Monthly Archives: March 2013

LIMITS OF COMEDY

In recent years it seems anything can be the subject of comedy—even on television, at least on cable. And, of course, much of the reality we find ourselves in richly deserves restorative mockery. But an experience I had in the 1990s suggests that some topics will—or should—always be off-limits to comedy. For a couple of […]

The Middle-Aged Mariner – short play

CHARACTERS The Stranger, a man in his 30’s or 40’s, dressed neatly in windbreaker and dress slacks. The Man, in his late 40’s or 50’s, wearing an inexpensive suit; his shirt is open at the collar and his tie is pulled loose. He is slightly overweight, with a tendency to be overbearing. SETTING A small […]

THE ACADEMIC PROCESSION TO NOWHERE

Sometimes on the radio I hear the name of a woman who with her husband supports Public Broadcasting programs on the national level. On one occasion I helped this philanthropist find her way on a long, winding, and difficult course. At the time she was vice chair of the trustees of the City University of […]

GETTING CLASSICAL MUSIC

A friend who is intelligent and artistically sensitive confessed that he has tried but he can’t “get” classical music. There are so many others with that feeling, which is difficult for us who love the music to understand. I decided to put together a list of pieces that could help him—or anyone else, hopefully—overcome that […]

SAVE FOR WHEN SPRING GETS HERE (ASSUMING IT WILL)

This was written on the arrival of a long-delayed springtime, after a long-lingering winter, and published on April 12, 1989: SPRING BREAK Everyone who felt good today after seeing the first green buds on the trees should rise at 10 A.M. from their desks, computers, beds, or steering wheels, find a window to admire the […]

NOTES ON GUILT

Trailing clouds of guilt, we mosey across the landscape of our days. Would we be free if we were perfect? * The inflection of relationships is based on guilt: I feel guilty. You should feel guilty. We all are guilty. * Guilt is the legacy I will leave behind as each generation before left it […]

MEDICAL PRIVACY

I was at the medical lab, along with seven or eight others, waiting for someone to draw a blood sample. No one was at the reception desk, since the company, to save money, used the actual phlebotomists to sign people in and answer the phones, and they were all in the little back rooms with […]