Author: Michael Konik

#WeAreOne. Really?

You’ve seen the trending hashtags: #NotMeUs; #StrongerTogether; #WeAreOne. They’re all useful shorthand for complex ideas. On a “normal” day of “normal” news, the concept of Unity strikes most of us as reasonable, a thoroughly un-controversial acclamation of cooperation and fellowship. Great. Sure. What happens, though, when someone drives a truck into dozens of families? What...

Lady Dynamite

The new comedy series “Lady Dynamite,” now streaming, has much to recommend it: a loose, quasi-meta narrative structure that delivers unexpected delights; stellar cameos from giants of the “alt” comedy world (Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, Judd Apatow); and recurring characters you look forward to seeing frequently, notably the foul-mouthed super-agent Karen Grisham (Ana Gastyer). Even...

You’re With Who?

This was not a good week for people who had hoped to see a woman become the next President of the United States. Their candidate, the one they shamelessly were “with” despite her sordid track-record of war-making and bribe-taking, was proven to be a serial liar with poor judgment at best and callous disregard for...

Noam Chomsky: Requiem for an American Dream

If you have friends who don’t quite understand why wealth inequality and political corruption is bad for America (and the rest of the planet), “Noam Chomsky: Requiem for the American Dream,” is the film to recommend. The beloved intellectual and lifelong critic of war-making and corporatism, Chomsky, in his late-80s, remains as incisive  and refreshingly...

Bernie Sanders: The Struggle Continues

Pick your preferred metaphor: You can’t put the egg back in the shell. You can’t stuff the Genie back in the bottle. You can’t force Pandora to close her box. And you can’t stop the Progressive Movement that’s sweeping the United States of America. Bernie Sanders started it. The People will finish it. After listening...

Evening News Script

Good evening, I’m [insert name]. Welcome to the Evening News. Our top story tonight: [something to fear; followed by expert analysis explaining why viewers should be fearful]. In other news: [something to fear]. In a related story: [something else to possibly fear in the near future]. Commercial break: [insert advertisement for a pharmaceutical product; followed...

Jumbo Wild

The documentary “Jumbo Wild“tells the ongoing story of a politically-connected real estate developer’s quest to build a ski resort on British Columbia’s remote and pristine Jumbo Glacier — despite overwhelming resistance to the disastrous scheme from local residents, First Nations representatives, and legions of environmentalists. The film is beautifully photographed and surprisingly fair-minded toward the stubbornly...

The Mussel Divine

How maddening to our friend the mollusk subjected every day to that most callous of clichés haunting a bi-valve’s life.             Happy as… Each time the bitter oath was uttered, our friend the mollusk shrunk inward, as if he could escape the narrative of fate.             If they only knew, he thought. No one should...

Thank You, Bernie Sanders

Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for your leadership. Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for your courage, your authenticity, your compassion. Thank you, Bernie Sanders, for speaking truth to power. Thank you for rousing the sleeping giant. Thank you for proving conclusively that progressive ideas aren’t frivolous and “out there” but mainstream and sensible. America is awakening. America...

Naftule’s Dream, “Blood”

Klezmer. Jazz. Acid rock. Dixieland. Got the picture? Better question: got the sound? “Blood,” the new CD by the progressive Klezmer band Naftule’s Dream, is a delicious jambalaya of musical ingredients that sounds distinctly like, well, Naftule’s Dream. The group’s instrumentation might be the key to their sound: clarinet, cornet, guitar, drums, accordion and, crucially, tuba....