Slavery, Shmi Skywalker, and Star Wars

As the final installment of the final trilogy of the Star Wars saga opens today, it’s worth thinking about where this blockbuster franchise and cultural phenomenon started. And by that I mean where the story of Anakin Skywalker started in Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Continue Reading...

On being wrapped up in books

Last night I gave an address at The Grand Castle in Grandville, Michigan on the occasioning of its library opening. I spoke on the importance of books and libraries. As the Librarian and a Research Associate at the Acton Institute it is a topic of professional interest but is also an abiding private passion. Continue Reading...

Life goes on in Deadwood

More than decade after the conclusion of the critically-acclaimed HBO series Deadwood, a finale has been released that brings the gold-rush era drama to a close. The Deadwood film premiered on HBO last week, and fans of the show will find much to remember and appreciate in this conclusion. Continue Reading...

Thanos the revolutionary

After the second weekend of release, the directors of Avengers: Endgame have declared that spoilers are fair game, and so it is time to pick up where some previous reflections left off and explore the villain Thanos’ development from Infinity War to Endgame. Continue Reading...

Superheroes and subsidiarity

On the heels of a record-smashing opening weekend for Avengers: Endgame, it seems appropriate to broach the subject of superheroes and subsidiarity, and specifically an intriguing lesson about subsidiarity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Continue Reading...