Robin Williams and the Murderous Mendacity of Depression – UPDATED

Robin Williams

Depression is a hissing false witness. It lies and tells someone there is no hope; it lies and declares, "you're a fraud"; it lies when it warns you to hide your feelings, because people won't love you if they know how terrified and alone and desperate you feel; it lies and sneers that you're weak -- that you can just snap out of it, anytime, if you really want to; it croons the lie that love is not real, and hope is for suckers; it whispers the most insidious of lies: that your pain will never … [Read more...]

Why Peggy and Joan Were So Harsh to Don Draper

Mad-Men-FieldTrip

I've gotten into a terrible habit of watching Mad Men with one eye on the twitter thread (#MadMen) partly because -- as a tail-end baby boomer -- it's an easy way to quickly get info on some of the show's references which escape me (this week's opener, with Don in a theater watching The Model Shop, for instance) but also because reading people's reactions to the show is hilarious entertainment.Twitter reactions to that show were particularly passionate -- and often profane -- concerning the … [Read more...]

Harold Ramis and the Touch of the Mensch

Egon and the Twinkie

Peter Venkman and Ray Stantz might have been the glamor boys of the Ghostbusters, but Egon Spengler was always my favorite. I loved Harold Ramis' dry, geeky delivery, and admired the genius evident in so many of his films. So sorry to read that Ramis has died at age 69, after a long illness.There was a sweetness to Ramis' stuff; his work was smart, insightful and if it could bite, there was an under-note of kindness to it. I've often wondered if Bill Murray (from whom he was estranged) could … [Read more...]

In Fallon, Finally, a Worthy Carson Successor? – UPDATED

TONIGHT-SHOW-JIMMY-FALLON

Good for Jimmy Fallon for his clever and very smart debut last night as the new host of the Tonight Show. Good for him for bringing it back to New York. Good for NBC for letting him. Finally, I have a reason to check out a late-night talk show again, because finally -- while no one will ever top Johnny Carson in the gig -- a worthy successor has been found.I've always had the sense that Fallon, -- like Carson -- genuinely likes and is entertained by his guests, and he has Carson's instinct … [Read more...]

No Room for God in this “Adoration of the Magi”

adoration_of_the_magi_schierenberg

I really like the way Simcha Fisher analyzes this painting, "The Adoration of the Magi" by Tai-Shan Shierenberg.Is it a problem that these "Magi" are not kings or wise men, that they're not even all men, that they don't have historically accurate clothes or hair, or that they don't show any signs of bearing gifts or of having traveled afar? Not necessarily. These departures from more traditional art may irritate or perplex you, but they aren't enough, in themselves, to disqualify this … [Read more...]

Skins: Encouraging Banality? – UPDATED

There is a headline out there indicating that MTV's controversial new series, "Skins" may be "in danger" of being canceled:MTV’s controversial drama “Skins” is losing advertisers faster than some of its characters lose their clothes.As FOX411 reported, Taco Bell was the first sponsor to withdraw advertising from "Skins," quickly followed by Wrigley, Subway, Foot Locker, L’Oreal and Shick. General Motors and H&R Block both issued statements explaining that their ads were aired during the p … [Read more...]


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