ISIS is not just the terror group de jour. They are a hugely successful movement with an apocalyptic, nihilistic philosophy. When they say “convert, join us, or die”, they not only mean it, but they follow through with horrific effect.
It’s not every college girl who gets to have her claim of sexual assault aired on the front page of the NYTimes Arts Section or reported by the leading art critic of that paper. In this case, Emma Sulkowicz, the self-reported victim, has not been satisfied by the hearings that were authorized by Columbia University after she reported this rape; the assailant was found to be not responsible and that finding was upheld by a subsequent appeal. Emma followed up by attempting to file charges with the NYC police but she found this so “upsetting” that she dropped that plan.
The David H. Koch Plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has finally been unveiled and it is a beautiful addition to New York’s premier cultural attraction. Mr. Koch, a trustee of the museum, financed this roughly 65 million dollar project himself, his gift to the general public as well as to the museum. Many environmental considerations went into the landscaping of the trees - allowing both greater sun in the winter and increased shade in summer. The plantings were also designed to soften noise pollution at a plaza that attracts so many thousands of people each day. Given the very successful completion of this project in a timely fashion, as opposed to other urban projects that have labored under decades of delay and mammoth cost over-runs, we can only scratch our heads at how the city has defiled it.
President Obama would rather have been anywhere else on Earth but at that White House podium Wednesday night unveiling a new counterterror strategy for dealing with the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.
We just observed the anniversary of the most lethal Islamic terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil. Thirteen years later, we still face al Qaeda, as well as various other Islamic terrorist groups including the equally lethal Islamic State.
As the media continues to pounce on the story of Ray Rice’s elevator assault on his fiancee last February, I wonder why there is no background story on who this woman is and why she married Rice after that knockout punch and rag doll drag that has the rest of us so appalled. It turns out that both Janay Palmer and Ray Rice were arrested on Feb 15, 2014 and charged with mutual assault at the Revel Casino. A month later, Rice alone was indicted by a grand jury for 3rd degree aggravated assault, the penalty for which is a possible 3-5 years in jail and a fine of $15,000. Janay Palmer married her assailant one day after this indictment.
In all likelihood, T.S. Eliot’s “Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock” is no longer part of the canon of English Literature, if one still exists. So the title quote may not resonate with people under 40, but it seems poetically accurate as to where our society is drifting and to which minutiae we are giving our judicial attention.
Readers of a certain age will remember the sordid story of Errol Flynn’s liaison with a 15 year old show-biz wannabe - not so much for that prurient behavior on the part of a fading movie star, as for the facilitating behavior of the young girl’s mother. Flo Aadland, played by Susan Sarandon is really the focus of this movie as she gives her version of events to the writer who is penning the “great love story” of an alcoholic, drug-addicted roue and Beverly, a girl reared to enact her mother’s failed dreams. As played by Dakota Fanning, Beverly is a passive, dutiful daughter who’s been working since she was three and has none of the fire or ambition associated with performers of exceptional talent. Her father recognizes her for a chorus girl at best, but Flo, like Rose in Gypsy has bigger dreams and sacrifices her home, her marriage and her child for the illusion of stardom.