Monthly Archives: July 2017

Confederate and the Jerry Falwell Left

In the late 1980s, Martin Scorsese, who had always been an implicitly Christian filmmaker, became an explicitly Christian filmmaker with The Last Temptation of Christ. Evangelicals and conservative Catholics reacted not only with outrage, but with a well-organized boycott. “This is Hollywood’s worst hour,” Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell said. “Neither the label ‘fiction’ nor […]

A Brief Meditation on Clipless Pedals

Last year, while riding in Watchung Reservation, a cyclist passed me on WR Tracy Drive. “On your left,” he shouted as he whizzed by me as if I were standing still. There was no shame in being passed. WR Tracy Drive is a steep incline. The cyclist who passed me was training for hills, and […]

How Did We Get Here?

There’s nothing new about an American politician calling for police violence. Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California partly on his promise to crack down on those dirty hippies at Berkeley, a promise he kept. But let’s not underestimate Trump’s fascist thuggery. He’s much closer to George Wallace than he is to Richard Nixon or […]

Wall Street Comes to the White House

Like anybody from Jersey with a vowel at the end of his name, I’ve learned almost by necessity to appreciate a good ethnic slur. What’s more, there’s no question newly appointed White House Communications Director would be right at home in the world of The Sopranos. If Donald Trump Jr. is a grown up version […]

Get a Job You Damned Hippies

Everybody who’s ever gone to a protest has, at one time or another, been told to “get a job,” and I’ve always wondered about the origins of this particular form of heckling. I wonder no more. A statute of the first year of his reign, 1547, ordains that if anyone refuses to work, he shall […]

Dunkirk (2017)

This is what I felt like watching Dunkirk As Matt Zoller Seitz observes, Dunkirk is not so much a war movie as it is a disaster movie disguised as a war movie. As an early member of Generation X — so early that I’m almost a Boomer — I’m old enough to remember the classic […]

The 401k: Free Stuff for the Rich

The section of the Internal Revenue Code that made 401(k) plans possible was enacted into law in 1978.[4] It was intended to allow taxpayers a break on taxes on deferred income. In 1980, a benefits consultant named Ted Benna took note of the previously obscure provision and figured out that it could be used to […]

Feeling Anglophilic

Last year I cycled 500 miles through New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut on my road bike. I traveled as lightly as possible, bringing only a very small backpack and a handlebar bag. On the whole it was a good experience, but there was one thing I couldn’t stand, walking around in cycling shoes […]

The End of Zionist Propaganda in America

When it comes to the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, I usually divide people into three categories. Supporters of Israel are my political opponents. Supporters of the Palestinians are my political allies. Yet — and for the moment let’s put aside progressives except for Palestine like Alan Grayson and Elizabeth Warren — I also […]

A Ventriloquist’s Dummy

As a very early member of Generation X – so early I almost qualify as a Boomer – I had the good fortune to grow up without the Internet. I always had access to computers. Anybody who went to Rutgers in the 1980s will remember the fifty or so original Macs, each in its own […]