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Author: Spencer Klavan

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The Academy Must Worship—but Whom?

My generation was raised on many lies. One of the lies that we Millennials were raised on is: you can be anything you want to be. You cannot. Everyone can be some things. In America, wonderfully, many people can be many things. But time, circumstances, the human body, all constrain what any one person can become or…

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Brand Warfare is a Fight to the Death

If our present ideological convulsions may fittingly be called a culture war, then the accompanying clashes between corporate brands and consumers may fittingly be called trials by single combat. Perhaps this was inevitable: the purpose of a brand is to define the customer’s identity, and the American public is undergoing an identity crisis. It stands…

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Canon-Building is Nation-Building

A canon is a stick for measuring things with. That’s what the Greek word kanōn, cognate with the Hebrew kanna, means. When ancient Greek music theorists, for instance, wanted to mark out the locations on a string where the notes of the scale were played, they stretched the string along a plank of wood and made notches…

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Be a Man

In the late 500s BC, the military dictator Aristodemus took over the Greek colony of Cumae. He slaughtered his enemies en masse and undertook to ensure that no Cumaean man would ever be more than his slave. Here is how he did it, according to the essayist Dionysius of Halicarnassus. “To ensure that no noble or…

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Christopher Flannery joins Seth Leibsohn 11.5.2019

Christopher Flannery joined Seth Leibsohn to discuss his recent work at The American Mind and the stakes of the upcoming presidential election.

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Kanye Actually Did It

When Kanye West’s new album, “Jesus Is King,” dropped last week, my Twitter timeline resembled a support group meeting for recovering abuse victims. Many of my followers are conservative Christians, and they emerged—wary, skittish, but achingly hopeful—to hear what Ye had to say about his return to Christ. On one level they were concerned that…

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The Extreme Left has Abandoned Free Speech

On September 27th, 2018, the behemoth online discussion forum Reddit “quarantined” 23 of its “subreddits,” subsidiary discussion threads within the larger site. Internet communities “dedicated,” in Reddit’s words, “to shocking or highly offensive content” would be placed on a kind of probation. Quarantined subreddits are disallowed from generating ad revenue. They cannot be found in…

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Bronze Age Manhood

Traditional conservatives could use a fresh rhetoric of masculinity.

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How Customizable Should a Human Be?

Let me tell you three stories, and then let me ask you some hard questions. The first story is this. In February of 2019, after 23 weeks of gestation in her mother’s womb, a baby girl was treated for the developmental abnormality known as spina bifida. Doctors at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio performed a delicate…

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The “Cultural Identity” Scam

This morning the Economist ran one of its daily podcasts, a topic of which was Trump voters in mining country. These voters, said Political Editor James Astill, are continuing to support the president even though their jobs have not returned as he promised they would. Astill’s takeaway insight from this phenomenon was that “cultural identity” is…

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Why Super Mario Mac & Cheese Matters

Last night for the first time in ages I thought about Super Mario Mac & Cheese shapes. Remember those? The Kraft kind. Super Mario Mac came in the usual cardboard box, only instead of the standard curved noodles it had starchy little effigies of Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad, and the bouncy plumber himself. These you…