Originally posted March 2nd, 2014
By Michael Konik
Straight from the Department of Cruel Irony – actually, the State Department of the United States – our government’s annual report on worldwide human rights is now available to the public.
The 2013 edition graphically outlines all the terrible stuff that’s going on around the globe, a catalogue of affronts to human kindness and decency. Unilaterally murdering American citizens (not to mention civilians of numerous nationalities) with CIA drones, and thereby obliterating the increasingly archaic concept of “due process, is nowhere mentioned. But there’s plenty of other nauseating stuff.
Anti-gay legislation, some with potential death penalties, in 80 countries. Russian and Chinese outrages against civil liberties. And, of course, the ongoing disrespect for life and dignity on display in Syria.
The report also details horrendous human rights abuses in place like Turkey, Qatar and Egypt. Our allies. Our “friends” in the region. These repressive regimes are the . . . → Read More: The Human Rights Litmus Test
Originally posted February 18th, 2014
By Michael Konik
String Theory has helped teach humankind that more is possible — and probable — than most of us are capable of imagining. Crazy stuff. Like, theoretical physicists with a sense of humor and a talent for writing. Leonard Mlodinow’s “Feynman’s Rainbow,” a breezy memoir about his days as a young scientist at Caltech, is a kind of miracle. The book is about searching for some of the most profound truths in the universe, yet it’s as light and anecdotal as a dish-all about NYU Drama. If you dig eccentric geniuses at work on the mysteries of the cosmos, this is your beach read.
Originally posted December 19th, 2013
By Michael Konik
In the aftermath of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, where thousands died and hundreds-of-thousands more were left homeless, almost everyone I spoke to asked the same question: My Filipina wife — was anyone in her immediate family affected?
Everyone was greatly relieved to learn that, no, none of my wife’s immediate family members were harmed by the storm. To these kindhearted and compassionate inquirers, the absence of death, injury, or property damage to my wife’s closest relatives was a great relief, a kind of silver lining to the dark cloud of death that descended on her birth country. By some sort of strange spiritual calculus, it was understood and taken for granted that blood relations are intrinsically more important, more valuable to us, than everyone else – with the exception of those who are welcomed bloodlessly into the family through adoption and marriage. . . . → Read More: Family Problems
The comedian Todd Glass does a podcast I like for its improvisational spirit and quirky humor. “The Todd Glass Show” is popular with stoners, comics, anti-establishmentarians and everyone else who digs Todd’s antic energy and nimble mind. Todd is Todd. He’s real. He’s honest and open and entertainingly transparent, and…
Soon America is going to be confronted with the peculiar talent of Rick Glassman, comedian and accomplished green screen thespian, when he joins three other comedians on an NBC sitcom called “Undateable.” The show debuts in April. In the interim, connosuiers of comic genius can experience him and his cohorts — Chris D’elia, Brent Morin, [...]