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Ann Bartow

Do you find it odd that Teachout is quoted in the Althouse masthead?

Kate Marie


I have a slight quibble with your characterization of "Right Wing crypto-Stalinists" -- or rather, a quibble with your having left out Left Wing crypto-Stalinists, who are just as incapable of reacting to a work of art on its own terms. When philistines on the Left tout a movie like "Brokeback Mountain" as a kind of celluloid social activism, philistines on the Right will respond to it as such (and vice versa).

The example of Capote, an excellent movie and the only of the nominated ones that I've seen, is interesting. I'm unaware of any remotely mainstream critic -- right or left -- who suggested the film had an "agenda." But maybe I just haven't been paying attention.

In any event, wasn't it ever thus -- for ideologues of both (or all) stripes? "On the Waterfront" was treated by some, not as one of the great movies in film history, but as an apology for Elia Kazan's "finking" on his colleagues.

When films are explicitly political and "historical," however, their politics and their version of history are legitimate subjects of criticism, I think. Terry Teachout's recent Commentary article comparing the depiction of journalism in "Capote" to "Good Night and Good Luck," and pointing out the latter movie's historical elisions, is a good example.


Ann Bartow: "Do you find it odd that Teachout is quoted in the Althouse masthead?"

Terry is a conservative so I'm not surprised that he reads and likes some conservative bloggers. But he tries to keep his politics out of his art criticism, and one of his favorite bloggers is Roy Edroso. There are a bunch of liberal bloggers on his and Our Girl in Chicago's blogroll, in fact, including me, and I'm pretty sure everyone who's on it is there by Terry's and OGIC's mutual agreement. So Terry reads and likes a lot of people he doesn't agree with and I wouldn't want to draw any conclusions about his liking Althouse.

And if Terry wrote something like he wrote about Althouse--"the divine Ms Althouse"---I'd sure put it up on my page. Well, not if he called me the divine Ms. Mannion, maybe.

In fact, he may have. I have a shout-out from About Last Night on my about page. I'm pretty sure it was written by OGIC, but I don't know. Terry may have written it.

Kevin Wolf

It is tempting to slip into a warm bath of nostalgia when a subject like this comes along. Because when I was a kid it was different, blah blah blah.

But, heck, it was different! Part of the difference is that broadcasting rules have been gutted: the idea of the "public airwaves" which might give us more of what we need has been discarded entirely.

Another is that someone like Johnny Carson, who seemed to me a class act, made use of his show to bring us exciting, interesting and artistic stuff - in addition to "mere" comedy and entertainment. (Which we also cherished.)

I'm hard pressed to think of a current show of this sort that isn't just a long commercial for the latest movie, CD or similar product that "the media" is trying to shill.

Shakespeare's Sister

Parents who want to introduce their kids to art and culture have to do it themselves and that makes for a very piecemeal approach.

And parents who want to make sure their kids know that the entertainment industry just wants to brainwash them into liberalism and sell them useless trinkets can give them this book.


Yes, the less Gomer the better.

I remember the Young People's Concerts fondly, errr..excuse me ..with nostalgia. Part of the absolute charm and fascination was Leonard Bernstein, who knew how to teach and how to absorb his young audience. As a composer and conductor he had an appreciation and knowledge of music from all angles. I'd be interested to know who in this era could pull if off. It would be the same music (I Remember Mahler), but who has the personality to go with the knowledge to make it work? Having seen Itzahk (you find the spelling) Perlman on Tonight with Johnny Carson, he might have the personality.

If I remember, Berstein's concerts were on Sunday afternoons. Sunday afternoons were deathly dull before the NFL and we only had three channels. We watched because it was on. These days there is too much choice. If the neo-Bernstein had a show, it might be on Bravo.

To those who never saw the show, I do not think you adequately emphasized the greatness of Leonard Bernstein in that venue. He made the show interesting to me..he made classical music fun to learn about.

harry near indy

to kevin wolf,

regarding johnny carson ... he was an amateur astronomer, so he would have carl sagan on his show.

for a while, a popular catch phrase was "millions and millions of stars in the sky," because sagan said it on the tonight show.

i can't see jay leno doing anything like that. it wouldn't be good for the ratings/advertisers. and i don't know, but he seems to be acultural -- that is, not hostile to high culture, but not an aficianato.


I'd vote for Yo Yo Ma to lead those concerts. Or maybe Jake Shimabukuro.

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