Table of contents

The finest hours

On the practical difficulty facing heroism

The year is 1952 & the place is Cape Cod. The Coast Guard stations learn there’s been a terrible accident–a tanker’s sinking in a Nor’easter storm–every effort is made to save the crew. By some strange coincidence, a second tanker, in the vicinity of the first, breaks in […]

Hell or high water

Here’s how lawlessness & manliness might make secure the good

After doing a great job showing American manliness signing up for heroism in a democratic mode in The finest hours earlier this year–I’ll write about it soon–Messers Ben Foster & Chris Pine have teamed up again as Texan desperadoes fighting to give their family […]

Star Trek

On captaincy

This is the story of how the young James Kirk assumed the captaincy of the USS Enterprise. Before we can recount the particular facts & choices which might help us make sense of this ascent, we must note a strange fact. The story involves time travel & two different histories, so we […]

Rise of the Guardians

A note on wonder

As fear is to wonder, so also there are Dark Ages opposed to other ages, which we may call Enlightened. Pitch, the boogieman himself, tells of these things. He wants power again; he might think, people being ungrateful, fear is preferable for rule: For people love you at their whim, […]

This means war

Some notes on woman’s love

This is the story of a girl who gets everything that life in the big city can give a woman. She has style, a prestigious job, & her pick of the male population. She once lived in Atlanta, Georgia, still looks Southern, but lost the accent.

She goes with […]


Heroism vs. science

This movie sets in motion a series of accidents causing a small catastrophe. The adjective in the title qualifies the noun train. The unstoppable train, as it happens, is an enormous mass, & its inertia is rendered deadly by a combination of massive amounts of fuel & toxic chemicals. The train […]