How to Sharpen Your Memory
Bruce Willis’s ex-wife recently posted a video of Willis at a family birthday, dancing and singing and mugging for the camera. The signs of his worsening dementia were obvious (at least to me), but it was clear he was in a good mood and surrounded by people who love him.
This scene of ordinary domestic happiness made me think of my father’s slow decline from Alzheimer’s a few years back. Like Willis, dad (also a stocky, openly bald Germanic from New Jersey) could still get laughs long after he lost the words. And could still enjoy our company long after he forgot who we were.
How Tennis Can Make You a Better Man
No matter what level you’re on, things get real, psychologically-speaking, the moment you start playing for points. You’ll make mistakes. Your opponent will capitalize on them. Channelling your inevitable anxiety and frustration into victory is not always so straightforward. Fights don’t break out in tennis, and the risk of concussion is vanishingly small. But the tennis court can be just as forbidding an arena as the MMA octagon. There is nowhere to hide.
Sound Advice for Deaf Ears
Maybe it’s no coincidence that the discovery of my hearing loss roughly coincided with my oldest child becoming a teenager. As her childish shrieks of delight yielded to annoyed mumbling I found myself responding “what?” with greater frequency. Then I noticed that my wife’s voice was harder to understand, especially if she were facing away from me. And what of my recent reliance on subtitles when watching anything on TV?
How to Appreciate a Baby
“This is the dogma we find so dull – this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and hero. If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worthy to be called exciting? The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore – on the contrary; they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium.”
How to Know If You’re Above the Law
Well, nobody owes you an explanation. Don’t bother “whatabouting” with the many examples of arguably worse presidential misdeeds we were happy to let slide at the end of previous administrations. And forget invoking “norms” — that’s for when someone’s being mean to reporters, not for cautioning against politically-motivated legal overreach. If any of this strikes you as unjust or dangerous, you obviously haven’t grasped the first rule of Indict Club: Orange Man Bad.
How to Fight Evil
The recent, all-too-familiar school shooting in Nashville prompted the usual calls for gun control, as usual presented as a clear-cut, moral solution only heartless monsters would oppose. Gun control opponents understandably tend to resist making any explicit defense of the Second Amendment on such fraught occasions, deflecting any such talk as “politicizing a tragedy.”
To Win We Need a Better Word than “Woke”
“Woke” is such a handy catch-all for the various forces making America miserable that it’s easy to forget we’re using our opponent’s term. And it’s a well-chosen one. It implies rejecting complacency in order to question received, official narratives. It implies looking beyond our self-interest to become aware of the suffering of our fellow man. What kind of moral cretin would oppose that?
Books are Better Banned than Bowdlerized
Roald Dahl was my first favorite writer; his stories were the first I consciously attributed to a real person doing a job. What hooked me was the sense that he didn’t kid-proof his books. His delightful fantasies of eccentric candy makers, talking worms, and telekinetic schoolgirls had something pleasingly hard-nosed about them.
Is a Harvard Degree Really Worth $60,000 a Year?
Maybe the ability to read 19th century English prose, like the ability to read Homer in the original, has become one of those skills we simply no longer value outside of certain specialist communities. Maybe the same fate awaits reading and studying literature in general.
M3GAN Is The Big Tech Busybody We Need
Many of us have gotten a little nervous about AI these days. M3GAN takes those fears and combines them with parental guilt at how easy it is to “outsource” child raising to screens. We all know how hard it can be to separate a kid from an iPad. Now imagine an iPad that won’t let go of your kid. M3GAN is a fun, funny movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously; it’s also a cautionary tale that’s looking more plausible by the day.