The resident faculty left a curious image from the science fiction classic Mars Attacks outside the mail room this morning. The staff are sure it was a clue. (More)

First our thanks to last week’s writers:

On Monday, you shared your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week and addisnana shared The Making of a Democrat in Midday Matinee.

On Tuesday, we discussed the misleading statistics behind Stop-and-Frisk: Lying With Numbers in Morning Feature, readers helped tell Tuesday’s Tale: The Genius Book in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan reported that This is Overshoot Day in Our Earth.

On Wednesday, we saw how Obamacare Is Turning Republicans Against Insurance in Morning Feature, and addisnana reported on a Small Town Concert in Midday Matinee.

On Thursday, we began our series on George C. Edwards’ The Strategic Presidency with The Great Communicators? in Morning Feature and triciawyse brought us Fursdai Furries in Midday Matinee.

Into the weekend, we continued our series on The Strategic Presidency with The Great Negotiators? in Friday’s Morning Feature and concluded the series with The Great Facilitators in Saturday’s Morning Feature, Ms. Crissie was asked about Lesbians Enslaving Men? in Sunday’s Morning Feature, Winning Progressive brought us Weekend Reading in Furthermore!, and triciawyse shared Sundai Snugleez in Midday Matinee.

Note: Please share your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week.

Thus we return to the image left outside the mail room by the resident faculty, as they made their way from the wine cellar library where they spent the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”) to the hot tub faculty lounge for their weekly game where the underwear goes flying planning conference.

This was the image:

Chef immediately recognized the image from the 1996 science fiction classic Mars Attacks!, although she blushed as she admitted that. The Professor of Astrology Janitor assured her that he, too, had seen the movie. As no one asked, your lowly mail room clerk did not admit to liking the campy film. But we may have muttered something about the need to keep up appearances as Chef brought out a pecan danish ring for breakfast, before asking the Squirrel to decipher this week’s clue.

“Obviously,” he texted on his Blewberry, “this week the resident faculty will discuss Corey Robin’s 2011 book The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin.”

“Of course,” Chef said as she sliced the danish ring.

The Squirrel watched intently, whiskers twitching as he sniffed. He tapped at his Blewberry again. “Well, I could explain how I went to My[Confined]space, found the image and saw that its title was ‘martian brain reaction,’ searched the internet for [brain mind reaction], scrolled through dozens of articles on neurobiology, hoped the resident faculty weren’t going to discuss that, and finally saw a link to Robin’s book, which I recognized as the resident faculty’s more likely topic. But just you just say there hasn’t been time to do that since you found the image outside the mail room, and say I must have eavesdropped at the hot tub faculty lounge squirrel bath.”

“True,” Chef said as she scraped some pecans into a bowl.

“Rather than go through all that,” the Squirrel texted, eying the bowl anxiously, “I figured I’d skip to the chase and give you Robin’s synopsis.”

Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession. Capitalism is “boring,” he told me. “Devoting your life to it,” as conservatives do, “is horrifying if only because it’s so repetitious. It’s like sex.” Since that conversation ten years ago, I’ve been asking what is conservatism and what’s at stake for its proponents. This book is my answer.

From the French Revolution to the Tea Party, conservatism has been a reactionary movement, a defense of power and privilege against democratic challenges from below, particularly in the private spheres of the family and the workplace.

We thought that was nice of him. So did Chef, who slid the bowl of pecans over to him and used a fingertip to tickle between his ear tufts. Yes, his delighted chitter did sound like a giggle.

Or maybe that was just his mind … reacting.


Happy Monday!