Robin Williams and the Murderous Mendacity of Depression – UPDATED

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

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

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

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...]


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