Category Personal Diary

Harvey Weinstein’s Reign of Misogynistic Terror

That Harvey Weinstein is a sexual harasser as well as a fat, gross pig — think Chris Christie as the head of a Hollywood studio waiving his dick at any available young woman — has always been Hollywood’s worst kept secret. Until Ronan Farrow published a series of interviews with his victims, however, it was […]

The Best Years of Our Lives Punching Nazis

Whenever any debate on social media about the ethics of “punching Nazis” comes up, I often think of a scene from The Best Years of Our Lives, William Wyler’s classic film about three American veterans making a difficult transition to civilian life after the Second World War. Fred Derry, a working class man who received […]

Images of my suburban dreamworld: 11

Do I dare to eat a peach?

Looking for Black Civil War Veterans in Rahway New Jersey

Rahway is an ancient town in New Jersey with an ancient cemetery. According to the website of the “Merchants and Drovers Tavern” (an inn dating from the Revolutionary War that has been turned into a museum) there are almost three hundred Civil War Veterans buried in Rahway Cemetery, twenty nine of whom were black. Rahway […]

Ta-Nehisi Coates (accidentally) makes the case for HBO’s Confederate

Few things unite liberals and leftists on social media these days like April Reign’s call for a boycott of David Benioff’s and D.B. Weiss’s proposed HBO miniseries. Their argument seems to be twofold. First, the plot itself, an alternative history that imagines a Confederate victory in the United States Civil War, is simply too dangerous […]

Utopia, Dystopia, and the Clockwork Orange Effect

While most fiction has an element of the the utopian — has anybody fallen quite so immediately and passionately in love as Romeo and Juliet? — or the dystopian — was London really as bad during the Industrial Revolution as it is depicted in the novels of Charles Dickens? — the modern “dystopian novel” as […]

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 […]