[Guest post by Alex Klein] The country of my birth is parodying itself. We’ve spun around the roundabout of funny and turned off directly into sad. The News of the World’s Pandora’s box is daily spilling out even fresher hells, so embarrassing in their corporate-journo-politico complicity that one could almost forgive Rupert Murdoch for burning a million emails worth of evidence — well, almost. Today, we learn that NOTW tried to hack Gordon Brown, Prince Charles, and 9/11 victims. Then they tried to buy the Queen’s phone number. In times like these, England rarely turns to the clergy.
Liberals have responded to the Tea Party movement by reaching a comforting conclusion: that there is no way these guys can possibly be for real. The movement has variously been described as a “front group for the Republican party” and a “media creation”; Paul Krugman has called Tea Party rallies “AstroTurf (fake grass roots) events, manufactured by the usual suspects.” I can understand why liberals would want to dismiss the Tea Party movement as an inauthentic phenomenon; it would certainly be welcome news if it were.
The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 By Dinesh D'Souza (Doubleday, 333 pp., $26.95) I. American conservatism is in crisis. That much is almost universally clear. But the next period in American politics will be determined not least by how clearly we understand the crisis of the right. For it may be that the remarkably successful Republican coalition of the last three decades is not at all doomed at the polls. A Giuliani or Romney candidacy, especially up against a Clinton candidacy, could well eke out a victory in 2008.
I have a hunch that music-lovers all over the world, who consider themselves well-versed in the kind of twentieth-century music that does not offend them, have not heard of the English composer Gerald Finzi. Who is this biography of Finzi for, in the United States? Stephen Banfield believes that it is for the American church musicians who know Finzi's anthem God is gone up, and the clarinetists who have played his bagatelles, and all those who saw the film Hilary and Jackie and are passingly interested in the identity of Kiffer, Finzi's son. Perhaps this is too pessimistic.
If there is any period one would desire to be born in is it no the age of Revolution; when the old and the new stand side by side and admit of being compared; when the energies of all men are searched by fear and by hope; when the historic glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era? Emerson: The American Scholar In this republican country somebody is always at the drowning point. Hawthorne: The House Of The Seven Gables The current attempt to sell the Bicentennial is obviously uninspired.