I have heard of the “snowflake generation,” but, on some level, thought the idea of grown men and women unable to tolerate anything outside their “comfort zone” without crumbling to dust, was a clever, media-derived sound-bite thing.
Neurology, the official journal of the American Academy of Neurology, publishes papers on brain science with titles like “Vesicular acetylcholine transporter defect underlies devastating congenital myasthenia syndrome.”
Chicago has played a role in the arts. Poetry, of course, ever since a teenage Charlie Sandburg took $1.50 earned on a milk truck in Galesburg and came here to check out the city’s big shoulders. Music certainly, from Louis Armstrong coming up from New Orleans to the Rolling Stones cutting an album at Chess Records on South Michigan Avenue in 1964.
Alexander Graham Bell was not trying to invent the telephone when he did just that. What he was trying to do, at first, was make a better telegraph. It was the 1870s, and the telegraph was 30 years old — about as old as cellphones are now. Like cellphones, the telegraph had become enormously popular, so popular that messages backed up at telegraph offices, waiting to be sent. The problem had to be solved; there was no point in telegraphing a message from Washington to Baltimore if it took three days for operators to get around to tapping out your message. You could walk it there in two.
Having grown up in Washington DC, Presidential Inaugurations have long been a part of my life–first as a dazzled teenager invited to JFK’s gala, and beginning with Jimmy Carter, as a committed journalist. I am no longer impressed; frazzled is more like it. But an Inauguration is a historical and memorable event, and in addition to politics a new administration. There’s plenty of pageantry and tradition on January 20, 2017. And it may even be eye-opening for the most jaded.
When Phil Chess died recently, the news received little notice here in his former hometown of Chicago, another sign of the cultural amnesia of today’s society. The record label Phil formed with his brother Leonard, Chess Records, was an absolutely crucial influence on 20th Century music, and had an important role in racial progress in America.
As for joining with black social justice groups, the JCC must know that Black Lives Matter has deemed Israel an apartheid state that practices genocide and that Jewish groups that are pro-Israel are automatically excluded from joining in solidarity with BLM which stands together with Students for Justice in Palestine and supportive of the BDS movement against Israel. Of course there will always be Jews who will bow before their enemies and blame themselves or their brothers for this irrational anti-semitism. By identifying their group with a ‘black’ pedigree, the leadership of JCC hopes to curry favor much as the Jews who marched for civil rights expected to be appreciated for their front line solidarity with black leadership. Yet the lessons of black hatred of Jews were manifest in the platform of the Black Panthers, in the race riots of Crown Heights, in the sermons of the Reverend Wright and in current BLM policy and propaganda.
When I go to Target with my wife, I’m like a bored 6-year-old. She’s busily checking items off her list, muscling slabs of paper towels into the huge red cart while I wander off, not quite humming “la la la,” but gazing dreamily around finding . . . what?
The new film “Star Trek Beyond” opened this week, 50 years after the first NBC-TV episode in 1966. William Shatner aka Capt. James Kirk of the U.S.S. Enterprise, now 85, says, “for Star Trek to remain in the public Consciousness 50 years later is a phenomenon beyond belief.”
Pamela Geller already has it. There are no details other than six are in custody for the crowd-mowing jihadi attack in Nice last week. The estranged wife of the Albanian man involved has been released and is not a suspect.
The presidents were not all men of greatness. The briefest stroll through the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s exhibit on the presidents confirms that. There was dim party tool Warren G. Harding and crony catspaw Ulysses S. Grant. The feckless and imbecilic James Buchanan and the tragically twisted Richard Nixon.
Have you ever wondered how, with billions of cell phone transmissions floating around in the air, why you only hear the call that came for you? Why you aren’t constantly interrupted with pieces and bits of other people’s conversations made on separate calls? After all, many of them are being made on the same “cell” that you are using.
There’s no better interpreter of the American Songbook than Tony and Grammy Award winner Barbara Cook. Lyricist Maury Yeston (”Phantom”) called Cook “a living national treasure” as she marked her 88th birthday on October 25 with a musical tribute at the National Arts Club in Manhattan. The evening, which also honored award-winning lyricist Lee Adams - “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Applause,” “Golden Boy” and TV’s “All in the Family” theme song, “Those Were The Days”– benefitted the Encompass New Opera Theatre.
How many times has it been said or written sarcastically of us Balkans heretics that “The place she wants you to worry about for terrorism is not in the Middle East or Pakistan, but in the Balkans. She wants you to think that Bosnia/Kosovo is the next Afghanistan.”
The Law of Unintended Consequences isn’t written into the statute books, or taught in law school, though maybe it should be because it rules over our lives with a stronger hand than almost any ordinance.
If you’ve been reading the NY Times for the past month, you’d be forgiven for believing that transgender people have been living in North Korea instead of in America. There has been little or no mention of the numerous transgender people who are doctors, teachers or professors living solid upper middle-class lives with little distinction from the lives they lived prior to their sex change. The poster girl the Times picked for their nearly full-page editorial - “The Struggle of Transgender Workers,” (july 9th) is a masculine Puerto Rican man dressed as a woman in what looks like a Halloween fright wig and a dreadful dress. The Times mentions that Elaine Mendus, as she calls herself, studied at Indiana University in Pennsylvania but not that she has a degree, so the fact that she has difficulty in finding a job is understandable on many levels. If a hetero man without a college degree chose to wear a tee shirt and jeans when he went for job interviews, we wouldn’t classify his failure to get hired as discrimination. Similarly, a man who has not begun any medical transitioning, dressed as weird-looking woman might not be hired even by a transgender employer who took pride in her own appearance and that of her employees. An employment coach gave Ms. Mendus good advice to go on interviews as a man using the name that corresponded with her other papers; somehow this is reported as if it showed a lack of insight instead of a constructive attempt to be helpful.
One recurring theme over the past two years of the Crimea affair has been the invocation of Kosovo by reporters and pundits who barely remember the word. Surprisingly, Geraldo Rivera — despite having flown a helicopter for America’s terrorist allies the KLA — invoked Kosovo in the proper context last year on “The O’Reilly Factor,” saying, “Like it or not, Kosovo was the precedent for this.”
…”The cry of God’s people goes up once again from this city…war never again,” he said at a Mass for some 65,000 people at the stadium of the city that was once a symbol of ethnic and religious diversity in socialist Yugoslavia. This unwound in the war and Bosnia remains hamstrung by its legacy, divided along ethnic and religious lines…Earlier at a meeting with the three-member Bosnian presidency, Francis said peace initiatives between Bosnia’s Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks showed that “even the deepest wounds can be healed by purifying memories and firmly anchoring hopes in the future.” […]