“They are the instigators, not me“

When suspense novelist Stanley Ellin had his potential mass murderer create a manifesto about his plans and actions, he was making things up. The book that resulted, The Dark Fantastic, appeared in 1983.… Continue reading

“You’re Racist.” “No, You’re Racist.”

In the 1980s, suspense writer Stanley Ellin was accused of racism for presenting a first-person narrator of the most virulent (dare I say “Trumpian”?) sort in his novel The Dark Fantastic. Pointing out… Continue reading

Hesitation Blues or ‘Slow Down, Casey Jones’

“Can I let you know? Why must I hesitate?” –Reverend Gary Davis Though I like the resolution passed by the House of Representatives condemning Trump’s tweets, maybe there’s something to be said for… Continue reading

Is Doing a Joebiden Our Only Option?

In May, I ran into someone at the local dog park who I hadn’t seen since right after the 2016 election. A libertarian of the Ayn Rand sort, he’s got a political-science PhD… Continue reading

Moving Away from the Digital in a Smartphone-Altered Universe

Never were online courses adequate substitutes for face-to-face teaching. Like correspondence courses before them, they do fill a need and they can provide motivated students with a viable alternative. But they should never… Continue reading

Camp Morning Wood: A Very Naked Musical

Mark Eardley’s new Off-Broadway musical Camp Morning Wood: A Very Naked Musical opened two days ago at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwright’s Horizon, 416 West 42nd Street. We saw the late afternoon… Continue reading


When I returned for good from my years in Africa, my life before, understandably, seemed something of a dream. I tried to reconnect, but it was sometimes difficult to bridge the gap between… Continue reading

Lies and (Self) Deception

“The new movement must be, in part, exclusive and elite. It must not be afraid to pass along a body of knowledge that is not readily accessible to and understandable by everyone.” That’s… Continue reading

Court and Crisis

It’s crisis time. Oh, I know, we’ve been living on the edge of disaster for more than two years—longer, actually. Now, though, as it did at the end of 2000, the fate of… Continue reading

Mystery Machines or Master Teachers: Which Do You Prefer?

What’s optimal for education, the teacher as adjunct to the machine—or the other way around? Whatever the rest of us might decide, Silicon Valley has answered this question to its own satisfaction—one way… Continue reading