Current Reader

The Buyer’s Dilemma

Have you ever thought about Genetically Modified Organisms, “Man, I wish I could totally avoid them?” Have you ever wanted to boycott a company like Coca-Cola, only to find out days, even weeks after your most recent grocery trip, that all that Honest Tea you buy goes straight to Coca-Cola’s coffers? Or have you ever […]

The Fans Awaken

In recent years, creators and fans have started to mingle. Fandom was once limited to remote interactions and filtered through journalists, publicists, editors, letters, articles, book signings, film openings. Now, between ComiCon panels and Twitter, fans interact with creators immediately and loudly. More than that, past generations of fans are now themselves acting as creators; in the […]

The Hyper-Vigilante

Speaking as one whose high school gym teacher once called him a “textbook private school turd,” I feel confident in reflecting on the strange, privileged, frustrating, enlightening world that is private education. As a teenager, I was lucky enough to attend classes whose enrollments usually hovered between 5 and 15 students. Above all else, this made classes […]

The Atomic Frenchman

I’m tired of my science-minded friends’ rants about “humanity’s unhindered upward progress.” Sure, most of them will concede in a late night pseudointellectual conversation that the liberal arts all strive to reach some higher truth, and a few have separate bookshelves for their Criterion Collection DVDs, but before they finish their third Marlboro Gold of […]

The Language Of Lincoln

One hundred and fifty years have passed since Lincoln’s assassination and the end of the Civil War. May 4, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral, an event which will be commemorated by thousands of Civil War re-enactors, visitors and dignitaries participating in the 2015 Lincoln Funeral Re-enactment. The Battle of Gettysburg, the […]

Mind The Gap

Lexical gap:   “A perceived gap in the lexicon or vocabulary of a language”; ideas or “relationships that are ‘lexicalised’ or represented in the vocabulary of one language may not be in another.” —A Dictionary of Sociolinguistics   The Roman orator Quintilian said that when communicating “one should aim not at being possible to understand, but […]

Long Sorry Short

Etgar Keret has been called the “hippest Israeli writer,” but I think he is Israel’s sorriest writer. This may come as a surprise. For a long time he has been the darling of the European literati, a sweetheart of American Jewish audiences, and a favorite of students of Hebrew everywhere. His language is easy to […]

Remembering the Rumble in the Jungle

When violent unrest broke out in Ferguson Aug.9 and several ensuing days after the police killing of a young unarmed black man, Gerald Early made the analogy to the 1964 Philadelphia race riot.