In the Hamilton’s Federal Papers, the one (#68) dealing with the election of a President, much quoted now since the Electors are supposed to be the last guard preventing a foreign power to meddle with the election, a remarkable passage caught my eye: “The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of … Continue reading
to Helen Rosenthal, New York City Council member, regarding a community forum she organized on December 8, 2016 at the John Jay College, Upper West Side: . Dear Helen: I don’t want to come across as ungrateful — I very much appreciate your initiative in organizing this event — but I walked out of it … Continue reading
The Founding Fathers did not imagine that one day a man devoid of any moral compass, an ungentleman in other words, or a brute, would pass all scrutiny of the national selection process and wind up the winner of the presidential race. As a consequence, most basic restrictions imposed by ethics – forbidding any conflict … Continue reading
My mind is in knots. A man who never got past adolescence, a spoiled brat, who enriched himself throughout his life by fraudulent transactions, who has insulted minorities, physically abused women, a man who has no experience in public office, has been elected president. This is a cosmic joke. He doesn’t read, but follows his … Continue reading
Today I attended a memorial to Fritz Stern, the Historian, who died in May. Stern left Germany with his parents in 1938, just 2 weeks before the Kristallnacht. He studied PreMed, then switched to History, to start a distinguished career that led him to join the faculty of Columbia for many years. His focus, or … Continue reading
. . The actors: God, Assistant God, Messenger. [God and Assistant God are casually dressed but both wear a cardboard halo that flaps when they move their heads as it is supported by a single spoke. The Messenger wears a uniform that shows rudiments of golden wings in the area of the shoulder blades. God … Continue reading
. 1. In the hills of that country, animals the size of your thumbnail used to sit on the branches of elm trees and sing. … 2. Herb made a fast, determined movement with his left hand – he was left-handed from birth, or as long as he could remember – and the little green … Continue reading
. Five thousand years from now, the people that are left on this earth will admire the grace and delicacy with which horses were rendered in acryl on hexagonal tilings — the medium of the day — not far from the ruins that once were the Towers of Trump on the Island of Man-Hattan, an … Continue reading
. It often seems to me that the sheer uniqueness of our existence, its frailty, and the uncertainty of my own survival beyond the span of a few years would call for outbursts of celebration, outbursts of a different sort than the ones coming from me. Instead, I’m spending my time with myopic affairs. This … Continue reading
. The whole space shivers — how can we maintain our composure, thinking of our whole body contracting and dilating every which way by a fraction of the diameter of a proton? Not that we or our friends would notice it, but it is the idea that counts: that our very dimensions are changed by … Continue reading
. I see Kurt Vonnegut’s luminescent beings, thoseHacksaw Ridge movie streaming propelled by incessant farting on another planet — the name is of no consequence — caught in the act of foreplay, giddy at that. The world watches, listens for needles to drop, the ocean boils in anticipation, the fish are open-mouthed and shudder at … Continue reading
. It was the experience of wandering around in his own mind, during all his wake moments, like a man who walks in the thicket of a forest, forgetful yet with bouts of certainty and firm knowledge that a treasure was there that would never go away. And just like that man walking by chance … Continue reading
. I have spent time lately reading John Berger’s Selected Essays (ed. Geoff Dyer). It is a treasure trove of gems. Here, an excerpt from an essay entitled “White Bird:” . “Art does not imitate nature, it imitates a creation, sometimes to propose an alternative world, sometimes simpy to amplify, to confirm, to make social … Continue reading
. It is not often that one sees asterixes in the landscape, but here they proliferate, as if many footnotes are needed to be accommodated in a text we cannot (yet) fully understand.
High above our thoughts and aspirations, there is beauty, incomprehensible beauty. download Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 2016 movie We need to sit still to take it all in. We are creatures that are capable of awe, that is, an unflinging openness to entirely new experiences. . . .
The annual pillow fight at West Point Academy has turned bloody this summer. Metal objects hidden inside the pillows caused concussions, broken bones, and a lot of blood. It is an exercise — we should grant this to the young creative cadets — that is much more realistic in preparation for real combat, which has … Continue reading
It all makes sense now. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, the inventor of the broken windows law, cannot see the display of a naked breast in public as anything but the first step toward Sodom and Gomorrah. And we have all been told what happened to that place after it was torn up by God’s wrath!
Decapitation emerges as a theme of the chaotic world we live in. In Games of Thrones the act of decapitating is liberally pursued; entire fences are shown stacked with heads whose contorted faces give us nightmares. A copycat act in France resulted in the head of a Frenchman spiked on a fence. ISIS has used … Continue reading
Today I received an e-mail from an unknown person in Japan. It seems that this person is part of the Royal family, and in some state of distress. Is it the granddaughter of the Emperor who is blowing the whistle? Reading the message, we will never now. Why do I get messages from a member … Continue reading
Some people who know me know that I’m working in the field of translation, meaning translation of genetic code into a sequence of amino acids forming a protein, or protein biosynthesis. So much so good. Or rather, I’m sure I lost 90% of the audience already. Now the remaining ones please bear with me. In … Continue reading