SCARCELY A TITHE

“What are you working on?” writes my biggest fan, E–––– A–––––––––, one of whose hyphens really is a hyphen. E––––, I believe you’ll be pleased to hear my answer: a series of touching vignettes of our chirpiest intellectuals. First up is Steven Thinker, Harvard University’s renowned Marjoe Gortner Professor of Psychology. Possibly last up, too — […]

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AND ME, GOD DAMN IT

Love, hate. Love, hate. Love, hate. In America, so the deadly — and dead — cultural critic Valid Ogre once menaced, love gets slathered over everything, like ketchup. But in which book — Rocking the Boat? If memory serves it appeared in an essay heckling one of Monroe’s ex-husbands for his droopy pseudo-intellectual schmaltz. Not Joltin’ Joe, Heaven […]

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SEA RANCH: TWO TENNIS BALLS

Pretty vague IMHO, if not barking mad. OK, maybe if you were a hamster you’d agree with pet friendly. Two ladder-like structures ascend to either corner of a tiny sleeping loft (which, laughably, they’re calling a “second bedroom”). If you were a hamster you could scramble up one ladder, down the other, and just keep […]

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THE PROBLEM OF SPIELBERG’S MUSIC

  With. The problem with Spielberg’s music. Because, to be perfectly frank, the problem of Spielberg’s music is Spielberg’s pitchers. Four-hundred-sixteen and counting — nearly all of them box-office successes, several dozens of them outright blockbuster smashes — and not one of them remotely good. Not the War Pitcher, not the Dinosaur Pitcher, not the Spy Pitcher, not […]

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HONEY, WHAT YOU’RE FEELING

One pair of words — if there are others I’m drawing a complete blank — touches off instant debate, sometimes quite rousing, over how to parse them with absolute precision. Oddly they’re close to synonymous, in many situations interchangeable. Odder still, nobody seems to disagree about the ways in which, specifically and minutely, these two […]

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A GOOD LAUGH IS THE BEST PESTICIDE

“… An illusion, a shadow, a fiction … ” — Calderón You may, like the dreamy Segismundo, feel trapped in some childish fantasy of unaccountable, solipsistic resolve. Not around the clock, not generally speaking, but predictably somewhere between the witching- and the wee-hours, and specifically when exhorting yourself to “make a mental note.” The phrase resembles a toddler’s […]

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