Category: Life

The Dust of a Comet

The other night in Los Angeles, it was possible to see faintly the Leonid meteor showers with the naked eye. A bright gibbous moon made the show less spectacular than it will be tonight, on the 19th, when the moon will be on the wane. The light we saw shooting across the sky was thrilling...

Why Comedy Matters

Comedy cannot permanently change the world — at least not as effectively as brave science, bold literature, and partially clad women. But comedy can bring us disparate human souls together in the shared communion of laughter. Even Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat can enjoy the same jokes. “A rabbi and a mullah walk into a...

The Ultimate Accomplishment: Being Famous

What exactly do “reality” celebrities do that warrants their fame? Do they make anything transcendent and lasting? Do they help us understand in new and revelatory ways what it means to be alive? Are they anything more than our society’s court jesters, our physically attractive fools who distract us momentarily from the challenges of “real”...