There’s an irony to that old bar rule of never discussing politics and religion: The earliest taverns in colonial America were hotbeds of political and religious debate. Places like The Green Dragon in Boston and Fraunces Tavern in New York were gathering spots for revolutionaries—our revolutionaries, including Sam Adams, George Washington, and John Hancock. At the Washington Free Beacon, I review Taverns of the American Revolution.
Photo of Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria, Va., by Dmadeo
I now have two takes on the Outback Steakhouse Loaded Bloomin Onion—the original in the Washington Free Beacon and the latest in the Weekly Standard. I asked my colleague Mike Warren, what would the third take be called? “Loaded Bloomin Onion 3: The Final Chapter”? He suggested “The Bloomining.” As it stands, the one currently up at TWS is the “Director’s Cut.” And he kindly ran my subhed, the perennial favorite: “Bloomin 2: Electric Boogaloo.”
On one of those HBO expansion channels I came across The Godfather Epic, which combines Part I and Part II in chronological order, plus deleted scenes. It’s interesting and informative (though it still does nothing to clear up the confusion over Frank Pentangeli and the attempted hit by the Rosato Brothers). It leaves out, however, the third installment from 1990—not that anyone was clamoring for it. Except, well, maybe Ted Cruz. While he was still campaigning, Cruz told CNN’s Anderson Cooper he was fond of all three Godfathers. Cooper asked if the Texas senator was sure he meant to include the last movie. Cruz stuck to his guns. Over at weeklystandard.com you can find an extended discourse on the subject of Part III, its merits and faults, and even whether it was meant to be made in the first place.
Fans of Edward Hopper, one of the 20th century’s masters of realism, will be delighted to learn nine of his works can now be accessed at artsy.net, a free and educational source for art. Conveniently, the works are divided into categories like location (by institution or gallery), medium, and era. Come check them out and the 40,000 other artists on their site.
Remember that marketing slogan for Volkswagen? Fahrvergnügen meant the enjoyment of driving. But that seems to be fading, as a recent study show fewer adults are getting driver’s licenses (why bother when you have Uber, Lyft, and, in due time, “autonomous” vehicles?). A friend’s husband recently told me he couldn’t wait for driverless cars for his daughters—it’s so dangerous out there! But it’s always been dangerous on the roads. In the latest issue of the Weekly Standard, I argue for common sense, although it’s clear I’m not winning the argument.