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I put “nailed” in the headline of this post and, as you will see, I was being both accurate and risqué. Bear with me.
In my opinion, Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal is the best theater critic in the business today.
On Friday he revisited a play, “4000 Miles” by playwright Amy Herzog, that he has reviewed before in prior productions. It’s now on the stage in Hartford, Connecticut, and he looks at it afresh.
Mr. Teachout praises everything about the play, from the text itself to the staging and the acting. He points out that the play has an overt, but subtle, anti-communist theme. Overtly, but subtly, is often the best way in which art can instruct us, and those who would join the Gramscian battle against socialists and statists for control of the high ground of culture and the academy should take note.
Of course, “overt and subtle” can be elastic terms, which you will understand upon reading the review and learning that a major character’s denunciation of communism is delivered with an epithet and an analogy to non-consensual anal sex.
We live in times in which the overt and the subtle are not prized as much as they ought to be, but we must do the best, as Ms. Herzog seems to have done, as we can.
[Trigger warning (in the spirit of the age) about Mr. Teachout’s review: He quotes the epithet, the f-word, which he defuses with the customary three stars.]