Monthly Archives: February 2018

The Cruelest Day

Setting aside the matter of that groundhog and his (or her) shadow, everyone knows that March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb – and April is the cruelest month, mixing memory and desire, unless it’s April … Continue reading

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Lying for Fun and Profit

People lie because lying works. There was that seminal 1979 book on lying – Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life – by the formidable Sissela Bok – the daughter of two Nobel Prize winners and married to the then-president of Harvard. She … Continue reading

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Political Heroics

There are cultural norms. Muhammad Ali upended those by calling himself The Greatest – over and over – with a smile. No one knew what to make of that. The greatest don’t say that. They don’t have to say that, but … Continue reading

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Our Rough Beast

Let’s get literary. Let’s get political. In the Los Angeles Times, Mark Athitakis does both with a book from fifty years ago: Compared to the rest of his oeuvre, Gore Vidal’s 1968 novel seems misbegotten… His reputation was built on … Continue reading

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Can Dance A Little

It’s easy enough to miss what’s really going on. It happens all the time. In 1933 it happened in Hollywood with Fred Astaire – there was that screen test report on Astaire for RKO Radio Pictures, now lost along with … Continue reading

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That Conspiracy to Destroy Our Freedom

What’s going on in America right now isn’t just a culture war. It’s a war on the very concept of community, of a society that uses the institution we call government to offer certain basic protections to all its members. … Continue reading

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No Symbolic Victories Now

Some protests don’t work. On October 21, 1967, the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam announced that antiwar protesters would march past the Lincoln Memorial, across the Memorial Bridge all the way to the front steps of … Continue reading

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