Tag Archives: politics

Happy Birthday, Niccolò Machiavelli: “Fear and the absence of hatred may go well together.”

Niccolò Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy, May 3, 1469 We first had to read The Prince in high school. I remember it as drudgery. I flat out didn’t get it. I read it again a couple years later, and … Continue reading

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“A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.”

Here’s the moment in Shakespeare’s play where Caesar gets the warning from the soothsayer. And ignores it. Because wouldn’t we all ignore a warning from a random-crazy-person in the street? Especially if we live in an urban environment and have … Continue reading

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The Books: Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001: ‘Belfast,’ by Seamus Heaney

On the essays shelf (yes, there are still more books to excerpt in my vast library. I can’t seem to stop this excerpts-from-my-library project. I started it in 2006!) NEXT BOOK: Seamus Heaney’s Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001. My father … Continue reading

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Jafar Panahi Issues Statement

Jafar Panahi should need no introduction, but just in case… Jafar Panahi is a director from Iran, with an international reputation, and an incredible list of films, The White Balloon, The Mirror, The Circle, Offside, Crimson Gold. (He’s one of … Continue reading

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The Interview (2014); directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

Before we begin, let’s get all this out of the way: Whether or not the hackers were from North Korea, or were a disgruntled Sony employee, or some shadowy terrorist group, is irrelevant. Sony’s decision to pull the movie was … Continue reading

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Happy Birthday, Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India on December 30, 1865. “I woshipped Kipling at 13, loathed him at 17, enjoyed him at 20, despised him at 25, and now again rather admire him.” – George Orwell, 1936 Michael Schmidt, … Continue reading

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“I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.” Happy Birthday, Rebecca West

Dame Rebecca West is the grand dame on my very short list of “intellectual idols”. It is her birthday today. It is hard to talk about her without referencing the generations of writers she inspired, all of whom admit their … Continue reading

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Today In History: October 19, 1781

The surrender at Yorktown, which ended the American Revolutionary War. Day before: General Lord Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington, October 18, 1781 I agree to open a treaty of capitulation upon the basis of the garrisons of York and … Continue reading

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Watchers of the Sky (2014)

A powerful documentary about genocide. It’s unbelievable how much ground they cover, and how well it’s put together. Packs an enormous punch. I gave it four stars. Hell of an accomplishment. My review of Watchers of the Sky is now … Continue reading

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The Books: Arguably, ‘Benjamin Franklin: Free and Easy’, by Christopher Hitchens

On the essays shelf: Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens My grandmother had a big illustrated copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac, which I had pretty much memorized by the time I was 6 years old. The illustrations were goofy and elaborate, … Continue reading

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