“Howl, howl, howl, howl!”

31 August 2009: “The Happy Hooker” for Kids

To encourage more effectively a life-long habit of pleasurable reading, many public and private elementary schools and even some middle schools in New York are now starting “reading workshops” which abandon the traditional teaching of previously-required texts like To Kill a Mockingbird or Huckleberry Finn, encouraging children instead to bring in books of their own choosing to read.  Okay, so what if a precocious kid rummages through dad’s library and brings in Lady Chatterley’s Lover or The Happy Hooker?

30 August 2009: Enigmatic New Yorker Cover

A feminist friend writes me the following about the enigmatic cover of the August 31 issue of The New Yorker: “We see, from the back, a white-haired man carrying a slender girl into the water, toward the moon, from a beach marked with a No Trespassing sign. Could this be a reference to Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne, and a message of some sort of redemption?” What do you think?

26 August 2009: Ted Kennedy

They say the Senator is dead.  Republicans will probably refrain from dancing in the streets, but watch them all weep crocodile tears as the lion continues to roar for health care reform, even in death.  He may have passed.  Now let’s hope what he fought for his whole life will finally come to pass.

23 August 2009: Slanguage

So, what words do “hip” people use these days to say that something is “cool” or “uncool?” According to today’s Sunday New York Times, it’s “so (not) Obama” anymore to say that someone or something is “so Obama,”  and I’ve never even heard the expression until I read the article.  Just sayin,’ just sayin.’

21 August 2009: Writing Newspaper Headlines

Writing newspaper headlines is an art.  Witness the front page story in yesterday’s Lawrence Journal-World about Bernadette Gray-LIttle, the  exciting new chancellor at the University of Kansas.  The headline?  Gray-Little stresses worth of pursuing education. Hmmmm. Was this ever in doubt?  So what’s the subtext here?

16 July 2009: Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor reassures the Senate Judicial Committee that she is all for “the letter of the law.”  She cleverly dodges all questions about “empathy” or “the spirit of the law.” She refuses to be our Antigone to their Republican Kreons.