I’m cooling rapidly on David French.
First, there is religion. He’s very Evangelical, a former tradition of mine from which I find myself gradually more and more alienated. His Evangelicalism shows up again and again, for no particular reason except to remind us of it.
But a bigger deal is the stuff he’ll watch on TV (or in movies) and gush about. He seems to have no idea that it’s important not to immerse our imaginations in, ummmmm, stuff with a stratospheric fecal coliform count.
Most notably, he got me watching Ted Lasso during season 1. Instantly, I was immersed in foul language and extreme sexual laxity, including from protagonists.
Season 2 episode 2 was, for me, the last straw: Protagonist Keely, live-in love interest of protagonist Roy Kent (recently retired from soccer) and former love interest of Jamie, a smug young lothario soccer star who constantly insulted Roy and cheated on Keely, is masturbating contentedly when Roy walks in on her in their bedroom. He’s fine with that, but wants to know what’s on her phone that turns her on that way. He finds that it’s a video of him weepily and vulnerably announcing his retirement from the game he loves.
Awwwww! How touching!
Keely’s worried about Roy being so separated from soccer, and suggests he try commentary. He goes on TV with two others on the panel and analyzes one team’s performance as “fucking incompetent” and “shitty.” He really got into it, and so do fans in pubs. So when he gets home, he takes Keely’s smartphone, pulls up the video of his retirement announcement, hands it back, thanks her for the suggestion that he try commentary, and performs cunnilingus on her in gratitude.
The End. How can one not be edified? Incomprehensibly, I’m not edified and will probably never follow one of French’s cultural recommendations again.
French’s counter-argument to Rod Dreher’s friendliness to Hungary and its president was formulaic, unpersuasive, and somewhat sub-Christian in its “we’re so much richer why would anyone even consider such a place as having any lessons for us?!” (That’s what I see as the gist, not a quote. I could misrepresent it as saying that Hungary is bad for not recognizing same-sex marriage and for forbidding propagandizing kids with gay and trans stuff, but his argument really seems to be “our courts wouldn’t allow such laws. Period. Full Stop.” Without a hint that our courts are out of bounds.)
Finally, he’s like a giddy schoolboy in his enthusiasm for interplanetary travel — as if we haven’t corrupted enough geography yet.
Thus my distillation of why I’m cooling on him. But he’s still a pretty sharp legal analyst.