For example, while NR's Jesus freaks were all in spasms about The Giver, because it's supposed to be anti-abortion or something, White gave them "The Giver: Pseudo-Rebellion for Conservative Sheep." The comments to that one are lovely (sample: "I'm going to see it tonight. Cal Thomas recommended it and I value his opinion on any subject. This movie reviewer? Never heard of him").
Who knows what they'll make of White's last few efforts: First, he describes 2004 as "the year film culture broke" because it saw "the media’s lynch-mob excommunication of Mel Gibson and his film The Passion of the Christ, soon followed by the Cannes Film Festival’s ordination of Michael Moore’s anti–G. W. Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11." So far so compatible, but White works up a rich froth that might have even the regular punters backing away from the podium:
It was moral vandalism, sullying ideas and totems sacred to many. Such a fundamental offense devastated civilized behavior in ways many still have not realized. It drove a wedge between the public and the elites who make movies; the very ground we walked upon as enlightened, cultured people was scorched like Ground Zero at the World Trade Center...
From 2004 on, even “entertainment” movies were made and received with deleterious political and moral bias.This is loony and conspiratorial even by culture-warrior standards, but wait, there's more: Later White listed "20 signs of a broken film culture," a list of entartete kunst including some films I'll bet National Review readers like, including The Dark Knight ("used the Batman myth to undermine heroism, overturn social mores, and embrace anarchy"), Knocked Up ("Judd Apatow’s comedy of bad manners attacked maturity and propriety"), and Lincoln ("Spielberg succumbs to Tony Kushner’s limousine-liberal cynicism to valorize Obama-era political chicanery"). Comments to that one so far are also delightful ("How many times are they going to see the comments and realize we don't like him?").
There are all kinds of ways to look at this, but the big point for me is that people who are serious about the arts -- not serious about using the arts as a way to spread the usual dreary propaganda, but about the arts themselves -- are not just capable of surprising readers, but extremely likely to do so. And that's terrific. I hope National Review surprises me and hangs onto White so he can rave away like this on their dime. Who knows, maybe one or two of them will be improved by his example.