Category: Thoughts

Why People Hate Art

A rich guy we know gives generously to a wide and cheering cross-section of charities: Special Olympics, animal shelters, American Cancer Society, institutions of higher learning. He feels good giving away some of his millions to any cause or appeal, except “the arts.” That he won’t do. The arts, he’s told us in so many words,...

Chemicals

Just as devoutly fatalistic folks ascribe everything that happens – or doesn’t happen – to an omnipotent author in the sky who meticulously scripts several billion not very interesting biographies every day, we have a friend who transfers responsibility for the course of life to a different higher power. Chemicals. Our pal believes that human beings are...

All Five Senses

There’s some sort of problem in my left eye at the moment, the details of which I won’t bother to enumerate. Suffice to say it’s concerning enough that I’m going to see a doctor — something I almost never do. And then, one presumes, everything will be all right. I couldn’t help, though, imagining what...

A Blessed Life

Capitalism requires that we consumers feel as though we never have enough. Our lives will be fuller, richer,better if only we might acquire, chew, possess that which we don’t yet have. The media reminders that constantly bombard our senses teach us that more money, more fame, more fabulousness will magically enlighten our days as friendship, love...

Training a Dog, Training a Country

My dog Ella is one of the best-behaved animals anyone’s ever met. She walks beside me without a leash. She can be trusted to wait alone outside unenlightened establishments that don’t welcome four-legged creatures inside their portals. And she responds to conversational spoken English better than most children. Much to my delight, I’m frequently asked...

How to Get Into Heaven

For most of my life, I was under the impression that the surest way for us human sinners to gain entry to heaven (whatever or wherever that may be) was to lead a good life filled with good works and good fellowship. Goodness would beget goodness. I learned this past weekend that my assumption was...

The Masters: A Tradition Like No Other

Every April, some of the best golfers in the world are invited to play in a tournament conducted at Augusta National Golf Club, a famously lush arboretum of magnolias and azaleas founded by the legendary amateur champion Bobby Jones. The first of the so-called “major” championships – the PGA Championship and the U.S. and British...

Foretelling the Future

Knowing in advance, whether through precognition, special access, or heightened powers of analysis can be both profitable and impressive. If we could predict with certainty the winner of this weekend’s Masters tournament, the biggest gainer on today’s New York Stock Exchange, or the six numbers in the Powerball lottery, we would reap a handsome profit....

To Mom and Dad: Thanks!

A study published this month in Pediatrics magazine suggests that toddlers who watch TV risk attention problems, including difficulty concentrating, acting restless and impulsive, and being easily confused. This discovery won’t come as news to my parents, who raised me on a strict diet of one-hour-of-TV during the school week. At the time, of course, I resented...

Talking to God

A devout Christian woman in Texas stoned her children to death because, she claimed, God had spoken to her and expressly directed her to kill. A cadre of psychiatrists told the court hearing her trial that she was clinically insane. Why? Why is someone considered insane when Gold talks to her but perfectly normal when...