Tagged: adam gopnik

Astonishing Talent, Astonishing Anonymity

At the annual International Association of Jazz Educators conference, held this past weekend in New York City, one could wander through acres of hotel ballrooms filled with musicians of all ages, colors, and nationalities. And no matter what room one entered, even those chosen randomly or by mistake, one was confronted with so much talent,...

Robert Rosenblum

On December 6 of last year, the art historian and educator Robert Rosenblum died of cancer in New York City, where he worked and taught. He was 79.¬† Since our tabloid culture finds no prurient interest in the partners Rosenblum was or was not “hooking up” with, most people outside the art ghetto won’t grasp...

Good Writers

Readers of my books often ask me what I like to read when I’m not writing. And whenever I post a Thought lamenting our aesthetic culture’s descent into exalted mediocrity and irrelevance, the email correspondence usually includes queries like, “Well, if you don’t think Dan Brown is a good writer, who is, smarty pants?”¬† I...

A Modest Proposal for World Peace

The international furor surrounding North Korea’s underground detonation of a nuclear bomb reminds us that several nations on our planet have the ability to obliterate all the others. Hooray for us, we’re one of them! The outrage at Kim Jong Il’s putative procurement of weapons of mass destruction isn’t because he’s starved his country to...

Five Years Later

All of us remember where we were and what we were doing when news reached us that our country was under attack. (I was playing golf, and my playing partner got an emergency message on his beeper.) The hijacking and murders in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York changed our nation forever. In the weeks...

Keeping Young Minds Pure

As anyone who has attended a scolding church sermon knows, our children — meaning the children of other people, irresponsible guardians who aren’t as good at parenting as they ought to be — are drowning in filth. Their minds are infected with lewd thoughts inspired mostly by female mammaries, and the sludge that spews from...

Sexless Marriage

According to the bus stop advertisements and billboards around town, another disposable situation comedy is about to make its debut on network television. The conceit of this one, called “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” is that his adorable wife henpecks a regular guy (the aggressively unfunny Brad Garrett) to the point of emasculation. The tag...

Poem: Our Penchant for Bombing

If you had a million billion dollars with which you could Do anything you please Would you build a schoolhouse or a hospital or Bring Arabs to their knees?   If the purse strings of the Treasury were under Your control Would you vaccinate a child or Blow up a larger hole?   With riches...

The Problem with Cirque d’Soleil

Montreal’s famed “circus without animals” has delighted audiences around the globe with its amalgam of acrobatics, clowning, original music, and spectacular lighting effects — all without tortured elephants and disgruntled tigers. The company — or, more accurately, the corporation — has as a hand in seemingly every other show in Las Vegas, where its productions...

Our Unusual Species

Thanks to sciences like biology and books like the Bible, we humans see ourselves at the apex of nature’s dominion, and not just because we’re at the top of the food chain. We’re special. We’re chosen. We’re God’s favorite of all the creatures. We have feelings, and languages, and the ability to make things that...