Category: Popular Culture

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...

Understanding Trekkies

My album was mastered at Capitol Records, just down the hallway where Frank Sinatra originally recorded several of the songs that I do on my CD. Indeed, outside the door of the mastering studio where my “There’ll Be Some Changes Made” recording was being finished, I saw Sinatra’s gold record, awarded for his “Capitol Collectors...

Gay Pride or Gay Comfort?

Halloween is a very popular event where I live. It’s one of the few times in the year when members of the large homosexual population in West Hollywood can put on a dress and impersonate Carol Channing without fear of ridicule. Another of these occasions is “Gay Pride Day,” a phenomenon that happens, it seems,...

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”...