Home » Archive

Featured, Headline »

[18 Jul 2018 | No Comment | ]

ook my nose out of the political news to find an interesting clash of principles  dividing the film, theater and music worlds. To wit: what is more important, the issue of artistic freedom or socio-political fairness? Does one over-ride the other, or is it situational?
    In one of two current cases, the actor Scarlett Johansson decided, under heavy pressure, not to play the role of a transgender man is a forthcoming film called “Rub & Tug,” about a transgender crook who ran a string of massage parlors that fronted brothels. The transgender …

Featured, Headline »

[3 Jul 2018 | 2 Comments | ]

There’s a lot of back-and-forth about “civility” in determining organized protest tactics against Donald Trump and his cohort–generated, among other incidents, by the Red Hen restaurant  owner booting out Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Congresswoman Maxine Waters calling for regular such confrontations to publicly berate other complicit officials.
   I must say I loved hearing that crowd at Yankee Stadium spontaneously booing Rudolph Giuliani–who hasn’t been in the headlines much lately.

   Let’s stipulate that Trump sets new lows in incivility and cruelty every day. He should be protested and called out early and often with …

Chicago, Featured, Headline »

[27 Jun 2018 | One Comment | ]

It’s clear after last week that Donald Trump does not really want comprehensive immigration legislation. After he was forced to cave on his inhumane policy of separating children from parents, the House came up with two bills–one conservative, the other “moderate.” He endorsed both, causing great confusion among his disciples. The conservative bill failed, as expected, and Speaker Paul Ryan delayed a vote on the other.
   Recognizing immigration as his best issue, Trump then proclaimed that Congress should “waste” no more time on immigration before the November mid-term elections when he …

Featured, Headline »

[13 Jun 2018 | One Comment | ]

Donald Trump’s barrage of fact-free tweets and other pronouncements in the past few weeks seem wilder, more unhinged, ignorant, self-contradictory and more dangerous than ever. While he wages verbal war on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and trade war on our allies, he claims dictatorial powers over the federal justice system.
   In boasting he could pardon himself if he were convicted of any crime, he echoes Richard Nixon’s fabled claim that “if the president does it, that means it can’t be illegal.” His sinister court-jester, Rudolph Giuliani, gets loonier, announcing Trump could …

Featured, Headline »

[7 Jun 2018 | No Comment | ]

Roseanne Barr is not the only big TV star to get cancelled for using the horrendous “ape” slur against an African American. Back in 1983, Howard Cosell, arguably the greatest sportscaster of his time, came under fire from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for describing a black player as a “little monkey.” They demanded his ouster from the top-rated Monday Night Football telecast.

   Cosell fought back, justifiably noting he had used the phrase about white players in the past and as a term of endearment for his own grandchildren. (My grandfather …

Featured, Headline »

[23 May 2018 | One Comment | ]

“Everyone,” says Trump, thinks he ought to get the Nobel Peace Prize for his now-in-doubt denuclearization “summit” with Kim Jong Un. To paraphrase Samuel Goldwyn, please include me out of “everyone.”
   Should, however, the meeting actually take place and anything remotely positive come out of it, the idea of the Nobel committee giving the badly coiffed pair the prize is not quite a lunatic idea. They have picked some oddities and nonstarters in past years.
   Mostly their choices were spot on: they range from courageous individuals such as Malala Yousafzi, the young, …

Featured, Headline »

[17 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

The newest of this city’s art venues–opened only a month ago–is a 183-year-old, two-story high, 34,000-square-foot former foundry, stripped down to bare walls and steel pillars, where you stand surrounded by an astonishing digital movie based on the art of Gustav Klimt projected on all four sides (and some viewers bodies). The Viennese painter’s magnificently colored portraits of exquisitely dressed ladies are shown whole, in pieces, deconstructed, reconstructed, seamlessly melting into each other and into abstract and representational backgrounds, a flowing river of color while the music of Mozart, Wagner, …

Featured, Headline »

[15 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

I’ve been wrestling with this issue of cultural appropriation and losing–probably eroding my lefty bona fides in the process.
   Take the matter of that poor teen who wore a beautiful, traditional Chinese dress to her prom and caught holy hell from hundreds of social media trolls for the sin of cultural appropriation, some actually calling  her a colonialist. (No protests from China.)
   The world has been exchanging indigenous clothing styles for generations. The French revel in exporting their haute couture.  Blue jeans, the most all-American of garments–invented 145 years ago by a German-Jewish immigrant–are …

Featured, Headline »

[9 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

PARIS–Soon after French President Emmanuel landed in the USA for his state visit, a friend and I were boarding a plane for his homeland, where I did not get to address the parliament but many Americans may have been pleasantly surprised to find a visiting head of state addressing Congress in better English than our very own president.

Once wildly popular here, Macron’s numbers have plummeted below the halfway mark, but not as low as Trump’s at home. Nevertheless he maintains a strong majority in the parliament, …

Featured, Headline »

[26 Apr 2018 | No Comment | ]

I’ll soon be winging my way to a two week stay in Paris, my personal second city, but must comment again on the impending “summit” meeting between those two guys with weird hairdos.
     North Korea’s brutal, egomaniacal dictator Kim Jong-un is willing to discuss “denuclearization” with President Donald Trump. The serious, unanswered question is, exactly what does he mean by the term?
    Trump and company naturally believe it means what they want it to mean: abolition of all nuclear weaponry–Kim already has some 60 bombs–and perhaps eliminate the delivery systems they developed …