Jonathan Leaf

Is Immigration At Odds With The American Dream?

10.18.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | National Affairs | 6 Comments
Many immigrants now aspire only to low-wage, low-skill work. In Arizona, fewer than 12% of Mexican-American students are even making it to the 12th grade. And the children of these students tend to have low educational aspirations as well.

Is Topless the New Black?

10.7.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Cultural Affairs | 4 Comments
We've moved past hemlines this year. Now it's about bare breasts, most of which appear to be manufactured in the United States. Perhaps we should find this heartening at a time when less and less is being manufactured here.

The Affleckization of Hollywood

09.27.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Film, Theater | 3 Comments
In Reindeer Games Affleck was so limp that audiences rooted for Gary Sinise's sneering, over-the-top villain, while in Gigli, he managed to be more cloddish and less engaging than a co-star playing a retarded person. And that's not to mention Paycheck, the most aptly titled movie in film history.

The Seven Greatest Novels Unknown in America

09.20.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Literature, Unfairly Forgotten | 4 Comments
All that said, when you read The Revenge For Love you realize why Hemingway described Lewis in A Moveable Feast as having "the look of an unsuccessful rapist". Hemingway had to slander him. I think it's a very safe bet that Hemingway read The Revenge for Love and knew that he could never write a work of fiction on its level.

Pay For Your Own Damn Minor League

09.6.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Sports
No longer would college football teams have places set aside for young men who can be kicked off their teams and deprived of money to be in school because they want to take afternoon lab classes that conflict with the times of their practices.

The Rental Marriage

08.30.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Cultural Affairs | 3 Comments
More and more people are getting married and even having children with no real intention of staying with the person with whom they've wed and started a family.

Will Karl Rove Help Elect Kerry?

08.23.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | National Affairs | 11 Comments
Voters are starting to realize that Kerry is wooden and phony, and that the Democrats would have been far better off picking Gephardt, Edwards or possibly even Dean.

Our Man Asks Moore: Sir, Have You No Sense of Decency?

08.16.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Film | 19 Comments
Once Joseph McCarthy had been shown to be the demagogic fraud that he was, the serious issue of Communist activity in the United States ceased to be taken seriously. Today, Michael Moore's equally scurrilous accusations have the same effect on the significant issues his films explore.

Our Man on La Dolce Vita

08.9.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Film | 1 Comment
It's now fashionable to be a gossip-monger; it's a means of getting into the hip parties and trendy restaurants. Yet, when writing about the famous and dealing with their powerful publicists, the wise gossip is obligated to kowtow.

The Man Who Made a Star of Will Smith

08.2.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Film | 1 Comment
"When I watch him now", Borowitz says, "he doesn't seem to me to be acting -- which, after all, is what you aim for."

Why Is an Entourage Better Than a Pet?

07.26.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Cultural Affairs | 2 Comments
Think of Rae Carruth, formerly of the NFL's Carolina Panthers, and Jerrod Mustaf, formerly of the NBA's Phoenix Suns. Both men called on posse members to murder the respective stars' pregnant girlfriends.

Sun and Times -- A Tale of Two Stories

07.6.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Media Affairs | 2 Comments
The problems with Times' foreign reporting rarely derive from the facility of writers. Rather, it's how they're assigned -- and how little The Times' self-regarding staff bothers to glean the stories reported in the paper's competitors.

Notes on The Novel

06.28.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Literature | 11 Comments
In which the Author, through Methodologically Precise lists, enumerates the How and Why of Where and When Great novelists and novels emerge, throughout drawing upon His Own Experiences, Insights, dispositions and prejudices.

The Ron Kuby Interview, cont.

06.21.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Interviews & First Person | 8 Comments
"When I get depressed -- when I get down -- I cling to it. I cling to [Marxism] like Christians cling to Christ's vision."

Jonathan Leaf Talks With Ron Kuby

06.14.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Interviews & First Person | 16 Comments
The logic seemed to me reasonable then. So I took the cue, and asked him why, as a revolutionary Marxist, he had chosen to represent mobsters.

Is Modern Music Dead?

06.7.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Music | 13 Comments
Much has also been happening in the last few years to suggest that traditional opera and concert classical music is flourishing below the attention level of the mainstream press and the largest opera houses.

Libeling Churchill & Other Sins of The American Conservative

06.1.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Media Affairs | 4 Comments
The American Conservative is so frequently both anti-American and left-wing that one hopes its name is a conscious effort at humor -- rather as if those who ruled under the appellation Holy Roman Emperor did so with the hope and foreknowledge that Voltaire would one day note that their domain was "neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an Empire".

Picasso: Master of The Nouveaux Riche

05.24.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | Cultural Affairs | 4 Comments
Ask yourself: is a Picasso in someone's home anything but a sign that the owner wants to impress? Does it suggest any actual interest in art? It is a brand name, much akin to wearing a Rolex, albeit far pricier.

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.: Fraud?, cont.

05.16.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | The Academy | 2 Comments
...Nor was Schlesinger a terribly prescient writer: in his The Cycles of American History, he insisted that Reagan's foreign policy towards the USSR would prove counterproductive.

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.: Fraud?

05.10.2004 | Jonathan Leaf | The Academy | 2 Comments
But The Age of Jackson is a book much like those Hollywood costume dramas that pretend to be about Queen Elizabeth's time as they try to teach the audience a valuable lesson about tolerance or the need for unity during wartime. The book's real subject is the era in which it was written, the 1940's -- not the 1830's. It was only because the work's Democratic populist message resonated with Liberals anxious to unite different regions and party factions that no one bothered to consider if it adequately treated its subject from a social, political or economic perspective.