Archive for April, 2008

Green is the new black

Since global warming has begun to manifest itself in a frighteningly real way, environmentalism is no longer the radical idea it once was. The “greener than thou” attitude now pervades every pore of modern American society. On the surface, this isn’t such a bad thing; if people realize that their actions directly affect the future […]

The most important thing

A favorite joke of mine, set in the middle of the last century, I imagine around the time Brando was making his debut: A young Method actor is having lunch at Sardi’s with an old ham of an actor and asking for advice about the craft. Young Method Actor: I’m working on a scene right […]

For National Poetry Month: Hart Crane’s “To Brooklyn Bridge”

I miss Hart Crane this spring. It’s not that I’m a particular fan of his poetry: sometimes I’m tempted to paraphrase Doctorow on Poe and call him our “best bad poet.” But for several spring semesters in a row I’ve included parts of The Bridge in my Writing New York class, and this year, for […]

Persephone returns

I became a feminist when I was 24 years old. I had graduated from college, been promoted to a new position, lived in a swank apartment and flashed a fresh-from-the-velvet engagement ring. In the window of time between waiting and settled, I decided to take a class at the local State University. After looking over my options, […]

Multimedia: More short reviews

What we’re watching, reading/looking at, watching, and, uh, rejecting: The American Experience, “Walt Whitman” (PBS) Last Thursday night we serendipitously stumbled upon the broadcast of The American Experience episode on Walt Whitman. One commentator noted that “it was as if Whitman had read a want ad’s notice for ‘National Poet’ and signed up.” For me, […]

Losing the nomination

First off, this isn’t a Hillary-bashing post—I’m trying really hard to avoid that in the tone here (but I write this as an Obama supporter). Many individuals feel, I think somewhat logically, that Hillary is the most viable candidate for the big Fall election. But logic or not, I can’t ignore my gut. Hillary just […]

Little House

I arrived in Washington DC today, fresh from an all-day, one-stopover, slightly-delayed flight from L.A. I’m here to help with final preparations to sell my house — or, our house, I should say. The one Stella and I bought together in the summer of 2001, just two years after she moved to the U.S. from […]

A few observations on Patti Smith’s “Rock n Roll N*****”

Or a few questions, at least. I’m curious about how you read (or hear) this song, performed last year by a 60-year-old singer generally regarded as the godmother of punk: [youtube][/youtube] If you don’t know the song, check out the lyrics here. It closes out side one of the 1978 album Easter, which also included […]

Bon mot

My afflatus for today’s post comes from an aid for facundity. has assuaged my diffidence and allowed me to bedizen my writing with true magniloquence. A simple wonder of email blasts is the pleasure of subscribing to Word for a Day. I have always aspired to expand my vocabulary, but it’s so much easier […]

…but now I see

Humanity’s struggle between the forces of Good and Evil is a cross-cultural theme that’s been around for most of recorded history. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that this subject should find its way into our popular forms of entertainment, particularly our songs. This playlist is representative of the battle as I see it (not that […]