worshipped nature gods.

But Susan isn’t waging culture war all the time. The concluding sections collect links to her writings on music and wine. Also be sure and follow Susan on Twitter here and see her Instagrams here.

A Biblical Feminist Confronts the Girls Goddesses:

  1. June 6, 2013: A Biblical Feminist Confronts The Girls Goddesses, Part 1
  2. June 16: Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls
  3. June 23: Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want?
  4. June 30: Millennial Girls Are Easy: Sex, Power & Porn
  5. July 7: Sex for Girls’ Sake: Porn, Art, or Both?
  6. July 14: Single Issue Goddess: The War on Women’s Intellect
  7. July 21: Her Body, Herself: The Right Size & Shape of Girls
  8. July 28: Girls: Best Friends Forever-ish
  9. August 4: Girl on Girl Action: Girls and the Female Gaze
  10. August 11: Girls on Boys: The Body Politic of Goddess Feminism
  11. August 18: Girls: As Famous as their Daddies
  12. August 25: 5 Uncomfortable Truths About Girls

More Biblical Feminist Culture Critique and Analysis

  1. Full Frontal Equality
  2. The Tale of Miley Cyrus in the Words of Allan Bloom…
  3. How Women Can Transcend the Equality Barrier
  4. Presidential Sex & Powerless Feminists
  5. ‘Choose Life So That You May Live’
  6. Let’s Talk About Sex
  7. We Are the XX: Feminism’s Branded Sheep
  8. Porn, Sex & ‘The Talk’
  9. Biblical Feminism and the Dirty Male Myth
  10. Chicks Dig Porn
  11. A Biblical Feminist’s Take on Porn
  12. Can’t Touch This: American Feminism’s Racial Ignorance
  13. A Job Many Women Would Kill For
  14. White Chicks be Pimpin’ their Black Hos
  15. Feminism Doesn’t Need Re-Branding, It Needs a Revolution
  16. Abused Language, Aborted History
  17. Feminists: What Color Is Your Character?
  18. Brains Not Boobs: Re-Formulating for Feminist Success
  19. Nazi Is the New Sexy
  20. Feminists Must Go on the Offense
  21. Men: Act Like a Lady if You Want to Get a Job
  22. Girls vs Downton Abbey: Feminism’s Body Politic
  23. Girls: Take This Tour and Shove It
  24. 10 Reasons Why Camille Paglia Is the Champion of the Feminist Right
  25. Feminism: A Rich White Girl’s Game
  26. HBO’s Girls Get a Much-Needed Dose of Reality
  27. What the MSM Isn’t Telling You About Medea Benjamin’s Tweet-Fest in Egypt
  28. Our Bodies, Our Only Sense of Self
  29. Purim: The Cure for Vashti Feminists
  30. The Girls Season Finale: Second-Guessing Steinem Feminists
  31. Turncoat Feminists
  32. Why Women (and Men) Need Biblical Feminism
  33. Matt Walsh Demonstrates Why Christians Need Biblical Feminism
  34. 11 Star-Spangled Super Women
  35. Reality TV’s 10 Biggest Lies About America
  36. 10 Romantic Comedy Myths About Women
  37. 10 Ways ’90s Pop Culture Destroyed the American Male
  38. Beyonce’s 10 Worst, Anti-Woman Songs
  39. 10 Reasons Why I Will Forever Love Joan Rivers
  40. Ross Douthat Loves Lena Dunham for All the Wrong Reasons
  41. Millennial Actress Refuses to Hyphenate her American Identity
  42. Republican Gardner Buries the War on Women in Colorado Senate Race
  43. Feminists: You Will Abort Or Die Trying
  44. What Makes The West the Antidote to Radical Islam?
  45. Why Politicians, Cops & Feminists Turn a Blind Eye to 1,400 Rape Victims
  46. The East Proves the West Needs Feminism
  47. ‘Yes Means Yes’ to a New Generation of Powerless Women
  48. Spare Me the Vergara Defense
  49. The Feminist Response to Ferguson
  50. Islamic State Sex Slavery: American Feminists Ain’t Got No Time for That
  51. Republicans Whine, “Chicks, Man.”

Valerie Jarrett

  1. Valerie Jarrett Takes Adviser Role to Prime Time
  2. Obama’s Creepy 3-Way Date Night
  3. Oh My Goddess: Picture Proof of the Valerie Jarrett Cult

Pop Culture Polytheism

  1. HBO’s Picasso Baby: Jay Z Raps the Cult of Celebrity
  2. Paul, George, Ringo & the Prophet John
  3. 12 Signs You’ve Sought Redemption Through the Religion of Pop
  4. The Top 10 Gods of the Pop Culture Pantheon
  5. How to Become an Official Dude in 10 Easy Steps
  6. 10 Lessons on Abiding in Everyday Life I’ve Learned from The Dude
  7. 11 Lessons About Religion I’ve Learned from Pop Culture Polytheism
  8. Going Oprah: Sarah Palin Gives Up
  9. July 4, 2014: Salon Crowns Obama Our Messiah

The Intersection of Judaism, Religion, and Pop Culture

  1. The Unproductive Obsession with Hipster Anne Frank
  2. The 5 Most Tasteless Hanukkah Gifts for 2013
  3. Pajama Boy Jewish According to… Marx?
  4. Slamming Torah: There’s an App for That
  5. Noah Flooded with Potential for Interfaith Battle
  6. The New Morality Makes Animals of Us All
  7. Thank God! Who Is He, Again?
  8. Why the Non-Stop Punchline Shouldn’t Come as a Surprise
  9. The Latest Outbreak of Golden Calf Syndrome
  10. Glenn Beck, The Church & the Real Secret to Disney’s Success
  11. A Jew’s Take on Jesus Movies
  12. Noah: A Good Jewish Boy’s Cinematic Drash
  13. Altruism in Religion’s Free Market
  14. Religion, Politics & Screaming at the Internet
  15. The #1 Strategy for Happiness
  16. 10 More Movies Projecting the Jewish Experience on Film
  17. 13 Jewish Women Who Changed the World
  18. Debunking the Jewish Mother Stereotype
  19. Gay Marriage: Get Over the Theology and Look at the Law
  20. Judaism’s ‘Chained Wives’ Facebook-Shame Delinquent Husbands
  21. The Church is Afraid of Islam
  22. Gary Oldman & the Right’s Latent Antisemitism

Israel and the Middle East

  1. Forget Freedom! We Have #IranJeans!
  2. Obama’s Great Jewish Conspiracy That Isn’t
  3. Boycott, Divestment & ScarJo: Pop Culture Questions #BDS
  4. 18 Reasons Why You Wish You Were in Israel Right Now
  5. The Battle Against Israel’s Orthodox Patriarchy
  6. AP Reporter Reveals the Story Behind Anti-Israel Media Bias
  7. Obama Moves to Defend Hamas
  8. ‘Miracle’ Wind Saves Tel Aviv from Hamas Rocket
  9. One Soldier’s Faith Saves Hamas Female Suicide Bomber
  10. NDTV Exclusive Footage: Hamas Preps Rocket in Hotel Backyard
  11. Pro-Hamas Activists Blockade Israeli Arms Factory in Britain
  12. IDF: Hamas Planned to Wipe Gaza Town Off the Map
  13. Will the Power of the People Fund the Iron Dome?
  14. “Angry Black Woman” Schools Students for Justice in Palestine
  15. How Israel is Winning the PR Battle Against Hamas

Life Advice

  1. Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives
  2. Student Survival Tactic: Think Big
  3. 15 Tricks and Tips for Getting the Most Out of College
  4. 10 Ways Not to Land Your Dream Job
  5. Liberty Island: Liberal’s Newest, Greatest Threat

A Series: Is Family Guy the Most Terrible TV Show of All Time?

Part 1: Boob Alert: Top 5 Side Effects of Watching Family Guy
Part 2: Totally Petarded: The Top 5 Masculinity Myths on Family Guy
Part 3: Who’s to Blame for Fueling Pop Culture’s 5 Worst Female Stereotypes?
Part 4: Quiz! What’s Your TV Sitcom Family Lifestyle? Family Guy Vs The Middle
Part 5: 4 Easy Steps to Pitching Your Own TV Sitcom

More TV Criticism, Appreciation, and Analysis

  1. Game of Downloads: HBO’s Bad Spin on Media Piracy
  2. Proud Member of the Cumberbatch Brigade
  3. It’s Not Porn, It’s HBO!
  4. The Goldbergs & Michael J. Fox Sending Millennials Back to the Future
  5. Nostalgic for MOM Power
  6. 3 Reasons to Get Addicted to Call the Midwife
  7. Pop Culture’s Sexy Double Standard: It’s Elementary
  8. HBO Girls Just Wanna Have Boys
  9. HBO Green Lights Men & Capitalism
  10. The #1 Worst New Sitcom for Fall
  11. The Ultimate TV Geek
  12. Seeking Relevance, Networks Broadcast Live
  13. The #1 Reason We Watch Call the Midwife
  14. NBC Declares Jerusalem Television’s City of Gold
  15. The 10 Most Cringe-Worthy TV Flops
  16. The 10 Most Underrated TV Comedies of All Time

War, History, and Ideology:

  1. A Punch in the Gut: The Aftermath of 9/11
  2. Technology & the Vertical Caveat in Generational Theory
  3. Queen Ann Advises Republicans: Always Listen to Mother
  4. The 2 Mitzvot That Can Restore Unity on the Right
  5. My 5 Favorite Ann Coulter Columns
  6. 5 Ways the GOP Screws Up
  7. 75 Years Later, You Can’t Forget What You Don’t Know
  8. 70 Years & Counting: Hitler Is Still Hot
  9. Conservative is the New Liberal
  10. Untold War Stories: My Family’s Secret Agent
  11. James Foley, Radical Islamic Terror, and How Quickly We Forget
  12. Survey Says Millennials Think Socialism is a Joke
  13. The Real Reason Why Liberals Are Scared of Women with Guns
  14. Putin Actively Trolls Your Favorite Websites

Analyzing Ion Mihai Pacepa and Ronald Rychlak’s Disinformation: Useful Intellectuals: Framing Marx for the Next Generation

  1. Red or Dead: How Stalin Re-Defined American Liberalism
  2. The Assassination of Patriotism: Intellectuals, Disinformation and JFK
  3. The Framing of Hitler’s Pope
  4. Sontag’s Kulture Kamp
  5. Jesus Was a Socialist: Soviet Liberation Mythology Invades the West
  6. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  7. Vietnam, Hippies & False Peace
  8. Political Gods: Framing a New Reality
  9. Nomenklatura on Free Speech: Duck That!
  10. The Winning Move in the War Against the Nomenklatura
  11. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge: Starting Down the Yellow Brick Road…
  12. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 1: The Mask of Marxism
  13. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 2: Getting to the Heart of Social Justice
  14. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 3: Who Needs a Brain?
  15. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 4: Are Conservatives Cowards?
  16. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 5: The Drug of Disinformation
  17. Transcending the Illusion of Left Vs Right
  18. The Dude Dissects Disinformation

Music Appreciation and Analysis

  1. Christmas Carol Classic: Romanian Style
  2. 6 Degrees of Separation: Phil Everly to Llewyn Davis
  3. Rolling Stone, Privately Traded Company, Advocates Millennials Share the Wealth
  4. The Story You Shouldn’t Miss Inside Llewyn Davis
  5. The Religion of Beatlemania Still Going Strong
  6. A Day in the Life of the Fest for Beatles Fans 2014
  7. Fifth Beatle Brian Epstein’s Unsung Revolution
  8. Those Silly, Savage Homophobes
  9. Paul McCartney’s New Video Aims at #GenerationHashtag
  10. 9 Essential Paul McCartney Music Videos
  11. 13 Reasons to Fall in Love with Lana Del Rey
  12. 15 Songs Millennials Must Listen to in Order to Understand the 1980s

Wine Appreciation:

  1. New Jersey Wines: Challenge Your Assumptions
  2. 5 Tips for Novice Winos
  3. Valenzano Winery and the Surprising Appeal of the Garden State
  4. Cold Soil White: The Finesse of German Wines, American Style
  5. Sip Spanish Style Wines While You Walk Leisurely Among the Vines
  6. Savoring Almondberry with My Cousin Vinny
  7. What Exit for Great New Jersey Wine? Old York, Of Course!
  8. A Revolution in High Class Winemaking
  9. 5 Indispensible Wine-O Tools
  10. Beneduce Vineyards: The Next Big Thing in Jersey Wine
  11. Give Thanks with these Jersey Wines
  12. Mulled Wine: Spice Up Your Holiday Table


Also check out my two previous collections of PJ Lifestyle writers:

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2 Free Apps That Can Help You Make Cool Videos Easily

Monday, October 6th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This is my favorite “running at Dawn with the Siberian Husky” video that I’ve shot so far:

I’ve been experimenting with the new Hyperlapse and Lomotif apps. Hyperlapse allows you to shoot video and then speed it up to 2, 4, 6, 8, or 12 times the speed. Lomotif’s primary reason for being is to allow you to easily download 30 second iTunes samples to give videos musical accompaniment. It has other very useful features too. I like the ability to add titles and splice together multiple video clips.

What I found with this video is a feature that I regard as a game changer: not only can one just overlay any music track on iTunes or in your own library, but it’s very easy to pick which specific part of the song you want to use and then to time it up with the action.

So what I did with the video above is download the sample of the Harlem Shakes’ “Sunlight” from their album Technicolor Health and synch it so that the sun shot matches with the chorus. Lyrics:

Sunlight, sunlight baby
We just let go of the night now slowly
We won’t dance, we won’t sing, we won’t talk
We just gonna watch how it bends

Anybody have any other ideas for great songs (ahem, Allston, I think this is your department) I should use in more Maura running videos?

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VIDEO: The Big Lebowski Pinball Prototype Has a Built-In White Russian

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Via Polygon.com:

The Dave Abides.

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The Real President Appeared on The Good Wife Last Night

Monday, September 29th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

I haven’t seen this show yet but Dave Forsmark tells me it’s much better than House of Cards. Hat tip: Weekly Standard.

I made the case in January here that Jarrett isn’t merely the “senior adviser” to the president but the one making the consequential foreign, legislative, and strategic decisions.

What do you think? If she’s not the one most influencing the administration’s policies then who is? And how should they be defeated?

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Check Out Liberty Island’s New Satirical Public Service Announcement Video Contest

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Today our friends at Liberty Island announced their first video contest. Here are the guidelines of what they’re looking for:

Calling All Filmmakers! Liberty Island is hosting our first short film contest. Your assignment: to produce a politically-incorrect Public Service Announcement to encourage behavior that would scandalize polite opinion.

We are looking for entries which are irreverent, funny, and borderline offensive to the thin-skinned and uber-left. Think “Animals are Delicious”; “Fur is Warmer than Polyester”; “Ask Cary Grant: Smoking is Cool”.

Here’s the parameters:

  • Entries should be between 15 and 60 seconds long.
  • Stay away from profanity, nudity, and libel please.
  • You can use any format you like–live actors, animation, voiceover…we’re more interested in clever content than technical proficiency.
  • Contest is open to anyone, amateurs and professionals alike.
  • Entries must be submitted in QuickTime format.
  • We will select finalists from among the entries and feature them at www.LibertyIslandMag.com; the ultimate winner will be selected by fan voting.
  • By entering, you accept Liberty Island’s Terms of Use.

Entries are due by Friday, October 17, 2014. Please send entries by email to submissions@libertyislandmag.com.

For those looking for cinematic inspiration, I’d refer you to the first half of my 50 Greatest Counter-Culture Films of All Time list. Part I here and Part 2 here. Or jump to read about one of the first 31 films included:

50. Disinformation: The Complete Series

49. Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson

48. Yellow Submarine 

47. Dark City

46. By Brakhage, An Anthology: Window Water Baby Moving

45. Dog Star Man

44. Mothlight

43. The Dante Quartet

42. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

41. The Two Towers

40. Return of the King

39. Dick

38. The Avengers

37. Watchmen

36. Inside Man

35. Jackie Brown

34. The Last Temptation of Christ

33. Pink Flamingos

32. The Films of Kenneth Anger, Volume 1: Fireworks

31. Puce Moment

30. Rabbit’s Moon

29. Eaux d’Artifice

28. Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome

27. The Films of Kenneth Anger, Volume 2: Scorpio Rising

26. Kustom Kar Kommandos

25. Invocation of My Demon Brother

24. Lucifer Rising

23. The Man We Want to Hang

22. Crumb

21. Ghost World

20. Amelie

I hope to have part 3 done this week, perhaps part 4 too.

What kind of film could you shoot with your phone? Surely you can do better than this:


image illustration via shutterstock / Anatoly Tiplyashin

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Don’t Miss These 20 James Jay Carafano Articles Exploring War’s Impact on Pop Culture

Saturday, September 20th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

For many years now I’ve counted Dr. James Jay Carafano as one of the most trustworthy voices on national defense. His accessible, passionate, historically-informed, and morally-centered approach to analyzing the threats to global peace and prosperity is one that I hope more people can come to appreciate.

For almost a year now I’ve had the joy of working with Carafano to explore ways to get his analysis out to new and broader audiences. Lately he’s been developing a series using Hollywood war movies as a gateway to explore America’s history of military conflicts. I’ve asked him to expand and grow this series more in the future. Now’s a good time to see the progress he’s made so far and also catch up on his older pieces that you might have missed.

If there are any war films or military/cultural subjects that you’d like to see Carafano address in future pieces then please leave your suggestions in the comments or shoot me an email at DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail.com

7 Installments in Carafano’s War Movies Series

  1. The 10 Best Movies to Watch to Understand the Cold War
  2. 10 War Movies Guaranteed to Make You Cry
  3. America’s First Wars in 10 Movies
  4. 10 Movies For Understanding the Civil War
  5. A 10-Film Introduction to America’s Turn-of-the-Century ‘Small Wars’
  6. America Over There! A 10-Film Introduction to World War I
  7. Telling the Story of World War II in 10 Movies

3 Book and TV Reviews

  1. The Soviets’ Secret Weapon to Defeat America
  2. Bill Gates’ Summer Reading List Is So Lame. These 6 Books Are Much Better.
  3. 5 Reasons ABC’s Scandal Is Too Silly To Take Seriously

7 Essays on Contemporary Issues in Culture and National Defense

  1. The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall Again of Zombie Nation
  2. The Anti-Hero Rides Back into Washington
  3. Edward Snowden the Movie?
  4. Hollywood’s Benghazi?
  5. Why Hating Spies Is All the Rage
  6. The 10 Films You Should Watch to Better Understand the Benghazi Scandal
  7. What Could Terrorists Do to Vegas?

3 Lighter Movie lists

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The 50 Greatest Counter-Culture Films of All Time, Part II

Friday, September 19th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Click here to start reading Part I of this list-letter to the CEO of Liberty Island with ideas for his team of creative counter-culture writers drawn from my years practicing “pop culture polytheism,” the worship of the images in mass media today.

Dear Adam Bellow,

As this series of films continues I’ll expand the opening index to include links to each of the films that have come before it. Here are links to the first titles I discussed, establishing the paradigm of celebrating both mainstream, big budget films and also more obscure titles that more traditionally conjure up the idea of counter-culture:

50. Disinformation: The Complete Series

49. Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson

48. Yellow Submarine 

47. Dark City

46. By Brakhage, An Anthology: Window Water Baby Moving

45. Dog Star Man

44. Mothlight

43. The Dante Quartet

42. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

41. The Two Towers

40. Return of the King

39. Dick

38. The Avengers

37. Watchmen

I was nervous when publishing the first installment of this series, knowing that I was leaping off into the unknown again and certainly not going as detailed as I’ll need to when explaining these ideas in my book someday. A few commenters pushed back, with criticisms I anticipated — too long, all over the place, titles insufficiently “counter-culture” — and that are partially justified:

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 7.38.04 AM

How do I defend such a broad understanding of “counter-culture” that the term can include both experimental shorts with moth wings taped to the film and hundred-million-dollar blockbusters? The fourth title from my list of ”23 Books for Counter-Culture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards” remains my favorite definition and general history:


4. Counterculture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House by Ken Goffman and Dan Joy

Publication Date: September 13, 2005
Official Description:

As long as there has been culture, there has been counterculture. At times it moves deep below the surface of things, a stealth mode of being all but invisible to the dominant paradigm; at other times it’s in plain sight, challenging the status quo; and at still other times it erupts in a fiery burst of creative–or destructive–energy to change the world forever.

But until now the countercultural phenomenon has been one of history’s great blind spots. Individual countercultures have been explored, but never before has a book set out to demonstrate the recurring nature of counterculturalism across all times and societies, and to illustrate its dynamic role in the continuous evolution of human values and cultures.

Countercultural pundit and cyberguru R. U. Sirius brilliantly sets the record straight in this colorful, anecdotal, and wide-ranging study based on ideas developed by the late Timothy Leary with Dan Joy. With a distinctive mix of scholarly erudition and gonzo passion, Sirius and Joy identify the distinguishing characteristics of countercultures, delving into history and myth to establish beyond doubt that, for all their surface differences, countercultures share important underlying principles: individualism, anti-authoritarianism, and a belief in the possibility of personal and social transformation.

Ranging from the Socratic counterculture of ancient Athens and the outsider movements of Judaism, which left indelible marks on Western culture, to the Taoist, Sufi, and Zen Buddhist countercultures, which were equally influential in the East, to the famous countercultural moments of the last century–Paris in the twenties, Haight-Ashbury in the sixties, Tropicalismo, women’s liberation, punk rock–to the cutting-edge countercultures of the twenty-first century, which combine science, art, music, technology, politics, and religion in astonishing (and sometimes disturbing) new ways, Counterculture Through the Ages is an indispensable guidebook to where we’ve been . . . and where we’re going.

Why Counterculture Conservatives Should Read It:

The key insight in reconciling counterculture and conservatism comes when we define the term historically, beyond just the caricature of the 60s hippie counterculture.

A counterculture is just any group of people who choose to reject some aspect of a dominant culture and then live peacefully in opposition to it. The Jews were a counterculture. So were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. So were the Christians in ancient Rome. So were the Pilgrims. And the Transcendentalists. And the Mormons.

Counterculture Through the Ages presents an alternative way of understanding the West: what if “Western Civilization” was actually just the compilation of all the best countercultural ideas that worked? What if Western Civilization wasn’t really about places or people or things but about a process to understand ourselves, one another, and our purpose in the world? And how do we figure out what that purpose is?

So yes, I admit it — my list was a mess, and so it shall be going forward. (I can only un-messify Aleister Crowley and Robert Anton Wilson and their basis in Kabbalah and Tarot so much! Learning how to jump from mess to mess is kind of the point. God hides in the spaces between the letters and in the connections between the cards, in the invisible gap between my mind and yours.) Counter-culture is messy — it’s a big muck mixing and gurgling together. But that’s no excuse. I’ll employ the new media tool highlighted in the last segment in an effort to cut down on the word count in this and future installments. Here’s a basic start, as I’ve progressed through writing the list I’ve begun exploring new ways to utilize Instagram, Hyperlapse and other tools:

(I will try to improve the handwriting in future hyperlapses. Over the course of this list I experiment with a number of different configurations improving on that early one. I think for the next round I’ll pick up a white board and dry erase markers…)

In trying to define Western Civilization in broad we have to confront that WE are a mess. Americanism, the idea of the West — we are a mess of conflicting ethnic, religious, and philosophical traditions all crammed together.

But we must overcome our primitive tribal nature. Unfortunately some of film’s most glorified filmmakers rose to prominence through glamorizing and glorifying their tribal identity, building whole careers on mythologizing their tribe, obscuring the ugly truth of their primitive ideologies. The next three titles on the list are by filmmakers I once idolized, though now look at with skepticism. However, each still has a film in their canon that runs counter to their usual output and offer useful lessons for counter-culture crusaders.

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136 Kathy Shaidle Articles That Expand Your Appreciation of Life and Culture

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

kathyshaidle-1156160061 (1)

Back in April I assembled this collection featuring “10 of Kathy Shaidle’s Greatest Hits.” Now today I present this collection organizing more broadly my favorites of her articles and blog posts by subject.

A realization dawned today: Kathy is the writer I’ve worked with the longest. We’ve had occasional breaks here and there as projects have shifted but it’s been five years now, with the last 3 at PJ. And Kathy has consistently churned out one memorable piece after another in service of a very substantive media and cultural critique. She’s become one of my biggest influences and inspirations on new media and culture. When young writers ask for suggestions in developing a writing career in today’s new media world I hold her up as a prime example. Her articles and her approach are filled with wisdom.

Get caught up on the pieces you may have missed below and don’t forget to follow Kathy on Twitter and visit her indispensable blog Five Feet of Fury:


  1. Make Way for Movies for Grown-Ups
  2. Movies for Grown-Ups, Part 2: Dodsworth and the Shame of Age
  3. Movies for Grown-Ups: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
  4. Movies for Grown Ups: Seconds (1966)
  5. Art, Lust, and Doing the Dishes: The Controversy of Scarlet Street
  6. 5 Reasons Star Wars Actually Sucks
  7. God Bless America? Remembering 1993′s Falling Down
  8. Talk Sixties, Act Fifties: The Ice Storm
  9. 4 Ways My Moviegoing Habits Changed After I Grew Up
  10. Nurse Ratched, My Hero: 4 Female Movie Villains I Love
  11. The 3 Most Poisonous Movie Clichés of the 60s and 70s
  12. I Liked Scrooge Better Before: 3 Christmas Movies I Hate
  13. Special Effects Unplugged: Movie Magic Before Computers
  14. Yippie-Kay-25th-Birthday Die Hard
  15. I Was a Communist for the FBI a Half-Century Later
  16. Will Roger Ebert Biopic Be a Big Bust?
  17. 10 Movies Millennials Must See to Understand the 1970s


  1. 6 Reasons The Who Is Better Than That Stupid Band You Like
  2. Vengeance Is Mine: The 5 Best Revenge Songs
  3. 6 Classic Recordings That Have No Business Existing (Part One)
  4. 6 Classic Recordings That Have No Business Existing (Part Two)
  5. The 5 Most Overrated Male Musicians, Part One
  6. The 5 Most Overrated Male Musicians, Part Two
  7. The 3 Most Overrated Female Musicians
  8. The Other Bono: Remembering Sonny (and the Pre-Crazy Cher)
  9. Keep Cat Stevens Out of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  10. Give ‘Em Enough Rope Turns 35 (Part One)
  11. Give ‘Em Enough Rope Turns 35 (Part Two)
  12. The Once-Unimaginable Occurs: David Bowie Turns 67
  13. Neil Young Doubles Down on the Crazy
  14. Never Mind the Beatles: America Met the Clash 35 Years Ago This Week
  15. The Top 3 Myths About Beatlemania
  16. Rock Around the Clock: How 2 Movies Made Musical History
  17. 10 Obscure Songs That Should Have Been Hits


  1. Why David Letterman Has (Almost) Always Creeped Me Out
  2. The 3 Best Monty Python Sketches (Aren’t Necessarily the Funniest)
  3. Lessons on Being a Grown-Up from… Vincent Price?
  4. Murdoch Mysteries: The Un-Breaking Bad
  5. Michael Palin: Monty Python Would Never Mock Islam
  6. TV’s 3 Most Admirable Post-Modern Cartoon Characters


  1. Grown Men Don’t Read Comic Books: Here’s an Alternative (That Might Just Save America)
  2. Grown Women Don’t Read Twilight: Here’s an Alternative (That Just Might Save America)
  3. 3 Reasons Higher Education Is Broken — and How To Fix It
  4. ‘That’s the Ultimate Race, Poor People’: In Praise of Adam Carolla’s Brutal Honesty
  5. Ann Coulter’s Mugged: A (Mostly) Frank Monologue About Race — Part 1
  6. Mugged and Ann Coulter Derangement Syndrome, Part 2
  7. 5 Controversial Ways to Enjoy the Decline of America
  8. Conrad Black Still Loves You, America (In Spite of Everything)
  9. Conrad Black Still Loves FDR (In Spite of Amity Shlaes)
  10. Conrad Black, Nixon, and the Red Scare: The Flight of the Eagle Concludes
  11. The 11 Best Ideas in Adam Carolla’s Hilarious New Book

Punk Rock and Counterculture

  1. Kinkos Goes To College: University of Iowa Acquires Zine Collection
  2. The BBC Sex Scandals and the Birth of Punk
  3. Farewell, Pussycat: Remembering Cult Movie Actress Haji
  4. Takin’ the Freight Elevator to the Incinerator: Joe Strummer and 9/11
  5. Vampira: Beatnik, Goth, Punk
  6. Altamont: When the Hippies Were Expelled From the Garden
  7. Miley Cyrus: Punk of the Year? Almost. (Seriously.)
  8. Patti Smith: The Paula Deen of Punk?
  9. When John and Yoko Took Over the Mike Douglas Show
  10. Hitchcock’s Rope and Gay ‘Rights’
  11. Happy 59th Birthday, Nina Hagen
  12. What Is Your Damage, Heathers?
  13. A Life Based on ‘Crossing the Street’

Crime and Death

  1. Mommie Dearest, Brothers Grimm: Thinking about Cleveland’s House of Horrors
  2. Raining on the Nelson Mandela Parade
  3. Sound Familiar? Rapist-Murderer Complains He’s Misunderstood
  4. Is Death Still a Great Career Move?
  5. Dead Celebrities Pitch Beer, Chocolate, and Bad Taste
  6. ‘Hurricane’ Carter: Fact vs. Fiction
  7. If Jack the Ripper Was Jewish, Does It Matter?


  1. ‘This Would Be Heaven For Me’: An Evening with Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla
  2. Catholic Nuns: An Idea Whose Time Has Gone?
  3. The Imaginary Rabbi and the Dead End Kid: Another Evening with Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla
  4. Yelling at Each Other About Robin Williams, Ann Coulter, Death, and God

Stand-Up Comedy

  1. George Carlin Wasn’t Funny: The Top Five Most Overrated Liberal Comedians
  2. ‘Long Story Short’: Colin Quinn’s 75-Minute History of the World
  3. That’s Not Funny: The 5 Biggest Comedy Taboos
  4. Del Close Marathon Ignores Improv Guru’s Occult Obsessions
  5. Carolla vs. Kindler: When Jealous Losers Attack
  6. Sam Kinison Biopic Back on Track With New Star
  7. Stand-Up Comic vs. Air Force Colonel: Who’s the Real Joker?
  8. Behind the Scenes: Jerry Lewis’ ‘Holocaust Clown’ Movie
  9. Dave Chappelle and Heckling as the New ‘Racism’
  10. ‘Comedy Gives Back’ Proves People Can Make a Difference — But Not the Way They Expected
  11. Dean Martin Roasts: Remembrance of Zings Past
  12. Finally: A Comedian Who Refuses to Apologize
  13. BREAKING: Stand-Up Comedians Are Crazy

Relationships and Gender

  1. Mean Girls: Why Are Women Turning Against Tina Fey?
  2. How Women Ruin Romance by Talking Too Much
  3. 3 (Conservative) Reasons to Admire Helen Gurley Brown
  4. Shoes, Sheetrock, and the Skipper: 3 Surprising Things That Make a Man Sexy
  5. Meet Matt Graber, Your New Leftwing Heartthrob!
  6. Confessions of a Failed Slut
  7. How to Be the Perfect Wife in 3 Easy Steps

Life Reflections and Career Advice:

  1. Why Skipping College Was One of the Smartest Decisions of My Life
  2. Talent Isn’t Everything: 5 Secrets to Freelance Success
  3. In the Future Will Everyone Really ‘Have To Become an Entrepreneur’?
  4. I Kid You Not: The Top 4 Reasons I Don’t Have Children
  5. No One Is Ever ‘Just Kidding’
  6. If I Were Queen: My First 3 Acts Upon Becoming Your Beloved Empress For Life
  7. The Poor Get Poorer: 3 Character Traits That Undermine Prosperity
  8. The 47% Solution: Yes, If You’re Poor, It Really May Be Your Fault
  9. Jobs Are for Suckers: How to Be the Boss of You
  10. No One Who Works Indoors Needs a Union
  11. We All Wondered What Happened
  12. 50 Is the New Crappy
  13. 3 Things Getting Lupus Taught Me

Tips on Writing, Technology, the Internet, and New Media Success

  1. Steve Jobs: The Other Man in My Marriage
  2. 3 Rules for Handling the Online Trolls, Bullies, and Crackpots
  3. 3 Turning Points in the History of Blogging
  4. Gravity Doesn’t ‘Card’: Cyber Bullys and the Laws of the Universe
  5. The ‘Me’ in Social Media: The ONLY Online Etiquette Rule You’ll Ever Need
  6. 3 Tips for ‘Owning’ Your Name on Google’s First-Page Results
  7. How To Boost Your Blog By Going ‘Under the Hood’
  8. Know Your (Copy)rights: Tips for Writers and Bloggers
  9. The Chestnut Diet: How To Cut Cliches Out of Your Writing
  10. The 5 Best Security and Privacy Tools for Your Mac
  11. 3 Pro Secrets to Double Your Freelance Writing Income in 2 Years


  1. Kathy Shaidle’s Guide For Your First Visit to Israel
  2. New York City: The Good, Bad and Ugly


  1. 3 Weird Things About the U.S. This Pro-American Canadian Doesn’t Get
  2. Dispatch from Canada: 146th Birthday Edition
  3. Justin Trudeau: Canada’s (Future) Pothead PM?
  4. Canada Asks Muslims: When Will You Stop Beating Your Wives?
  5. An Unlikely Canadian Hero’s Tale of Non-Violent Defiance
  6. So I Guess I Have to Talk About Rob Ford, Huh?
  7. Economic Freedom: Canadian Province Beats Out All 50 States
  8. Father of the Canadian Flag Dies, Aged 96
  9. Is Canada Becoming the Proving Ground for Eco-Terrorism?

Generational Theory

  1. The Truth About The Greatest Generation
  2. The 3 Most Destructive Members of the ‘Greatest Generation’
  3. The 3 Biggest Myths About Generation X
  4. Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand (Part One)
  5. Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation: 6 Gen-Xers I Can Actually Stand (Part Two)
  6. Gen X Dream Girl Phoebe Cates Turns 50

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15 Great Lists Debating Comic Books and Pop Culture by Pierre Comtois

Saturday, September 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This summer Pierre Comtois, a nonfiction author with several books on comics and culture and a novelist for Liberty Island, began a series of articles exploring the comic book world. (See an interview with him here about his influences and goals.) After a really strong run with comics he’s going to start exploring more subjects across pop culture in the coming weeks.

Do you disagree with any of Pierre’s comics conclusions? Do you have counter-lists to his choices? Or perhaps you have suggestions for subjects you’d like to se him write about in the future. Please get in touch with me at DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail.com to build on the foundation Pierre built and carry on the comic book conversation. With Pierre focusing on cracking open the discussion on other subjects now more voices analyzing the medium’s past, present, and future would be appreciated.

  1. The 10 Lowest Points in Spider-Man’s Career
  2. 10 Heroes and Villains Not Yet Featured in an X-Men Movie But Who Should Be
  3. The 10 Greatest Comic Book Writers Of All Time
  4. The 10 Most Interesting Super-Hero Alter Egos
  5. The Top 10 Best Super-Heroes Of All Time!
  6. The Top 10 Most Overrated Super-Heroes Of All Time
  7. The 10 Most Successful and Controversial Comic Book Publicity Stunts
  8. 10 Reasons Why Howard the Duck Is Poised for a Comeback
  9. Top 10 Most Influential Comics of the 1980s
  10. The 10 Best Super-Heroines in Comics
  11. The Top 10 Most Evil Comic Book Villains
  12. The Top 10 Most Disturbing Moments in Comics

Three Lists on More Pop Culture Subjects

  1. 10 Too Close for Comfort Similarities Between Harry Potter and the X-Men
  2. The 10 Most Underrated Classic Science Fiction Films
  3. The 10 Best Fantasy Novels and Series of All Time

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When the Grandchildren of the Atom Bomb Wake Up, There Will Be No More 9/11s

Thursday, September 11th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

See my previous years’ 9/11 reflections. 2012: “9/11 Rewrote Our Lives in Ways We Are Only Beginning to Comprehend“ and 2013: “On 9/11 and Benghazi’s Anniversary, We End Conservative Pessimism and Right-Wing Apocalypticism

Last week, against my better judgment, I decided to do a PJTV show and argue some pretty kooky, outlandish positions. The subject in the video embedded above is speculating on the future of warfare in which robots might do the fighting for us. Scott Ott, Bill Whittle, and Glenn Reynolds took a more skeptical approach while I argued my overly optimistic, “Singularitarian” perspective, embracing Ray Kurzweil’s idea that in our lifetimes we’ll have robots with consciousness, be able to gradually merge our minds and bodies with intelligent machines, and eventually evolve into new hybrid species until we become pure energy (the Singularity).

See the film Transcendent Man for an idea of where I’m coming from:

In the meantime, on the road to getting there, I anticipate that in our lifetime wars will be fought between terrorist organizations and nation states primarily with drone assassins, rather than Phantom Menace robots or Terminator 2: Judgment Day-style exoskeletons running around.

I feel morally compelled at a serious personal level to call for and defend the development of weapons of overwhelming power and sophistication and then to call for their employment against all nation states and ideologies currently waging wars against any liberal democracy. Yes — an explicitly pro-war stance, counter to the sentiments of the idolized former Congressman and conspiracy theory peddler Ron Paul today. My reason goes to my very being: I’m in the same boat as three commenters who responded on Monday when we featured the new Prager University video, “Was It Wrong to Drop the Atom Bomb on Japan?.” War made us.


My father was stuck in the Philippines waiting on Operation Downfall to become reality. There’s a good chance he and his buddies would have been casualties, maybe KIA’s. Which means I wouldn’t be writing this comment.

I don’t regret being born and don’t regret that we dropped that bomb so my dad could come home. End of story.

and Over50:

No it was not wrong to drop the atom bomb on Japan. My father was flying B-29 missions and my father in law was in the infantry in the Pacific. Given the the anticipated casualties for invading Japan, if not for the bomb, I guess there’s a fair chance me or my wife and our kids would not exist.

and Robbins Mitchell:

Those who claim it was “immoral” or whatever for the US to nuke Japan are clearly unaware that Japan was also working on its own atomic bomb…named the “genzai bakudan”…they were receiving uranium oxide from the Germans and had a working reactor on the Korean peninsula….had we waited till fall to invade the home islands,that would likely have been long enough for them to perfect their own nukes and they would have most assuredly used them against the invasion force…which would have included my own father who was with a US Navy occupation team on Okinawa at the time

How many Atom Bomb families are there today who only got a chance to exist because President Harry S. Truman made the correct moral decision? A similar question could be asked regarding his role in supporting Israel’s creation. From “23 Books for Counterculture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards“:

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20 Suggestions Should You Stumble Into an Online Argument About 9/11

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

This article was originally published in two parts last year on September 13 and 14, recounting a discussion I’d engaged in on that year’s anniversary of 9/11. I hope you might find it useful as some of these ideas and arguments no doubt reemerge again tomorrow. Warning: just a few bits of profanity and sexually profane insults flung at me…


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116 Articles Exploring American Culture by Chris Queen

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

With Herman Cain

(Chris with Herman Cain at Smart Girl Summit, which he wrote about here.)

Back in May I edited together “10 of Chris Queen’s Greatest Hits,” a collection featuring several of my favorite pieces exemplifying the output from one of PJ Lifestyle’s strongest contributors. Today I offer a broader survey of Chris’s work. Here are links to some of his best articles across many subjects. If you haven’t yet discovered Chris’s thoughtful writing and warm spirit then here’s your place to dive in. Here are pieces going back to 2011. Also take a look at my article from last weekend, an open list-letter to Chris offering ideas in our Walt Disney research: “Why Culture Warriors Should Understand the 10 Astounding Eras of Disney Animation’s Evolution.”

The South

  1. 10 Bands That Define Southern Rock
  2. What Do Southerners Think of Paula Deen?
  3. Hollywood’s Terrible Southern Accent Syndrome
  4. Smearing the South: First Honey Boo-Boo, Now ‘The Angry Ginger’?
  5. The Southern Tourism War of 2013: Enterprise, AL vs. Covington, GA
  6. Paula Deen’s Turnaround
  7. 3 Great Southern Novels You Probably Haven’t Read…Yet…
  8. Southerners Read The Bible More Than Any Other Area Of The Country
  9. 10 Things Everybody Gets Wrong About The South
  10. 14 Fascinating Inventors and Innovators from the South
  11. The 10 Most Overrated Destinations in the South
  12. The 10 Most Underrated Destinations in the South
  13. 10 Decadent Classic Southern Dishes

Disney: The Man, The Films, The Company, The Theme Parks

  1. The Ten Things You Must Do at Disney World
  2. Walt Disney’s 5 Greatest Innovations
  3. The 10 Best Disney Songs by the Sherman Brothers
  4. Disney’s Rich Ross: The Rise And Fall Of An Entertainment Mogul
  5. The Pixar Canon: 4 Misses And 8 Hits
  6. No Redheaded Stepchild: Brave Innovations Pay Off for Pixar
  7. It’s So Good To Be Bad: What Drives the Disney Villain Fascination?
  8. The Most Controversial Disney Classic You Probably Forgot
  9. 10 Must-Read Books for Disney Nerds
  10. Walt Disney’s Fascinating Political Journey
  11. 5 Examples of the Value of Faith in Disney’s Classic Films
  12. How Disney Culture Values Excellence
  13. 5 Disney Films That Define Key Family Values
  14. Patriotism, Disney Style
  15. Walt Disney’s Optimistic Futurism
  16. Horizons: Walt Disney’s Lost Futuristic Legacy
  17. Forgotten Walt Disney World: River Country
  18. Roy Disney: The Not-So-Silent Partner
  19. Forgotten Walt Disney World: Discovery Island
  20. Forgotten Walt Disney World: If You Had Wings
  21. Walt Disney’s ‘Boys’: Beautiful Music, Brotherly Disharmony
  22. How Interactive Lines at Disney’s Parks Make Waiting For Rides Not So Bad
  23. The 5 Most Underrated Walt Disney World Experiences
  24. The 5 Most Overrated Experiences at Walt Disney World
  25. Disney Parks’ Fascinating Running Subculture
  26. Has Disney World Fulfilled Walt’s Dreams For His Florida Project?
  27. Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse!
  28. RIP, Diane Disney Miller
  29. The Top 5 Christmas Season Traditions At Walt Disney World
  30. The Disney Family’s Real Life Soap Opera
  31. 3 Ways Walt Disney World Can Improve Transportation Around The Resort
  32. Disney’s Tasty, Controversial Turkey Legs
  33. Debunking the Disney Disinformation
  34. 5 Attractions I Wish Were Still At Walt Disney World
  35. How Glenn Beck Wants to Shape the Culture
  36. 5 Underrated Disney World Attractions You Shouldn’t Skip
  37. 10 Books Every Disney Fan Should Read
  38. Disney and the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, Part 1: ‘The Kind Of Service We Can Offer’
  39. Part 2: ‘Something No One Has Seen Or Done Before’
  40. Part 3: ‘I Won’t Open The Fair Without That Exhibit!’
  41. Part 4: ‘At The Intersection Of Commerce And Progress’
  42. Part 5: ‘It Says Something Very Nice’
  43. Part 6: ‘A Living Blueprint Of The Future’
  44. Mary Blair: Unsung Disney Artist
  45. 10 Free Ways To Have Fun At Walt Disney World
  46. The 10 Most Overrated Disney Animated Films
  47. The 10 Most Underrated Disney Animated Films
  48. 10 Ideas For How I’d Build A Star Wars Land At Walt Disney World
  49. The 10 Most Overrated Live-Action Disney Films
  50. The 10 Most Underrated Live-Action Disney Films


  1. Recreating the ’60s: Mad Men and Its Pale Imitators
  2. Five Reasons Why I Love To Watch BBC America On The Telly
  3. Person Of Interest and the Paranoia of the Digital Age
  4. Forgotten Christmas: Five Lesser-Known Holiday Specials
  5. Five TV Shows That Didn’t Get the Chance They Deserved
  6. Reimagining Fairy Tales: Grimm, Once Upon A Time and Their Modern Spin On Fantasy
  7. ‘When The **** Hits The Fan’: The Eccentrics of Doomsday Preppers
  8. How the History Channel Transformed into Conspiracy Theory Central
  9. 5 Scenarios You Can Always Expect on Hell’s Kitchen
  10. Jack’s Back! 5 Reasons to Get Excited About 24: Live Another Day
  11. 6 Contestants To Watch On The New Season Of MasterChef
  12. The 10 Funniest Episodes of Seinfeld
  13. 10 Observations from Season 12 of Hell’s Kitchen
  14. 12 Questions with Monti Carlo, MasterChef Season 3 Star and Host of Make My Food Famous


  1. Book Review: The Forest of Assassins by David Forsmark and Timothy Imholt
  2. Hope & Change… And Disinformation & Glasnost
  3. Book Review: It’s Kind Of A Cute Story, by Rolly Crump & Jeff Heimbuch
  4. Book Review: Dream It! Do It! My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms
  5. A New Way Of Looking At The Civil War


  1. How I Lost 25 Pounds without Having to Run


  1. Essential Christmas: The 10 Best Holiday Specials And Movies
  2. 5 Reasons Why I Can’t Wait For Skyfall, The New James Bond Movie
  3. Oscar’s Only Human: The 10 Biggest Academy Awards Blunders
  4. The 5 Best and 5 Worst James Bond Theme Songs
  5. 4 Surprises from the Academy Awards
  6. Robin Williams’ 10 Best Performances


  1. 5 Reasons Why I Always Say I’ll Never Watch The Grammys Again
  2. The Civil Wars: The Power of Music and the Hope of Restoration
  3. Meet The Least Likely Songwriter to Have A Top Ten Hit
  4. It’s Time For Christian Music Artists To Step Up Their Creative Game
  5. 4 Quick Observations from the Grammy Awards
  6. What’s Wrong with Country Music Today?
  7. 9 Questions On Music And Faith With Singer-Songwriter Melanie Penn

Exploring the Judeo-Christian Values in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania:

  1. The Spiritual Journey Of Billy Corgan
  2. Yes, There Are Judeo-Christian Values in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 1: The Seeker
  3. Yes, There Are Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 2: The Name
  4. Yes, There Are Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 3: The Dispenser of Wisdom
  5. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 4: The Unfaithful Lover
  6. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 5: Hope From Despair
  7. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 6: Unfailing Love
  8. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 7: Repentance
  9. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 8: The Way
  10. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 9: Faith
  11. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 10: Contentment
  12. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 11: The Lost Son
  13. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 12: In The Presence Of God
  14. Judeo-Christian Themes in the Smashing Pumpkins’ Oceania, Part 13: Freedom

Religion in America

  1. How Far Should Churches Go to Appeal to Men?
  2. The Difference Between Happiness and Joy
  3. Finding Mr. Righteous: A Single Christian Guy’s Perspective
  4. 15 Questions About the Challenge of Finding Mr. Righteous
  5. Sean Astin Opens Up About His Faith
  6. 5 Idols that God’s Followers Allow to Get in the Way of Their Relationship with Him

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The 50 Greatest Counter-Culture Films of All Time, Part I

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle
YouTube Preview Image

Dear Adam Bellow,

I’d like to congratulate you on building and launching Liberty Island. You’ve assembled an extraordinary team of writers — 25 so far profiled at PJ Lifestyle – with several of them beginning to contribute blog posts and freelance articles here. I’ll call them out, these are some really great writers and fascinating people: many thanks to Pierre Comtois, Jamie Wilson, Roy M. “Griff” Griffis, Michael Sheldon, Clay Waters, David Churchill Barrow, and  David S. Bernstein. And Karina Fabian too is about to make her debut shortly with a wonderful piece that I’m scheduling for tomorrow. Updated: don’t miss “10 Excuses For Why We Don’t Get More Done (And Why They Are Excuses).”

I can’t wait to get to know more of the Liberty Island writers and continue collaborations.

I appreciated your recent manifesto, “Let Your Right Brain Run Free,” at National Review and really only took mild issue with what seemed to me your overemphasis on the novel and pooh-poohing of film’s greater power to hypnotize viewers:

What about Hollywood? Many conservatives talk about the need to get into movie production. I agree this is very important, but it requires a massive investment of capital, and more to the point, I think people on the right are over-impressed with the power of film. To hear some conservatives talk you’d think movies were the Holy Grail, the golden passkey to the collective unconscious. This gets things precisely backwards. Sure, a successful Hollywood movie can have a major impact. But as a vehicle for political ideas and moral lessons, movies are simplistic and crude compared with the novels on which many are based.

Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books by C. S. Lewis both produced big-budget movies that reached millions of people with what most of us would probably agree is a subtly conservative message. Yet both of these successful movie franchises ultimately pale in comparison with the impact of the books. Even at their best, movies are essentially cartoons and their effects are superficial and fleeting. Books engage the reader much more deeply, at a level of identification with the characters and plot that can instruct the soul and edify the mind. A hundred years from now, moreover, these classic books will still be read all over the world in dozens of languages when the films on which they are based are long forgotten or superseded by new forms of entertainment.

In short, conservatives should remember that mainstream popular culture is still largely driven by books. Fiction therefore is and will remain the beating heart of the new counterculture. This is not just my bias as a publisher. It is a practical reality — and a fortunate one for us, since there are hundreds if not thousands of conservative and libertarian writers out there today producing politically themed fiction. The conservative right brain has woken up from its enchanted sleep and it is thriving. Instead of banging on Hollywood’s front door, a better approach is to go in the back by publishing popular conservative fiction and then turning those books into films.

I will write novels someday. And I still enjoy reading good ones. Recently my wife pushed on me her newest obsession, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:

The vivid narrative is a fictionalization of the author’s life and tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who immigrates to America and develops a career blogging about her discoveries among races and cultures. A wise excerpt from Page 273:

The movie rights have, of course, been acquired, with Lupita Nyong’o and Brad Pitt starring. I can’t wait to see it.

So real life inspires blogging, blogging inspires a novel — the highlights of which are the blog posts in it — which in turn inspires a movie. I wonder how they’ll depict blogging in the film. Maybe they’ll update it and make her a vlogger on YouTube instead? Part of my wife’s enthusiasm for the novel was because the character was also part of the online “natural hair community,” black and mixed race women who share YouTube tutorials about methods for giving up straightening their hair with destructive chemicals and switching to natural styles and products instead. From page 13:

My wife in her art has called them a counterculture:

My interdisciplinary work concentrates on the Ebony woman, Gen-X leaning Millennials, and our hair. Social media and video-based tutorials have influenced many Millennial women to embrace natural representations of their ethnic hair. These young women have become pioneers of the Millennial Natural Hair Movement, an expanding and informed counterculture responding to painful trends that date back to the early twentieth century.

Here’s an example of a video she made depicting the kinds of tips that circulate on YouTube amongst Natural Hair vloggers (she gave it an artsier spin):

I think this is an expression of the paradigm for today — that the various mediums of novels, film, and online media are blending back and forth together and the line between fiction and non-fiction blurs more too.

Recently when April and I made our move to South LA this summer in our packing and unpacking I had the opportunity to go through the DVD collection I’d accumulated over the last 15 years and assess the titles that still had the most value to me. As we’ve discussed and you know I’ve written about, so many of the movies and filmmakers that I once loved as a nihilistic postmodern college leftist I now regard with varying levels of disdain, disgust, and embarrassment.

But these are ones that I continue to regard with affection, that I still return to, and that I think can offer inspiration for your growing team of counterculture crusaders looking to change the world with their art. Some of them I’m a little bit more critical of than I once was, but they all still have some usefulness in some capacity or another…

(Note: this is a version 1.0 of this list, future editions will incorporate newly discovered films and suggestions from readers…)

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100 Compelling Health and Medicine Questions Answered by Theodore Dalrymple

Monday, September 8th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle


For several years now the inimitable Theodore Dalrymple has provided PJ Media and PJ Lifestyle with erudite, witty commentaries on controversies in the worlds of health, drugs, and disease, as well as their impact on culture. Here’s a collection featuring links to many of the questions he’s addressed, often in response to some shaky thinking in a new study or an ideologically slanted medical journal article.

What health and medical questions would you like to see him and other writers explore in the future? Please leave your suggestions in the comments.

2011 and 2012

  1. Is Salt Really Bad for Your Heart?
  2. Are There Health Effects Due to the Financial Crisis?
  3. Should the ‘Morning After’ Pill Be Available to All Ages?
  4. Can Children Be Manipulated into Eating Their Veggies?
  5. Should We Be Worried about Bird Flu?
  6. Is Surgery Not Always Necessary for Appendicitis?
  7. Genomic Medicine: A Great Leap Forward?
  8. Aspirin: The Elixir of Life?
  9. Do Nicotine Patches Actually Work?
  10. Does ‘Good Cholesterol’ Really Help Prevent Heart Attacks?
  11. Should Women’s High School Soccer Be Banned To Reduce Knee Injuries?
  12. Is Grief Always Depression?
  13. Does Fish Oil Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?
  14. Do Proactive Measures by Doctors Aid in Smoking Cessation?
  15. Can Dark Chocolate Reduce High Blood Pressure?
  16. How Come People Rarely Die of Dementia in Poor Countries?
  17. Should You Take Antibiotics?
  18. Is Obesity a Disease or a Moral Failing?
  19. Are Obese Kids Victims of Child Abuse?
  20. Need A Few Arguments Against Tattoos?
  21. Are the Treatment and Prevention of Obesity Different Problems?
  22. Why Are Psychiatric Disorders Not the Same as Physical Diseases?
  23. Do Today’s Medical Ethics Prevent New Breakthroughs?
  24. Should We Be Worried About Parasites from Cats?
  25. Do Doctors Turn Their Patients into Drug Addicts?
  26. Should Doctors Lie to Their Patients About Their Survival Chances?
  27. As Life Expectancy Increases Will the Elderly Become a Greater ‘Burden on Society’?


  1. What Is the Best Way to Treat Diabetes?
  2. What Can Be Done to Reduce Post-Hospital Syndrome?
  3. How Can a Mammogram Kill You?
  4. Human Feces as Medicine?
  5. What Will Happen if I Consume Too Much Calcium?
  6. Is Marijuana a Medicine?
  7. Why Is Immunization so Controversial?
  8. Is America at the Point Where HIV Testing Should Be Routine?
  9. Is Physical Therapy Overrated?
  10. How Many Smokers Could Quit If Someone Paid Them $10 Million?
  11. Is Nutrition Really the Key to Good Health?
  12. Is It Even Possible to Accurately Measure Physical Pain?
  13. Can Doctors Determine Who Should Be Allowed to Carry a Concealed Gun?
  14. Does Practice Really Make Perfect for Doctors?
  15. Should Doctors Be Allowed to Choose Not to Treat Fat People?
  16. Should Pre-Term Infants Receive Risky Oxygen Treatments?
  17. We Mock Prudish Victorian Euphemisms, But Are We Really Any Better?
  18. How Often Do Medical Emergencies Occur on Flights?
  19. What Is the Safest Day of the Week for Surgery?
  20. Are Antibiotic-Resistant Diseases Mother Nature’s Revenge?
  21. How Dangerous Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea During Surgery?
  22. Can Advances in Medical Technology Make Us Less Healthy?
  23. Does Badgering Patients to Exercise and Eat Better Actually Work?
  24. Should an Alcoholic Be Allowed to Get a Second Liver Transplant?
  25. Can Living With Chickens Protect Against Face-Eating Bacteria?
  26. Does the Sleep Aid Zolpidem Impair Driving the Next Day?
  27. Does Too Much Sugar Increase the Risk of Dementia?
  28. Men: Need Another Excuse to Put Off That Prostate Exam?
  29. Is Drug Addiction Really Like ‘Any Other Chronic Illness’?
  30. How Many Doctors Support Suicide for the Terminally Ill?
  31. What Are the Dangers in Screening for Diseases?
  32. Was Sir Winston Churchill Right About Exercise?
  33. Should Doctors Relax the ‘Dead-Donor Rule’ to Increase Organ Transplants?
  34. Is Living Near an Airport Dangerous for Your Health?
  35. Can Money Become Medicine?
  36. Gastric Bypass or Laparoscopic Gastric Band?
  37. How Do You Measure a Good Doctor Vs a Bad One?
  38. Should You Eat Lots of Nuts?
  39. As More People Live Longer Why Are Rates of Dementia Falling?
  40. Should Treatment of Obesity Begin Before Birth?
  41. Why Is It So Difficult to Translate Genetic Breakthroughs into Clinical Benefits?
  42. Can Scientists Create a Cure for Pain From Scorpions, Spiders, and Centipedes?


  1. Should the Age to Buy Cigarettes Be 21?
  2. Should You Vaccinate Your Children?
  3. Is Your Heart Attack More Likely to Kill You at Night or During the Day?
  4. A Cure For Peanut Allergies?
  5. Should Taxpayers Pay for the Junky’s Substitute Smack?
  6. Who Pays for Illegal Immigrant Tetraplegics’ Treatment?
  7. How Much Would You Pay to Survive Four Months Longer with a Terminal Disease?
  8. Euthanasia for the Insane?
  9. Does Valium Increase Your Chances of An Early Death?
  10. Are Diet Supplements Dangerous?
  11. Did Flu Drug Companies Perpetuate a Billion Dolllar Scam Around the World?
  12. What is One of the Most Dangerous Ideas in All of Medicine?
  13. Why Do Some Mothers Induce Illness in Their Own Children?
  14. Why Might a Doctor Be Relieved When a New Study Fails To Reduce Deaths?
  15. Should Prisoners Receive Better Health Care Than the General Population?
  16. Is Ebola the World’s Most Terrifying Disease?
  17. What Can Happen to Your Lungs if You Smoke 20 Cigarettes Every Day for A Decade?
  18. Is This the End of Mammograms to Screen for Breast Cancer?
  19. Do Medical Experiments on Animals Really Yield Meaningful Results?
  20. Will Legal Marijuana Be a Bonanza for Trial Lawyers?
  21. Should You Get Your DNA Tested to See if You’re More Likely to Get Cancer?
  22. What to do when the Risk of Treatment Outweighs the Benefits?
  23. Why Must We Take One Step Forward, Two Steps Back in the Battle Against Tuberculosis?
  24. Is Ignorance Really Bliss? What Is the ‘Nocebo’ Effect?
  25. What Does Moral Narcissism Looks Like in the Medical World?
  26. Why is Treating Statistical Markers of Disease Is Not the Same as Treating Disease Itself?
  27. Heterochronic Parabiosis: Reversing Aging With Young Blood?
  28. Should Everyone Consume Less Sodium?
  29. Does a Popular Antibiotic Raise the Risk of Heart Attack?
  30. Do You Really Need That Colonoscopy?
  31. Is It ‘Unjust’ for Doctors to Die from Ebola?


image illustration via shutterstock /  Sherry Yates Young

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Why Culture Warriors Should Understand the 10 Astounding Eras of Disney Animation’s Evolution

Sunday, September 7th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle


To my fellow Disneyphile Chris Queen,

You might recall that in January I offered up seven New Year’s resolutions that others could burgle from me Bilbo-style:

Usually when I’m working I have some combination of talk radio and Songza/Pandora on in the background. Now I’m going to replace the music with Disney films, cartoons, and documentaries, immersing myself in everything until I feel like I’ve really gotten a handle of the repeating themes and style.

New year's resolution 5: to intensity my study of #disney culture, for the next 2 weeks I will have #Disney films and documentaries and #cartoons on in background the whole time I am working. This is experiment that I will then apply to others. I need to train myself to dig deeper into the history of media and culture to find old gems and new realizations. So much that is old can be made new again.

This spring I utilized the PJ Lifestyle Cartoon at Noon feature to pursue this project, so far blogging through all 75 of the experimental Silly Symphony series, noting themes and cultural references. I’ll have more lists in the future explaining the significance of the series and its artistic depth but for now thsese first two are a good place to get started:

In March I responded to a Roger L. Simon column with an approach for “How Conservatives Can Conquer Hollywood.” The Walt Disney method of becoming a billionaire? Depict the battle of Good Vs. Evil with innovative technology:

Conservatives should be looking to the future and to new mediums of entertainment. Humans are not going to amuse themselves by sitting around staring at screens forever. I still believe in the Breitbartian idea that the battle for the culture is more important than the fight over political ideology. Where I’ve changed is in realizing that there’s actually a force more important and powerful to affect and control. Culture is driven by technology. Movable type came before the Gutenberg Bible. Edison’s film camera came before Hollywood. The techniques of animation had to be discovered by Disney and his animators through years of experimenting with Silly Symphony and Mickey Mouse shorts before Snow White could be achieved.

So yeah, politics is downstream of culture. But technology has the power to carve the shape of the river itself.

Chris, as we start to think in a bigger picture direction with our continued research into Disney history and ideology, here’s my attempt to sort of lay out a broad look at the territory. How does this sound as a way to think of the different periods that run across the company?

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The Most Comfortable Chair For Writers On the Go?

Sunday, August 31st, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

So back in February, I reviewed an extraordinary product from Sumo: the Gigantor, a premium beanbag large enough for the whole family, a replacement for a sofa. (Star Trek-obsessed household that we are, it was soon dubbed “The Tribble.”) Now Sumo has a new, portable product that also intimidates and challenges expectation:

Is this new product as successful as the Gigantor? Will it become a daily seat for me? I try and read every morning in the Gigantor — the ideal chair to lose oneself in a book. Will the Omni Reloaded become the writing chair that I’ve been needing? (I’ve come to accept that siting at the desk in front of the laptop is no longer a conducive environment to writing. Typing on a keyboard isn’t writing. And likewise we can’t all be Winston Churchill and work in bed or in some equivalent mass of comfort. For my ideal writing environment I need comfort but also to be in an up-right position)

Last week I decided to take Maura for a walk to the park and give the Omni Reloaded a field test. How does this portable beanbag hold up in the real world?

Maura and me at the park, testing out the Sumo Omni Reloaded... More pics coming that I just shot.

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109 Classic Cartoons from the ’30s and ’40s

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

All 75 of the Silly Symphonies, the Gold Standard of the Era:

  1. Walt Disney’s First Silly Symphony: ‘The Skeleton Dance’
  2. PETA Would Hate This 1929 Disney Cartoon…
  3. Nature Animated to Life
  4. A Disney Cartoon Set In Hell!
  5. Getting Drunk With Disney’s Merry Dwarfs
  6. Summer: The Sixth Silly Symphony, A Sequel to Spring
  7. Corn on the Cob as Musical Instrument
  8. A Cannibal-Version of Carmen With Clicking Human Skulls… Made By Walt Disney
  9. Frolicking Fish Almost 60 Years Before The Little Mermaid
  10. Mickey Mouse As a Polar Bear
  11. Toy Story‘s Great Grandfather?
  12. A Bug Flying Too Close to the Fire In the Darkness
  13. Innocence Incarnate: These Smooching Monkeys Will Make You Smile
  14. Goodbye Winter! Disney’s Playful Pan Emerges to Call In Spring (two cartoons)
  15. Birds of a Feather Flock Together
  16. A Cartoon First Released April 17, 1931: Disney’s Mother Goose Melodies
  17. Dora the Explorer’s Politically Incorrect Cameo in a 1931 Disney Cartoon
  18. Apparently Beavers Invented the Wheelbarrow Before Man
  19. A Sweet & Spooky Silly Symphony for Cat Lovers
  20. Egyptian Melodies Vs. Father Noah’s Ark
  21. Geppetto’s Original Workshop And Cogsworth’s Great-grandparents?
  22. When A Cavalry of Horseflies Goes To War Against the Spider
  23. Drinking Tea Before the Fox Hunt
  24. How Much Can an Ugly Duckling Grow Up Over a Decade?
  25. The Marx Brothers As Cartoon Birds
  26. A Primordial Winnie the Pooh
  27. A Dog Jail Break at the Pound!
  28. The First Technicolor Cartoon: Disney’s Still-Amazing ‘Flowers and Trees’
  29. It’s Amazing What Kinds of Cartoons Were Considered Family Friendly in 1932…
  30. Bugs In Love Battle a Blackbird in Black and White
  31. ‘Babes In the Woods’ Vs. The Witch In The Candy Cottage
  32. What Secrets Do You See Inside Santa’s Workshop?
  33. The Snake Hypnotizes His Prey
  34. The Disney Version of Noah’s Ark
  35. An Oscar-Winning Cartoon That Defined the Depression Era
  36. Who’s Ready to Open Pandora’s Box?
  37. Enter Sandman? Where We Go When We Sleep
  38. If You Don’t Pay the Piper He’ll Just Take Your Children Instead…
  39. When Walt Disney Imagined Santa Claus In Alliance With The Robot Toys
  40. The ‘Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil’ Monkeys In Cartoon Form
  41. ‘Oh, the World Owes Us a Livin’…’
  42. Among the Easter Bunny’s Secrets: Scotch-Colored Paint!
  43. Practical Pig Saved Little Red Riding Hood From the Big Bad Wolf
  44. Donald Duck’s First Appearance
  45. The Lesson of the Flying Mouse: Sometimes A Blessing Is Actually A Curse…
  46. Chill Out Today With These ‘Peculiar Penguins’
  47. Compare and Contrast: The Goddess of Spring With Snow White
  48. Slow and Steady Wins the Race?
  49. What Would You Do If Everything You Touched Turned to Gold?
  50. A Cartoon To Teach Kids About the Danger of Celebrating Crime
  51. Dreaming of an Innocent Unity With Nature
  52. A Fantasy Land Where Everything Is Made of Candy…
  53. How Did Disney’s Mae West Bird Caricature Compare With Real Life?
  54. VIDEO: If Romeo and Juliet Were A Saxophone and Cello
  55. Another 1930s Disney Cartoon with Creepy Racial Stereotypes…
  56. What Does It Take to Be the Cock o’ The Walk?
  57. What Is the Fate of Broken Toys?
  58. Elmer Elephant: Is This the Most Adorable Cartoon in the Whole Series?
  59. How Kids Can Learn To Defeat Bullies
  60.  ‘I Like a Man That Takes His Time…’
  61. The 3 Blind Mouseketeers Vs A Room of Traps
  62. A Country Mouse Discovers the Joys of Drinking in the Big City…
  63. This Very Cute Video of ‘Mother Pluto’ Parenting Chicks Will Make You Smile
  64. 3 Troublemaker Kittens Make a Mess in the Garden
  65. The Dark Secrets Hidden in the Woodland Cafe…
  66. What Is Animism?
  67. One of The Classic Breakthroughs In Animation History
  68. When Moths Fly Too Close to The Flame…
  69. 3 Babies Fishing For Stars In Dreamland
  70. Walt Disney Introduces The Farmyard Symphony on the DisneyLand TV Show
  71. Long Before Spongebob: The Underwater Circus of the Merbabies
  72. Katharine Hepburn As Little Bo Peep in Blackface
  73. Practical Pig Delivers a ‘Harsh Interrogation’ To the Big Bad Wolf
  74. This Ugly Duckling Abandond By His Family Will Melt Your Heart

12 Early Betty Boop Cartoons

  1. Betty Boop’s First Appearance
  2. Before Betty Boop Was Beautiful…
  3. Betty Boop as Snow White In A Cartoon For Jazz Lovers
  4. Your Initiation Into Betty Boop’s Secret Society
  5. ‘No, He Couldn’t Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away!’ (2 cartoons featured)
  6. Why You Shouldn’t Try Robbing Betty Boop
  7. The Betty Boop Approach to Dealing With ‘Silly Scandals’
  8. Moving Day for Betty Boop!
  9. A Plus-Size Betty Boop As Kitty From Kansas City
  10. Playing Chess with Betty Boop & Taking a Mean Shot at Mickey Mouse
  11. Betty Boop’s Crazy Inventions

22 of Fleischer Studio’s Color Classics, a competitor to the Silly Symphonies:

  1. A Redheaded Betty Boop As Cinderella Debuted a New Series
  2. ‘Joy Like This Cannot Be Bought!’ A Cartoon Variation of Hansel and Gretel
  3. An Elephant Never Forgets
  4. Back When Cartoons Taught the Miraculous Power of Prayer…
  5. ‘Momma Don’t Allow No Music Playin In Here’
  6. Animal Newlyweds Take Their Honeymoon In Outer Space!
  7. Seduced By the Black Swan
  8. An Old Couple Reminisces On Falling In Love…
  9. Somewhere in Dreamland Tonight
  10. When a Chick Tries to Be a Duck
  11. Newlywed Flies Pick The Wrong Hotel For Their Honeymoon
  12. Greedy Humpty Dumpty Enslaves Nursery Rhyme Creatures To Build His Gold Wall to the Sun
  13. Two Lovebirds Take a Hawaiian Honeymoon
  14. Dreaming of a Big Train
  15. An Eccentric Inventor Saves The Orphans’ Christmas
  16. The Wedding of Jack and Jill Rabbit
  17. The Rooster and His Harem…
  18. Animal Symphony Chaos: ‘The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Astray…’
  19. VIDEO: A Family of Peeping Penguins Finds a New Home
  20. A Little Fish Has to Learn His Lesson The Hard Way
  21. Cute: Little Lamby Eats His Grass With Sugar
  22. The Vegetable Children Don’t Want to Play With the Little Onion Kid

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10 Provocative Perspectives on the Death of Robin Williams

Monday, August 18th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

1. Matt Walsh at his eponymous blog: “Robin Williams didn’t die from a disease, he died from his choice

I’m not normally one to write a blog post about a dead celebrity, but then I suppose there is no such thing.

There are only living celebrities, not dead ones. In death, wealth and prestige decay and we are brought into a new reality, the only reality there is or ever was — one which, for much better or much worse, doesn’t care at all about our popularity or our money.

The death of Robin Williams is significant not because he was famous, but because he was human, and not just because he left this world, but particularly because he apparently chose to leave it.


A terrible, monstrous atrocity. It disturbs me in a deep, visceral, indescribable way. Of course it disturbs most people, I would assume. Indeed, we should fear the day when we wake up and decide we aren’t disturbed by it anymore.


We tend to look for the easiest answers. It makes us feel better to say that depression is only a disease and that there is no will and choice in suicide, as if a person who kills themselves is as much a victim as someone who succumbs to leukemia.

2. Jim Geraghty at National Review: “Robin Williams and Our Strange Times: Does our society set the stage for depression?”

The constant online presence would lead to a world of nonstop instant reaction, where everyone could immediately transmit the first thought that popped into his head in response to news. Everyone’s first reaction would become his defining reaction, particularly if it’s dumb or knee-jerk. If it was racist, sexist, hateful, or obnoxious, even better. Those horrified would then share and retweet it to their friends and followers, spreading the perception that the world was overpopulated with hateful idiots, and that average Americans — or average human beings! – were rather nasty, ignorant creatures unworthy of respect or affection. Many people would quickly and easily forget that the people who comment on Internet websites represent a small slice of the population, a fraction predisposed to getting pleasure from posting shocking, obnoxious, or hateful material.

The widespread perception that almost everyone else was a moron — why, just look at the things people post and say on the Internet! – would facilitate a certain philosophy of narcissism; we would have people walking around convinced they’re much smarter, and much more sophisticated and enlightened, than everyone else.

3. Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler responding to Walsh: “Chasing Shadows in the Death of Robin Williams”

Anyone who has seen true mental illness up close knows that the idea of choice gets bent and blurred.

I’ve seen Alzheimer’s Disease up close. It’s not depression, but it is a different disease of the same organ, the brain. Alzheimer’s sufferers do not choose to lurch from the present to three decades into the past in an instant. They don’t choose to forget who you are, what your name is, who they are, where they are, everything they have ever known and everyone they have ever loved. They don’t choose to become hostile to those they love who are caring for them. They are not choosing any of that. Yet what is happening in their brains impacts their behavior and can be incredibly frustrating and crushing for their loved ones. It’s heart-breaking, one of the most heart-breaking experiences a person can experience.

There is no more choice in that than there is choice to come down with cancers unrelated to behavior. There is no more choice in that than the choice to grow old, see your organs wink out one by one, as you approach the end. Did the boy who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, an organ disease which will probably kill him in his 20s, choose that? Depression, like Alzheimer’s, is a disease of an organ, the brain. Where choice begins and ends in the mind of someone with clinical depression is quite blurry. I don’t pretend to know where it is. Depression is the ultimate mind game, only your own brain is working deviously against itself.

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15 Authors Who Can Help Men and Women Better Understand Each Other

Monday, August 11th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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Last week I presented an exploration of many popular beliefs that can disrupt our lives and undermine our relationships: “30 Bad Ideas Men Should Embrace if They Want to Destroy Themselves.” The list utilized books from gifted writers exploring concepts across culture, history, and religion. Here are links to their books and where you can read more of their writing in the series:

1. Lisa De Pasquale with her memoir Finding Mr. Righteous

The seven men from Lisa’s book were each explored throughout the series starting with Chris the Atheist and ending with Brandon the Non-denominational Believer.

2. David P. “Spengler” Goldman with his essay collection It’s Not the End of the World, It’s Just the End of You

3. Leora Batnitzky with her scholarly study Idolatry and Representation: the Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered.

Goldman’s books are great introductions to the tools of Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig for understanding the impact of Paganism, Judaism, and Christianity on modern thought. Batnitzky’s book provided an opening for understanding the differences within Christianity as relative to their attitudes to Judaism.

4. Camille Paglia with her essay collection Sex, Art and American Culture and magnum opus Sexual Personae

Discussed to illustrate points here and here.

I just finished a first-rate, 150-page primer in idolatry: Elizabeth "The Anchoress" Scalia's Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life. Great book! #religion #God #Bible #secular #idolatry #idols my wife's #Beyoncé #goddess painting in background (art with a comparable message...)

5. The super-blogger the The Anchoress Elizabeth Scalia with her very accessible introduction to idolatry, Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life

My list discussed Scalia’s perceptive insights on technology addiction and workaholism.

6. Five Feet of Fury Blog Empress Kathy Shaidle with her great culture critique and memoir e-book Confessions of a Failed Slut

Kathy points to the future that’s coming and how technology is transforming the way men and women relate.

7. Robert M. Hoffstein with his revealing A Mystical Key to the English Language

Exploring the word Love here.

8. PJ Columnist Dr. Helen Smith with her important manifesto Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters 

Here in the list I explained where I agree and disagree with Dr. Helen.

9. Harvey C. Mansfield with his book Manliness

This and the next two books are useful for understanding men and women who have fallen into a nihilistic ideology

10. Allan Bloom with his classic The Closing of the American Mind

11. Andrew Breitbart with his memoir Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World! 

12. Douglas Rushkoff with his introduction to a more mystical, “open source” Judaism, Nothing Sacred: The Truth About Judaism 

13. Franz Rosenzweig with his The Star of Redemption 

The series concludes with an author Goldman has inspired me to dig deeper into understanding.

In two of the posts preceding the series I also suggested these authors and their books as important for understanding humanity’s fallen nature and marriage’s ability to raise us upward:

14. Michael Ledeen with his Machiavelli on Modern Leadership

15. Shmuley Boteach with his integration of Eastern and Western mysticism, The Kosher Sutra

Need more books that’ll transform the way you understand the world?

For the next big list coming I’m planning on naming some great movies and explaining how they can inspire us….

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30 Bad Ideas Men Should Embrace if They Want to Destroy Themselves

Sunday, August 10th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Two of my favorite recent books - I recommend reading these together in tandem for added insight... #culture #religion #relationships #marriage #god

See the previous parts of this ongoing series exploring culture, relationships, and religion through books:

April 11: Men Should Read Lisa De Pasquale’s Sexy Memoir

Lisa’s book provokes many questions and this post is the beginning of a series to host and encourage a discussion about them. Lisa organizes her book around 7 different men — Chris the Atheist, Joe the Catholic, John the Evangelical, Preston the Quaker, Ryan the Preacher, Adam the Jew, and Brandon the Nondenominational Believer — and how her pursuit of them shaped her own religious journey. I’m going to give each one at least one blog post excerpting from her book and raising a question for debate…. Lisa’s memoir is an inspiring journey through her own struggles with the idols she’s worshiped. In future posts I’ll consider an idol-based reading of her book in juxtaposition with other texts and the stories of the day. Recognizing the idol we’re worshiping that’s keeping us enslaved is the first step to picking it up, smashing it, and finding the free life God wants us to have. Lisa’s book collects the fragments of seven of her smashed idols and there’s much we can learn from her. Stay tuned, in future posts I’ll also consider Lisa’s insights alongside two related books I’ve read recently, Kathy Shaidle’s Confessions of a Failed Slut (which Ed Driscoll interviewed her about here today) and Dr. Helen Smith’s Men On Strike

April 17: The Normal Way Godless Men Treat Women (A discussion of Chris the Atheist’s sexual violence against Lisa and its ancient cultural roots.)

June 26 at the PJ Tatler: 30 Books For Defeating Valerie Jarrett’s Cult of Political Criminals.

That Sunday, June 29, excerpting a section of it at PJ Lifestyle: 5 Deep Books For Overcoming Our Addiction to Idol Worship

Here are links to round 1 of a debate at PJ inspired by the “spreadsheet husband” that ran July 20-24:

This extended list article (see the original publication of the 3 parts here, here, and here) draws from the debate’s comments and juxtaposes them with excerpts from Finding Mr. Righteous, 3 of the 5 books on idolatry, and a few more related titles.

This can be understood as opening up Round 2 and and inviting others to participate. Send submissions in response to these subjects to DaveSwindlePJM {@} gmail.com or please leave comments below or feel free to get in touch on Twitter: @DaveSwindle (We should start featuring more Twitter discussions at PJ Lifestyle…)


Dear Lisa,

I hope your last few months have been less tumultuous than mine. After almost a month in our new apartment in South L.A., April and I are starting to get comfortable and settled — we finally tested out the pool yesterday. (Siberian Husky Maura remained skeptical and chose not to go in even though our landlord said she could. Someday we hope to get her swimming. She does enjoy going to the beach.) Here’s a picture of her exploring the new town, I’m going to try to collect more sunrise pictures of her:

A great #sunrise in #socal this morning as the #siberianhusky and I try and wake up today...

After the first two posts in the series on your book I ran into a writer’s block, a challenge that I’ve now at last overcome: how best to explain the difference between Judeo-Christians and pagan Christians, one of the phenomena your book illustrates so vividly. This is my way of trying to contribute to understanding the wide range of religious relationship experiences you had over the years and why they varied so much amongst men who were supposedly committed to the same holy book, worshipping the same God. Illustrating the paganism of your first failed Mr. Righteous, Chris the Atheist, was easy enough. Camille Paglia is probably the most perceptive writer today analyzing the cultural blend of secularism and amoral neopagan values.

But in analyzing the varieties of Christianity in the context of their ratio of pagan to Jewish influences, there’s another writer — who’s exhibited an even stronger influence on my views the last three years — who I want to encourage you to consider both for future writings and for his insights on life in general.

David P. Goldman is a PJ columnist with a diverse background and a knowledge base ranging from economics and finance to history, philosophy, art, music and culture, to religion and theology. I read his book How Civilizations Die (And Why Islam is Dying Too) a few years ago and make it a point to try and edit as many of his pieces here at PJ as I can. I’ve just recently acquired and read his essay collection It’s Not the End of the World, It’s Just the End of You: The Great Extinction of the Nations.

Among Goldman’s unique insights is to apply the theological writings of Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig and his magnum opus The Star of Redemption to understand demographic and cultural trends today, particularly why it is that so many nations and people around the world choose to destroy themselves. Goldman’s answer: secularism produces hopelessness and does not inspire people to marry and reproduce. There is a big link between religiosity, family size, and happiness. Goldman lays out the data to both show that it’s there and then, through explaining Rosenzweig’s analysis of pagan, Jewish, and Christian cultures, explain how to fix it.

And it starts with applying it to our own lives — his ideas are just as useful at the macro level as they are for understanding ourselves and interpersonal relationships. The same techniques the West needs to use for defeating the sex-and-murder worshipping barbarians on the global stage we can use for overcoming these challenges in their smaller manifestations in the people around us and in our own unruly, jealous hearts.

So here are some of the bad ideas that your book does a great job of exposing — warning signs for both men and women — and some related ideas too that will yield further insights into the challenge of overcoming the stumbling blocks preventing us from being the righteous people our friends and family need us to be.

What does it mean to be a righteous man in America today? Question of the day. #manhood #masculinity #God #men #women

For this compilation I’ve assembled an index for easier browsing:

1. Drunken, Chain-Smoking Cynicism

2. Racial Nationalism

3. Pauline Christian Apocalypticist Paganism

4. Catholic Paganism

5. Theological Idolatry

6. Secularist Sex-Worship

7. Evangelical Idolatry

8. Secularist Nature-Worshipping Paganism

9. Right-Left Political Idolatry

10. Technology addiction

11. Internet Porn Idolatry… and its coming Spawn of Virtual Reality Sex Addiction

12. Christian Protestant Pagan Sadomasochism

13. Worshipping Our Own Ugliness

14. Apollonian Radical Pagan Materialism

15. Buying Love Through Excessive Gift Giving

16. The Jesus Wannabes

17. Atheist Anarcho-Capitalist “Libertarianism”

18. Catholic Christian Objectivism

19. Arminian Christian Paganism

20. The Idol of Self-Reinvention

21. Hedonism

22. Obama Worship

23. Blatant Ignorance of Female Nature

24. Political Science Idolatry

25. Politically Correct, Man-Child Cowardice

26. Permanent Adolescence

27. Workaholism

28. “Marriage is the only voluntary relationship that is fundamentally about sex.”

29. Nihilism: The worship of nothing

30. Narcissism

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