Brian Doherty

Brian Doherty is a senior editor at Reason magazine and author of This is Burning Man (Little, Brown).

A Principled Maverick


In Congress party discipline is vital. Leadership craves a tight ship where all hands can be counted on to row in the same direction. So many congressmen bridled when, after stressing the need for everyone to pull together to get a conference bill through, then-Speaker Newt Gingrich invoked a “Ron Paul exemption,” granting the gentleman […]

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Give ‘Em Heller


The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in its first Second Amendment case since 1939. The historic D.C. v. Heller case involves a challenge to the District of Columbia’s total ban on the possession of usable weapons for self-defense in the home. The plaintiff, D.C. resident Richard Heller, argues that the ban violates his […]

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Lost in Political Philosophy


ABC’s TV series Lost, whose fourth season premieres tonight, has multileveled mysteries and a cruelly withholding storytelling style that inspires passionate love and passionate frustration. The love comes from the show’s fascinating and compelling adventure-intrigue-SF storytelling. The scenario: plane crashes on an uncharted island. Some passengers, most with a fair amount of dark intrigue in […]

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What’s In a Name?


“What’s in a name?” asked Shakespeare’s Juliet. This week, the Supreme Court gave a partial answer to the question. Not, they insist, anything necessarily incriminating. If a cop wants you to give him your name and a state statute requires it, there are no constitutional protections to say otherwise. When it came to the case […]

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Good News, Charlie Brown


All men of good will are cheering the publication this month of the first volume of The Complete Peanuts, an ambitious project from Fantagraphics Books, most known as publishers of arty comics by the likes of Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes. The book debuts this week on the New York Times hardcover fiction chart at […]

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Goodbye, Valenti


LOS ANGELES — Jack Valenti, octogenarian chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, made headlines this week for — yet again — announcing his intention to retire. This shouldn’t have been news; he’s been on the way out for a while. The MPAA has been pursuing a so far embarrassingly failed attempt on the […]

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Requiem for an Earth-Pig


One of our era’s most enduring and complex epics of fantasy storytelling came to an end this month. It was 6,000 pages long, and chronicled one man’s rise through a fascinatingly imagined world, on the cusp between medieval and early industrial ages. We witness the introduction of the printing press, cannons, and primitive airships as […]

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Two Bag Ugly


LOS ANGELES — I was recently driven to vow bloody vengeance against the everyday supermarket plastic bag. As I recall, I was in a parking lot, fists clutched vainly around a crumpled, ripped, useless shred of plastic, contemplating the groceries lying at my feet. I cursed it as the common consumer item unequivocally least effective […]

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Elvis Has Left the Building


The Secret Service, believe it or not, showed great wisdom in giving a resounding “s’aright, homes” to the latest provocation from neutered pop star/formerly dangerous rapper Eminem. A track called “We As Americans” got leaked on the Internet featuring the lyrics: “I don’t rap for dead presidents/I’d rather see the president dead/It’s never been said […]

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