David Brooks: The Thin Man Who Went Over the Mountain

As every reader knows, getting inside the head of someone else, especially a real person, carried danger even for a skilled writer of fiction. Eudora Welty did it well in her 1963 short… Continue reading

A Blur of Pretty: Car-Touring of the Irish Republic

There’s no way to capture in a picture or in words what you see heading down Irish backroads in County Cork and County Kerry on the way from Blarney Castle to the old… Continue reading

Squeal, by Donald Trump

We all know how it starts, the famous first line: “I destroyed the best minds of my generation through madness, stark hysterical naked.” But do we remember the last section? Steve Bannon! I’m… Continue reading

“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