A Cigarette and a Window
May 07, 2007

The devastating chronicle of Brooklyn malaise.

Intellectual Idols
November 10, 2006

When I bought The New Republic more than 32 years ago, my first thought was to seek advice. I went to see Walter Lippmann who had been among the first editors in 1914. I also met with Edmund Wilson and then Alfred Kazin who had both edited the "back of the book." Some time I'll write about these encounters. I also went to Paris to meet Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber, then the editor of L'Express, easily compared to Time and Newsweek.

Low Circulation
October 26, 2006

I hope that my old friend David Geffen buys the Los Angeles Times and lifts it out of misery. If David doesn't buy it, the paper will not disappear but it will be forced deeper and deeper into misery ... misery for its readers and for its journalists. Of course, the L.A. Times is not the only major newspaper in trouble. Whole chains have been sold because their old owners despaired and the new owners thought they had some plan ... or some gimmick ... or some great illumination. There's no reason to repeat here the reasons why the country's daily printed press is floundering.

Dud Again
August 10, 2004

Well, at least we find out how it ends. After two installments and four hours of running time, Kill Bill finally reveals whether it will fulfill the promise of its title. Now we can all move on. Regular readers may recall that I was not fond of Volume 1 of Quentin Tarantino's epic homage to kung fu movies, spaghetti westerns, and Uma Thurman's feet. The good news is that there is less to dislike in Kill Bill Volume 2--no parents casually murdered in front of their children, no jokes about pedophilia or raping the comatose, a vastly diminished body count.

They All Laughed at Christopher Columbus
October 06, 1992

I Excuse me for noticing, but haven't we been commemorating Columbus's quincentennial in the wrong year? I know that dates and math aren't America's strong suit right now, but it doesn't take advanced calculus to figure that 1492 plus 500 equals 1992. What is it about Columbus that makes for botched commemoration? The Quatercentennial Columbian Exposition opened a year late, in 1893, delayed by the enormous scale of the show and by the protesting groups (yes, even then) who saw themselves more as victims than as beneficiaries of 1492.

Beatles Buy-Out
May 11, 1987

Michael Jackson turns "Revolution" into a commercial jingle.