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The Reactionary Utopian
Archives, 2006

Joe’s column, “The Reactionary Utopian,” is posted at this site two weeks after it is written. (Every now and then the embargo on a column is lifted early. When that happens columns are posted out of sequence and then the “Current Column” may Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.not be the most recently written column.) Click here to read the most recently posted column. Click on the “Printer-friendly, text version” button that follows the title to access a text-only version to print. The search engine that has been added to this site will search all column archives, as well as articles on the main part of the site and in the other departments maintained on it.

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Annandale, Virginia

Current Column          
December 28, 2006   •   Old Movies, Eternal Morals
The movies teach us to expect too much from romantic love and to think violence can make the world just.
December 25, 2006   •   Master of Ennui
If you want to make the audience wince, don’t show them a man being shot dead.
December 21, 2006   •   Last Laugh
Thank you, dear Lord, for giving me this friend for so many years.
December 18, 2006   •   Logic, Anyone?
If you say something, you should be prepared to stand by it.
December 14, 2006   •   The Magician
Hillary Clinton has kept her old implacable enemies, while Barack Obama has quietly stolen many of her old friends.
December 11, 2006   •   Yes, It’s a Cheney — Or Something
Let’s talk about the forgotten man in all this: the father, or as he would now be called, the “biological” father.
December 7, 2006   •   How Lincoln Gave Us Kwanzaa
Rap has given the ancient maxim new relevance: ars longa, vita brevis.
December 4, 2006   •   In Praise of Bush
America may not be the greatest country on Earth, but it’s got to be one of the funniest.
November 30, 2006   •   The Jim Webb I Met
In Washington, everyone covets the reputation of being a maverick, precisely because the genuine article is so rare.
November 28, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   The Case for Conspiracy
Government officials don’t have to worry about costs.
November 23, 2006   •   The Atheist’s Pulpit
From an atheistic point of view this is often a disappointing universe, but if a bit of superstition makes it marginally more bearable at times, why complain?
November 20, 2006   •   Book and Movie
Never, surely, has a man gone to such bizarre lengths to dispose of an unwanted wife.
November 17, 2006   •   Apocalypse Soon
Flag burning. And going nucular.
November 13, 2006   •   Science, Religion, and Hate
If you want to understand how liberals see the world, here is where to start.
November 9, 2006   •   The Republican Future
What can the Republicans do in 2008? I have an idea ...
November 6, 2006   •   Election Projections
If your vote were to change anything, the Supreme Court would have to overrule it.
November 2, 2006   •   Normal Brains
Mad scientists and their blundering assistants — in the movies and in foreign policy
October 31, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Your Money and Your Life
A government with limitless power to spend and tax is going to have a “service” that may treat you as a one-man black market.
October 26, 2006   •   A Republican Recovery?
Bush is beyond recovery, but the Republicans, if they abandon him, will not be.
October 24, 2006   •   The Executive Empire
Politics breeds evasion, abstraction, and euphemism.
October 19, 2006   •   Getting Up There
Aging — it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
October 17, 2006   •   Responses, Hot and Cool
From “I love you” to daring damnation
October 12, 2006   •   Bush’s Learning Problem
Kim and Bush: The questions are more or less the same.
October 10, 2006   •   News from All Over the Place
You gotcher Democrats, yer Yankees, and the Bad Quarto. And then there’s other stuff.
October 5, 2006   •   Violent Religions
Is it tolerance or merely the spiritual sloth of people who no longer take religion seriously?
October 3, 2006   •   Hamlet’s Lame Creator
Throwing invaluable light on the origins and history of the world’s most famous play
September 28, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Spelling It Out
A culture that doesn’t believe in itself
September 26, 2006   •   Thou Shalt Not Reelect
How nonvoters can revolutionize American politics
September 21, 2006   •   The Islamic Enigma
Religion and wishful thinking
September 19, 2006   •   Bad Muslims
Getting the wrong impression about Islam?
September 14, 2006   •   Everybody Knows
Government propaganda has replaced popular folklore as a source of what “everybody knows.”
September 12, 2006   •   Wild Justice
Hamlet — A symphony of cross purposes
September 7, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Neglected Genius
There’s art that isn’t appreciated in its own day, and there’s art that’s appreciated far too much.
September 5, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Victim of McCarthyism
My new sympathy for the underdog, the minority, the dissenter, the Other
August 31, 2006   •   Glorious War!
War would seem to be at the opposite pole from conserving anything.
August 29, 2006   •   Islam and the Vacuum
Filling the gap left by secularized Westerners who find it hard to believe that religion can be a decisive force in politics
August 24, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Two Ways of Lying
The fancy way of systematic pretense
August 22, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Finding the Flaws
Governments are made to be bribed.
August 17, 2006   •   Heavenly Turmoil
Plutophiles, Plutophobes, and media bias
August 15, 2006   •   Nation-Building and Islam
A formula for mutual incomprehension and endless conflict
August 10, 2006   •   Language in Rubble
Killing needs euphemism.
August 8, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Relearning the Obvious
Peace more horrible than war
August 3, 2006
  •   Gibson’s Offense
An unapologetic worshipper of Jesus Christ defies the secularist taboo on Christian expression in the marketplace.
August 1, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Keeping Marriage Straight
Marriage as an institution is prior to the rights attached to it.
July 27, 2006
  •   The Bush Revolution
Old sayings that don’t make any sense.
July 25, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Fantasy and Imagination
Grasping the remote implications of ideas
July 20, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   It Can’t Transpire Here
Not all change is progress; some is decay.
July 18, 2006
  •   Murderous Martyrs
A world that seems like a baffling alternative universe
July 13, 2006
  •   “Everyone Has His Reasons”
In the Middle East everyone seems to have his reasons to hate everyone else and both agree only on the necessity of war.
July 11, 2006
  •   The Lawless State
Conservatives and liberals are both favoring dictatorship.
July 6, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Sir John and Miss Redgrave
The lobby that silences great artists
July 4, 2006
  •   St. Paul and the Liberal Agenda
The hijackers of religion know an enemy when they see one.
June 29, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   My Ilk and I
The implications of the ad hominem argument
June 27, 2006
  •   The Behemoth of Bust
The one, the only ... and the greatest career in baseball
June 22, 2006
  •   The Hamlet That Never Was
It is unnecessary to postulate an earlier play.
June 20, 2006
  •   What Would Gore Have Done?
It has taken this “conservative” president to give liberals second thoughts about their long adulation of executive power.
June 15, 2006
  •   Tolerance Strikes Again
Tolerance to make the blood run cold
June 13, 2006
  •   Our Dreams Came True
The seductive dream democracy always inspires
June 8, 2006
  •   The Cheap Pathos of Civil Rights
A perfectly good word loses its meaning.
June 6, 2006
  •   The Bush Touch
Tragedy in a nutshell
June 1, 2006
A reprint from Universal
Press Syndicate
  •   Shakespeare and Ms. Grundy
Individuals and representatives
May 30, 2006
  •   The Real Bill Buckley
Everyone has a story.
May 25, 2006
  •   A Vibrant Democracy
Both parties now feel it’s vital to deceive the voters with conservative slogans.
May 23, 2006
  •   The Commandments of Men
The Land of the Licensed
May 18, 2006
  •   Apologies to the Swedes
There’s at least one who is warm, and sweet, and funny, and ...
May 16, 2006
  •   The Case for Popular Poetry
Aren’t we all poetry lovers by nature?
May 11, 2006
  •   President Disastro
Just the way Thomas Jefferson would have wanted it
May 9, 2006
  •   Bush’s Place in History
Seldom has one man gotten on so many people’s nerves for so many different reasons.
May 4, 2006
  •   Blaming Bush
No matter how much harm it does, men continue to believe in its promises.
May 2, 2006
  •   Why Do We Need Government?
Two vocabularies for wrongs
April 27, 2006
  •   Apocalypse Now?
The scandal that explains everything else
April 25, 2006
  •   Bush’s Misgovernment
Just one of many
April 20, 2006
  •   Free Speech in the Nominal Democracy
Voluntary compliance with the limits
April 18, 2006
  •   War and Faith
A joke for the gods
April 13, 2006
  •   Shakespearean Masterpiece
A woman with undaunted mettle
April 11, 2006
  •   As November Approaches
Bush asked to be judged by his conduct of the War on Terror, and he is getting his wish.
April 6, 2006
  •   The Philosopher and the Fossils
The scientific method and the abuse of language
April 4, 2006
  •   Jesus' Government
Not exactly a hearty vote of confidence
March 30, 2006
  •   Jack’s Story
Something that wasn’t inevitable happened.
March 28, 2006
  •   Bush’s Intelligence
Religions of peace
March 23, 2006
  •   Buckley and His Heirs
The founder derided
March 21, 2006
  •   Bush’s Latest Idea
Do we really owe our freedom to wars?
March 16, 2006
  •   A Quagmire of Ideas
Nobody foresaw that the Iraq war would lead to Bush’s claim of intellectual leadership.
March 14, 2006
  •   Battle Cries
We don’t owe our freedom to elections but to effective checks on power.
March 9, 2006
  •   “Too Goyish”
Jews can’t possibly be as bad as their defenders make them sound.
March 7, 2006
  •   We the Sheep
Civics for suckers
March 2, 2006
  •   The Bimbo’s Day in Court
A very focused blonde
February 28, 2006
  •   A Sinking Ship
Yanking the rug out from under National Review
February 23, 2006
  •   The Irving Danger
No one has the last word on any war.
February 21, 2006
  •   Irving Loses Again
A blasphemy trial
February 16, 2006
  •   Playing for Laughs
Potentially, one of television’s enduring comedy series
February 14, 2006
  •   Cheney and Chappaquiddick
The Leno-Letterman pillory
February 9, 2006
  •   Fake Pollocks?
Fortunately for Pollock, he never painted anything that looked like anything.
February 7, 2006
  •   Liberal in Chief
Not all cultures are ready for multiculturalism.
February 2, 2006
  •   Penumbras, Emanations, and Stuff
Making the Constitution superfluous
January 31, 2006
  •   Candor, Anyone?
A concatenation of empty applause lines that no speaker could possibly intend sincerely and no listener could possibly take seriously
January 26, 2006
  •   Only Mozart
Contributing to the cause of world peace
January 24, 2006
  •   The Reluctant Emancipator
Republicans, big government, and war
January 19, 2006
  •   Lincoln’s Party
What did Lincoln say about the need for freedom of speech or a free press?
January 17, 2006
  •   How to Handle a Woman
Learning from a pro — Richard III
January 12, 2006
  •   The Heyday of Kennedyism
Freestyle accusations and bogus predicates
January 10, 2006
  •   The Case against Football
But it gives the clergy something to talk to the laity about.
January 5, 2006
  •   Bush’s Alpha Male
The daunting effect a ruthless man can have on weak men
January 3, 2006
  •   The Bard in Retirement
It’s like contending that Bach finally gave up writing fugues for hip-hop.

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