Review of “The Killing Fields,” by Roland Joffe (director), Warner Brothers, 1984. Re-issued on Blu-ray, 2014 in hardback digi-book form.
Based on the true events of a New York Times employee, Dith Pran, (a native Cambodian; Khmer) who has to escape the Cambodian gulag, ca. 1976, the movie follow Pran through his horrific and terrifying escape from the Khmer Rouge, a journey that took four years from beginning to end.
I’ve been proudly playing Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) since 1980.
Yes, 1980 was back when a number of folks feared that the game itself was evil. Jack Chick was worked up as was Tom Hanks. I still remember my mother talking to another friend’s mother, worried that we might be doing something to conjure up the devil.
Honestly, I’ve never understood this, as D&D more than anything else taught me the glory of the ideas of imagination, free will, and morality. D&D seemed not just the opposite of evil, but a very refuge from the evils that seemed to lurk on all sides of life back in 1980 (most of the chaos and evil was personal and in my very family, as I tried to navigate around and away from it all).
I’ve been writing a weekly column for The Imaginative Conservative for almost seven years now. Of the roughly 350 pieces I’ve written, this is among my favorites.
So glad to be able to thank men such as Walter Grinder, Leonard Liggio, David Hart, Chandran Kukathas, David Beito, Peter Boettke, and David Schmidtz, Since 1990, I can also thank Steve Horwitz, Randy Simmons, and Jim Otteson.
I’m not sure if they’ll agree with what I’ve done to our beloved Hayek, but here’s hoping. . .
Through these mentors, I found out rather quickly that Hayek wrote not only about economics, but also about law, constitutionalism, culture, history, individualism, associationalism, psychology, the social sciences, and the Greats of Western Civilization. He was, I realized, a true Renaissance man, in the very best sense of this term. As a history major, though, I tried very hard to apply all that I’d learned of Hayek to my own chosen craft. Sometime around 1992, it hit me that all real history came down to biography. Whether or not the generous mentors listed above or Friedrich Hayek would recognize my statement as true, I must attribute this insight to them and their influence. Indeed, if I have had any success at contributing anything to the fields of history or biography, it is this extremely Hayekian insight.
Now Available: RUSSELL KIRK: AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE
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What is Stormfields?
Through Stormfields, we hope to look at the world not with soundbytes, bumper stickers, and refrigerator magnets, but through serious analysis. Neither left nor right, we hope to appeal to the great 20th-century Christian Humanists such as Russell Kirk, Romano Guardini, Josef Pieper, Willa Cather, Christopher Dawson, and T.S. Eliot.
And, as we despise the supremacy of politics and the imperialism of the political sphere in our current world, we will focus much of the content on culture and art (high and popular), law, and philosophy. We're as likely to draw upon Jacques Maritain as we are on Neil Peart.
Stormfields is on TWITTER, too: 1) @bradleybirzer; and 2) @Xtianhumanist
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