New York City
I'm delighted to be a speaker at this upcoming one-day conference called "Free speech in an age of jihad", on April 10th in New York City. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies and The New Criterion are co-hosting it, and fellow presenters include Mark Steyn, Judge Robert Bork, and other A-listers. I'm not quite sure how I made the cut -- though I do love their title for me: "Founder, Ezralevant.com"!
I'm glad to have the excuse to go to New York -- I read David Mamet's surprising article in the Village Voice, so I got tickets to see his new play, November. I'll let you know if and how it reflects Mamet's newly conservative views.
The last conservative play I saw off-Broadway was "The Caterers", by my friend Jonathan Leaf, which dramatized a real-life 1977 hostage-taking by radical Muslims in Washington, D.C., who were protesting -- surprise, surprise -- what they thought was a movie depicting Mohammed. Here's Mark Steyn's review, and here's Terry Teachout's review in the Wall Street Journal.
There aren't many conservatives in "the arts", or at least there aren't many who would declare themselves as such. But I've been staggered to discover how many exist "in the closet". Some are reduced to writing about their experiences anonymously, lest they be subjected to liberal, uh, McCarthyism. I'd like to think that some popular movies are conservative -- The Island was strikingly pro-life, and I thought Gattaca was, too -- but neither were major earners. Not that the slough of Hollywood's anti-war flicks were, either. But the closest thing to a "pro-war" movie in the past year, 300, grossed close to half a billion world-wide. Of course, the most fearlessly conservative movie ever made, Mel Gibson's The Passion, cleared $600-million, despite (or because of) the shrill and unfounded attacks against it, by the American counterparts to our Canadian Jewish Congress.