DON'T STOP BELIEVING: Detroit – a Metaphysical City

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I love it when I learn a new word.  Sometimes I hear the word on the radio as I’m driving, and I scribble it on a napkin while revving the engine at a red light.   Sometimes I run across the word while reading, just before sleep overtakes me; and I grab a highlighter from the bedside drawer to mark my new treasure, thus preventing the word from drifting off to join my forgotten dreams.Nancy Pelosi earned sneers and eyerolls earlier this year for a word of her own, when she explained that she mu … [Read more...]

RANDOM ACTS OF CULTURE – "Handel's Messiah" Hits the Mall

Miracle on 34th Street!  Macy's in Philadelphia (not New York, so that's where the cultural reference to the '40s movie falls flat) was the scene of a RANDOM ACT OF CULTURE at noon on October 31, when members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and local choirs broke into an enthusiastic rendition of "Handel's Messiah."  Merry Christmas-- and who cares about Halloween, anyway? This effervescent hubbub prompted me to think about antonyms:  What, exactly, is the opposite of crass commercialism?  Here w … [Read more...]