Tagged: smart

Department of Predictions: In the Year 2107

From Revelations to Leonardo, Jules Verne to Arthur C. Clarke, mankind has dreamed about what the world will be like dozens or hundreds or thousands of years hence. All of us — well, most of us — wonder what will become of our planet, our culture, our government, our morals when we are no longer...

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...

In Anticipation of Labor Day

Thank you to the Dads and Moms, toiling at home or in an office, on a truck or in a field. Thanks also to the Thais and Turks and Filipinos and Sri Lankans, the Malaysians and the Indonesians, the Bangladeshis and the Vietnamese, and of course the Chinese, who make our clothes and shoes and socks....

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...

The Price of Virtuosity

Not long ago we had the pleasure of hearing (and watching) the young soloist Hillary Hahn play the Mendelssohn violin concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at the Hollywood Bowl. She was sublime. The notoriously difficult music, which is hard even to hum accurately, came through her fingers with supreme grace, as though her body were...

Airport Security

News of an evil terrorist plot to blow up airplanes en route to America from London with liquid explosives smuggled onboard has inspired a new set of enhanced security regulations at our airports. Passengers must now place all liquids and gels in their checked luggage. Items such as shampoo, contact lens solution, and toothpaste must...

Bravo, Connecticut: Joe, Ned, and the Iraq War

The front-page of the news yesterday announced that the incumbent Democratic senator from Connecticut, Joseph Lieberman, had lost his party’s primary election, only the third time this has happened to a sitting senator in 30 years. Normally, voters decline to return their representative to congress only in the most egregious cases of misconduct; and even...

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...