The power of “her”

The power of “her”

If you missed “her” in the media blitz surrounding the glitzier nominees for Best Picture this year, you missed something special.

“her” is a cautionary tale about our love affair with electronic devices and the disconnect it is causing in normal relationships, from simple inattention to internet dating to cybersex. Even the name, “her,” suggests objectification; the title is not She, and it is not even capitalized. ‘her” is just the objective case of what once was a woman. In this story of a near-future utopia, the voices that talk to us from our phones and GPS units and have names like “Siri” have developed emotions and personalities that aren’t almost human; in many ways they’re better than human. But this is not Westworld (1973) run amok, with sentient robots destroying their creators in order to take over the planet. No, “her” is a softspoken voice that comes in the night, whispering sweet nothings and taking over the creators’ emotions.Continue reading

Remembering Margaret Thatcher

Remembering Margaret Thatcher

In May 1996 I attended the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Foundation for Economic Education at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. Lady Margaret Thatcher was the keynote speaker, and William F. Buckley had been enlisted to introduce her and moderate the questions from the audience after her formal remarks.Continue reading

Warm Bodies

“From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,/ A pair of star crossed lovers take their life.”

These words from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” suggest that humans are controlled by destiny and fate, not by choice and accountability. Romeo and Juliet meet by fate; their families are at war by fate; and their story ends tragically by fate.Continue reading