Rude Interruptions

OK Millennials

Why must every generation think their folks are square? And no matter where their heads are, they know Mom’s ain’t there… —Younger Generation (John B. Sebastian), 1967 We’ve been complaining about our…

The Joker in the White House

It’s a truism that life imitates art, and for the latest example, look no further than the current box office. The recent Warner Bros. release of Joker may be the luckiest studio…

Apocalypse Then, and Now

In February of 1982, when our biggest fear was still nuclear war, the New Yorker devoted three issues to a powerful and influential essay by the journalist Jonathan Schell, later published as…

Soon I’m 64

I was just 11 years old when the Summer of Love dawned in June 1967, but I wasn’t running off to San Francisco with flowers in my hair. I’d only finished elementary…

Woodstock at 50

We are stardust, we are golden We are billion year old carbon And we got to get ourselves back to the garden — “Woodstock” (Joni Mitchell) It’s been said that, “If you…

“Worthwhile Canadian Initiative”

Back in 1986, when it was still both smart and impertinent, The New Republic (TNR) magazine—inspired by that notoriously soporific New York Times headline—playfully invited its readers to submit their own competing…

Art Kunkin: Rebel With A Cause

The late Art Kunkin, who recently died at the age of 91, was much more than just the founder-publisher of the Los Angeles Free Press, one of the nation’s oldest, most influential,…

Remember, or Repeat

Remember when hell on earth was Bill Murray’s weatherman waking up every morning to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You, Babe,” knowing that he’s doomed to endlessly relive the same snowed-in Punxsutawney…

Tragedies for Our Times

After laying my mother to rest last month, my wife Hope and I were eager for a much-needed break on a long-planned trip to the East Coast. Her work had carried us…

A Lamentation, In Two Parts

The End of the Game Over the three years that I’ve been writing this column, my 92-year-old mom Jeanne and I have developed a familiar ritual. Every two weeks or so, I’d…