Add to that the fact that the Trump surrogate is played by Stephen Collins — the disgraced actor probably best known as the pastor dad on Seventh Heaven , whose career came to an end a few years ago when he was accused of pedophilia — and you have a double-cursed item of objectively very little interest. Katrinka Kovar Sanna Vraa is a Czech competitive skier and model who dreams of a better life for herself than whatever miserable Eastern Bloc existence she may have had with her caricatural parents in the past.
She falls in love with much-older filmmaker Mirek Bartosz Tom Rack , who knocks her up and immediately dumps her, fearing that the scandal will ruin his career. After much deliberation, Katrinka decides to give the child up for adoption and defect to Germany — which she does by literally skiing across the German border mid-competition.
A few years later, she meets mayonnaise-ass billionaire yacht builder? Both her parents die in a car crash soon after she defects — which, for the record, did not happen to the OG Ivana. They have a very brief dalliance before Graham yells a wedding proposal at his boo while on the high seas, but it barely even feels like a romance at all. The most romantic thing the guy does in the entire movie is insist that Katrinka cancel plans to hang out with him instead.
This did, I think, happen to the OG. The conflict arc in For Love Alone is essentially just a triangle — things start getting worse the second they get better. These pants are the closest this film ever comes to being camp. That might be the only piece of the puzzle worth uncovering in what is otherwise below-standard, assembly-line tripe. They are not administering their DNA as well-trained bureaucrats in accord with a utility-maximizing plan.
Instead, they are venturing an open-ended project, one to which they make a fundamental and necessary contribution but which transcends them. This, Arendt argues, is the essential feature of political action. One sees this in the Book of Genesis. Children extend the horizon of life beyond our own mortality; to have a child is to have a future.
As parents know, we can do a great deal for our kids, but we cannot live their lives for them. We try to educate, guide, and equip them, but we will pass away, and they are free agents who will go their own way. In children, therefore, we experience the forward-pointing arrow of time in a particularly powerful way. The spiritual significance of children comes from the fact that our love for them orients us toward serving their future, which is ours by natality.
We begin in them what they will carry forward. N atality is essential for a living political culture, Arendt argues. We come forward out of private life to speak and act in public life in order to give birth to new possibilities. The very term we use to describe the men who were so instrumental in establishing the United States of America, the Founding Fathers, expresses natality.
They corresponded, discussed, and debated. They formed alliances, raised armies, and drafted constitutions. But something more was at work. This, Arendt argues, gives politics its transcendent dignity. History shows otherwise. In the West—and I include America—we feel the oppression of limited options and constrained choices.
Truth versus fake news. First, there are movements to liberate the individual from inherited ways of life. Feminism and gay rights are two examples. Then there are calls for a genuinely universal justice that requires a comprehensive, global perspective. Human rights and international courts reflect this dimension. The upshot is an anti-politics reinforced by identity politics, which has a communal rhetoric gay community, black community, and so forth but dissolves public life. We are required to be placeholders for identities, able only to articulate grievances.
It is not coincidental that in the triad of race, class, and gender, the one with classical political meaning, class, always drops out. In both instances—globalism and identity politics—the polis, which is to say a circumscribed public space, disappears.
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All of this is very abstract, and I apologize for the incompleteness of my thoughts. Technocracy defines public culture. The management of utilities supplants political leadership. We give birth to nothing. The existing state of affairs may admit of refinement, but tomorrow cannot be anything other than today plus one. We rightly sense that this cannot be right. I t all began with something entirely conventional.
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But her colleague Paul Griffiths does not. So he responded with his own exhortation. When if it gets beyond that, its illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies will show. Some colleagues joined the fray, countering Griffiths with expressions of enthusiasm for the opportunity to participate in the racial equity training. The use of mass emails to express racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry is offensive and unacceptable, especially in a Christian institution.
These were not empty words. Duke initiated two disciplinary proceedings against Griffiths. Portier-Young complained to the Duke University Office for Institutional Equity, saying that his email had created a hostile workplace for her and thus constituted harassment. This kicked into gear the disciplinary machinery of that office, which operates in closed, star-chamber fashion. On her own authority, Dean Heath banned Griffiths from faculty meetings, cut off his research and travel funds, and launched a shadowy process that promised more disciplinary actions.
In the usual course of events, a faculty member in this situation searches for a way to submit, which often means signing something akin to a confession of guilt, or in some other way signaling surrender to the unquestionable moral authority of political correctness. He raised the stakes by writing an open letter that drew national attention to his case. It describes the reality at Duke with exemplary clarity:. These razor-sharp words say exactly what needs to be said, not just about Duke Divinity School, but about the diversity-and-inclusion industry as a whole.
It is a disciplinary enterprise meant to herd us toward predetermined goals. Sometimes the methods are relatively gentle, more a matter of carrots than of sticks. But there are cattle prods available, if needed, which hardly encourage free debate. It is shameful, furthermore, that so many university faculty either support the continued growth of these illiberal disciplinary mechanisms or remain silent. Sadly, silence and compliance are present at most institutions.
In late spring, Griffiths resigned and gave up his chair in Catholic Theology at Duke. I was not surprised. As a tenured professor, he could have remained.
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But Griffiths had launched a direct public attack on what is now the crucial moral justification for wealth and privilege in the United States. He went so far as to criticize in strong terms the role of particular black professors at Duke Jay Carter and Valerie Cooper , implying that they contribute to an anti-intellectual atmosphere of intimidation. These are unforgiveable sins. Like a leper, he would have been cordoned off from university life. His intellectual energy would have been dissipated by the need to defend himself against ongoing disciplinary procedures.
Griffiths was wise to depart. And he was wise to leave behind whatever he has against Duke. This gratitude frames his resignation. P aul Griffiths and I have different backgrounds, personality traits, and habits of mind, but I also look back on my time in the halls of academe with gratitude. From the time I was nineteen until I turned fifty, the American university defined my life in one form or another, first educating and then employing me.
I was very fortunate in my undergraduate teachers, graduate advisors, and professorial colleagues. The problems stem from more than identity politics. The vast sums of money flooding into elite universities deadens them spiritually, a consequence of limitless wealth that the New Testament predicts. And the strange combination of complacency and hysteria stifles conversation and discourages debate.
Paul does not generalize his circumstances. The university was never pure in the past; it is not entirely corrupt today. He knows, moreover, that the relentlessness of his aggressive, parry-and-thrust approach to debate provokes, and that his sin-damaged soul often makes his words unduly sharp. There can be no doubt, however, that the university has become a thoughtless place. A number of recent graduates from elite schools have told me that they learned in college never to say out loud what they really think.
One is careful to stay on script. One thing is sure: He will continue the word-struggle, and we will be hearing from him in the future. Thanks for telling the truth, Paul. At his Senate hearing, Bernie Sanders dredged up something Vought wrote about a theological controversy at his alma mater, Wheaton College. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned. Vought is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world.
Anyone who offers worship to a transcendent power knows God in the limited sense of knowing that we ought to serve that which is highest and most ultimate. To attack Vought on this basis at a Senate confirmation hearing amounts to making Christian faith a disqualification for public office.
Which is rather shocking, given that Article Six of the United States Constitution explicitly rules out the application of any religious tests for qualification for public office. Undoubtedly, he was handed some opposition research on Vought, which included the passage stating that Muslims stand condemned. Unaware of the theological context, he could have taken it as a legal or political statement, something akin to denying that Muslims can be American citizens. But one passage brought me up short. The author of a new study of Pascal made a presentation.
Nevertheless, during the course of her remarks, she reported that she admired Pascal because of the restlessness of his mind. We cannot hope to rest in the eternal and take repose in a lasting joy. Instead, we must make do with a more modest imperative: Never be bored! It features a young woman.
The brief spot ends with directions on where to get birth control. The reader insisted that, given current events, I ought to be taking a clear and firm stance against Donald Trump, and that I am cowardly for failing to do so.
For Love Alone
But he remains a subscriber. I count myself a lucky man. I sometimes disappoint readers with imperfect, even wrongheaded political judgments. But we remain united in our love of a higher good. Earlier this year, I noted that a Trump administration official, Kellyanne Conway, would participate in the January 27, , March for Life. Richard John Neuhaus: We will not weary; we will not rest. I described this participation as the first time an administration has sent an official representative. Not so, it turns out. George H. Bush sent Dan Quayle to speak at the March for Life in Frank should know; he too spoke to the gathered defenders of the sanctity of life and shared the stage with Quayle.
The winner, Sarah Hall, now a junior, came in second.
We will have to accommodate ourselves to lies, knowing that truthful words will be punished. The future is fact-based. He points out that PayPal is at the forefront of corporations throwing their weight around to promote the latest progressive cultural fads. During the fracas over bathrooms in North Carolina, PayPal self-righteously announced that it was reversing its decision to locate a new office there.
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His point is well made. A couple of years ago, I stopped buying coffee at Starbucks. My boycott is not complete. The ubiquity of Starbucks and other companies, some of them technology giants such as Apple, makes them difficult to avoid. But I try to minimize my contributions to the profits of companies that make an arrogant show of their public support for progressive crusaders. The religion in question is not Methodism or Catholicism but an extreme version of the belief system of the liberal elite.
The latter provides moral cover for the former.