Carolina Critic | 2002 Archive
It's not all about politics! Check here for commentary on culture and society in North Carolina.
Dec. 12th No. 110: Bush Romances the Camera in Journeys With George
How would you feel if a shrill San Francisco liberal followed you around for a year, videotaping every public moment of your life? President Bush handles it with aplomb in HBO’s new documentary, “Journeys With George.”
Nov. 26th No. 109: Junk Science Judo: Quacks Hazardous to Our Health
So much of staying healthy and sane is worrying about what’s important, and not sweating the small stuff. It makes sense to worry about, say, getting enough exercise since exercising regularly can greatly improve one’s quality of life. Most rules for maintaining a healthy life are quite simple.
Oct. 28th No. 107: Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: Rough Seas for Government Lovers
Sometimes you can do more damage to a bad idea with humor and satire than with a great scholarly treatise. That’s the working premise of Ken Schoolland’s The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible. This book is a wonderful takeoff on Jonathan Swift’s political satire Gulliver’s Travels and it romps all over the big, dumb ideas of socialism, egalitarianism, and democracy. Written in 1981, the book is now in its fourth printing and has been translated into 21 languages. It’s wickedly good fun with a serious purpose.
Oct. 17th No. 106: The New Americans: Barone Warms Up the Melting Pot
Relying on history, Michael Barone compares today's ethnic groups with immigrants of the past and finds similarities.
Sep. 30th No. 105: "Signs": You're Either a Believer or You're a Non-Believer
M. Night Shyamalan’s "Signs" is the work of a master craftsman. His ability to create suspense out of the most innocuous situations and without reliance on heavy special effects, as is so common today in Hollywood, forces comparison to Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense. It is an indication of how masterly Shyamalan understands his craft.
Sep. 20th No. 104: Fool's Errands: Blueprint for Disaster in Afghanistan
The destruction of the Taliban government in Afghanistan and its replacement by a new regime that is at least not certifiably lunatic has led to discussions on the role that the United States should play in that country’s future. Some advocate a big “nation-building” program designed to create a model democracy. Fool’s Errands, however, counsels that “nation-building” has in the past been a costly failure that we should stay away from in Afghanistan and everywhere else.
Sep. 4th No. 103: Sixteen-Trillion-Dollar Mistake: a Misguided Exercise in Socialism
The Sixteen-Trillion-Dollar Mistake by Bruce S. Jansson is an interesting, but fundamentally flawed, book. Those who share Jansson’s ideological position will find the book a treasure-trove of information to support their preconceptions. Most normal people, however, will be hard-pressed to wade through the tome’s biased pontificating and economic misconceptions.
Aug. 19th No. 102: A Nation of Cowards: Guns and Americans Unfit for Revolution
While there are many books on empirical, sociological, historical, legal, or political aspects of gun policy, A Nation of Cowards is the first full-length book focused on philosophical questions.
Aug. 6th No. 101: "The Sum of All Fears" Falls Victim to Political Correctness
“The Sum of All Fears” is the fourth Tom Clancy book to be made into a movie, and is by far the weakest of the Jack Ryan franchise. Its disjointed storyline puts the audience to sleep and it takes the obliteration of Baltimore in a nuclear attack to grasp the viewer’s attention.
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