Bullying has been around as long as kids have existed. From ancient caves to Elizabethan towns to modern elementary schools, there has always been a layer of kids deriving sick pleasure from victimizing other kids.
Only one member of the orchestra is mimicked with any regularity. The average guy doesn’t tape empty soda cans together and pretend to play the bassoon, or sit on a chair and saw away at an imaginary cello. Nobody plays the air flute.
Among the theoretical questions people sometimes pose to themselves — if my house were burning down, what would I grab? If I won millions in the lottery, what would I buy? — is the classic, “If I had one day to live, what would I do?”
After learning that the attic space at Gracie Mansion had once been occupied by Mayor Koch’s chef, Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City responded to the question of how the de Blasio’s might use it: “I can tell you with confidence, there will not be a servant living there.”
The recent flap over Lisa Bonchek Adams’ tweets about her cancer, and the bigger flap about the columns written by Bill Keller and his wife, Emma Gilbey Keller, are symptoms of another sickness: Our current mania to tell all, to all the world.
When Palo Alto, California resident Merrill Newman was held captive in North Korea recently he was coerced into reading an “apology” for his “crimes” during the Korean War, a statement written by his captors. Last night I dreamed I was taken prisoner by the Democratic National Committee and forced to read the following “confession:”
Almost everything that is wrong with the Times’ sensationalized front page story, “Girl in the Shadows,” (12/9/13) is foretold by the explanatory caption in the passive voice: “As New York has been reborn, children like Dasani have been left behind.” The implication is that we New Yorkers, under the spell of our old imperial mayor, have cruelly abandoned the poor children of our city.
So I’m up at 5 a.m., too early to start working. Might as well browse online. As a change of pace, I slide over to the Daily Beast, the online remnant of Newsweek. Naming the site for the London tabloid in Evelyn Waugh’s comic novel “Scoop” surely seemed more clever when they first thought it up than now, when some slice of America must avoid it, assuming, with that name, it must be the house organ for Satan.
Paris is the destination for all young, aspiring writers. So why did it take Stephen King so long to come here? - waiting until he was 66 years old and the acclaimed author of 50 books that have sold 350 million copies and spawned numerous films
An endless flood of books pours into the paper. They pool in canvas-sided mail carts before being diverted into a windowless room where they linger, the literary version of an algae-covered retention pond. A few seep onto my desk, so I feel duty bound to flip each volume open and sample a few lines. That’s usually enough. Most can then be cast aside without another thought. But there are rare exceptions.
As America becomes increasingly involved in the global war on terrorism, the Bush administration is planning to shut down its worldwide English-language broadcasts on the Voice of America. This is a serious error.