Like many liberal Democrats who had trouble sleeping during the Trump presidency, I found myself relying on MSNBC for nightly solace, shared outrage, and any signs of hope that the Trump nightmare might soon be over. Eventually it was. With the advent of the Biden administration, that nightly MSNBC fix began to seem less urgent. … Continue reading Fear Factor: A Game Plan for the Democrats
Even the most woke readers of the New York Times, I suspect, may have blanched at the lead paragraph of a story in the Real Estate section a couple of Sundays ago. “They never wanted to call it retirement,” the article began, “but for Susan Farnsworth, Leigh Hough and Jean-Philippe Jomini, a throuple — a romantic … Continue reading Enslaved by the Style Watchdogs
I didn’t really want to dump on Sunday night’s Oscar telecast any more than I already have (see previous post). But I don’t think critics of the show have quite captured what made it, in my view, the worst Oscarcast in history. The big gaffe, of course, was the bizarre decision by Steven Soderbergh and … Continue reading Anthony Hopkins, Take a Bow
Like nearly everything else in this year of Covid, Sunday’s Oscar ceremony will have a strange look. It’s coming two months late, for one thing — the deadline for eligibility having been extended to give more films time to qualify. It will be an indoor-outdoor event, with no host (for the third year in a … Continue reading What Covid Hasn’t Quashed: Our Fetish for Awards
Bad omens for the future of newspapers have become depressingly familiar in recent years. Still, I wasn’t prepared for the rude shock I got in the Los Angeles airport a week ago. Getting ready to board an American Airlines flight back to New York, after a week’s vacation in California (a reward to myself … Continue reading For Newspaper Readers, the Unfriendly Skies
I tempted the cancel-culture gods last weekend and watched a Woody Allen movie. Right in the middle, no less, of plowing my way through Allen v Farrow, the four-part HBO documentary series that (for many viewers, at least) seems to nail down the case that Allen was guilty of molesting his seven-year-old stepdaughter Dylan a couple of … Continue reading Is This How Woody Allen’s Career Ends?
There hasn’t been any live drama for me to review for many Covid-plagued months. But the last few weeks of Donald Trump's presidency was real-life drama that surpassed anything I could hope to see in the theater. It had everything: suspense, stunning violence, retribution, catharsis, and, most of all, the triumph of the good guys … Continue reading The Trump Drama’s Finale: Catharsis at Last
I’ve found it hard to get excited about much in the arts and media world these past couple of months — the onset of the winter doldrums, no doubt, combined with a pandemic that won’t go away. But let me ring out the old year with a few random questions: Is This Really Oscar Season? The … Continue reading Year-End Wrap: The Oscars, Broadway, and Brian Williams
I was still in bed last Friday morning when Joe Biden finally overtook Donald Trump in the Pennsylvania vote count, all but ensuring that he would win the state, and thus the Presidency. I was still catching up on my sleep after a two-day excursion to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to do some last-minute canvassing for … Continue reading Do Grassroots Volunteers Make a Difference?
Bill Maher did a little end-zone dance last Friday night — and he probably deserved it. The host of HBO’s Real Time played a montage of clips from the past three years in which he warned repeatedly — and asked virtually every political guest who came on the show— about the possibility that Donald Trump would not … Continue reading is the Media Playing into Trump’s Hands?