Anxiety of the Father

Every life follows a different trajectory and each comes with its share of joys and disappointments. For me, now, at 53, life is better than it has ever been. I have a wife and two (young) children. I have the best job I’ve ever had, and I enjoy it. At the same time I’m feeling a lot of anxiety and worry and it’s keeping me from enjoying these in-between years. I gather that the worst years for anxiety for men (and maybe women as well) is the years between 50–54–the interval in which I’ve had both of my children. My … Continue reading Anxiety of the Father

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Sexuality Struggle

For a long time I’ve suspected that I might be gay or bisexual. Years and years ago when I lived in NYC as a boy I used to wander down Christopher Street–then ground-zero for gay culture–and be fascinated and curious about the leather culture that seemed to dominate the street back then. My boy-on-boy experiences were really non-existent unless you count a long-long ago session of dressing up in pantyhose with another boy when I was no more than about four or five. Also, there were moments in locker rooms when I almost got an erection, though I was too … Continue reading Sexuality Struggle

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When I Have Fears

I have a spot on my head that itches–it’s near the crown of my head, on the right hand side–from what I can see it looks pinkish. I can’t see the proper dimensions because my hair covers it. About seven months ago I went to a dermatologist who said it was nothing, but something feels raised, almost as if there is a significant ridge there. There is also a slight itching but no nodule or ulceration.  Last Wednesday I also developed what I believe to be a basal cell carcinoma on my right cheek. Far be it from me to … Continue reading When I Have Fears

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Vancouver Art Gallery

We’re the Vancouver Art Gallery. Our permanent collection is full of local and contemporary art. If you’ve spent most of your life looking at great art (e.g. art of enduring historical value) you won’t recognize anything much in our collection. Somewhere–deep in our storage vaults–we apparently have some Dutch paintings from the 17th century, but we basically never take them out. (We’re going to take them out in 2013 but pair them with some contemporary art so that you don’t really need to look at those silly old Dutch paintings. When you come to them simply let your eyes glaze … Continue reading Vancouver Art Gallery

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Parody–The Town of Doggy Sparrow, South Carolina

News has broken today of groundbreaking for a town to be called Doggy Sparrow in South Carolina. Doggy Sparrow will be located near Love Angel Valley where in 2002 the obscure Wrong Sisters established a cemetery for deniers of global warming. Wilma Wrong, (Olive Wrong’s sister) was quoted as saying “This here cemetery is for them folks who like us who don’t believe in progress. Damnit, we like to be backwards. Here in Doggy Sparrow everyone will go underground head first! ‘Cause that’s the part they used most in life.” Continue reading Parody–The Town of Doggy Sparrow, South Carolina

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Why We Need the Tabloids – NYTimes.com

Why We Need the Tabloids – NYTimes.com. The tabloids may test the limits of the ethically or legally acceptable, but they are often doing so in the service of a popular desire to see behind the facade of public life. They rely on the appeal (a very human one) of seeing elements of our societies that are often shamefully hidden away from view.The tabloids are the newspapers most dutifully dedicated to ideas of exposure, and are willing to take risks in the service of that goal. It may be the case that much of what they expose is perhaps of little … Continue reading Why We Need the Tabloids – NYTimes.com

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Film Comment: “Kick-Ass”

To criticize movie violence is the surest way to be branded a scold, a moralist, a worrywart who refuses to understand that movies are not real. As someone who often revels in the visceral thrills of cinematic action and the bloodthirsty satisfactions of dramatic vengeance, I’m not inclined to fit that stereotype. But I also think that the uncritical defense of brutality on film, especially of the unimaginative, half-jokey sadism that drives this latest superhero movie, can be evasive and irresponsible. It also disturbs me that, unlike naughty language or sexuality, violence is rarely seen as scandalous these days. via … Continue reading Film Comment: “Kick-Ass”

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A Fine Art of Balance

A Fine Art of Balance Poetry Review As anyone who’s ever taken a course in literature knows, the two basic elements of any narrative are plot and character. Without these bare-bones elements a narrative loses its legs and collapses. Yet the hard part every writer struggles with is how to make their choices about plot and character com-pelling. Put bluntly, readers want to read about interesting beings doing interesting things. In a sense all literary works are measured against our own internal sense of whether and how well that happens. Some narratives are heavily descriptive and become interesting simply through … Continue reading A Fine Art of Balance

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The Crimes of Modern Architecture

The time has come to kill architectural modernism. While the ideas that underlay the movement produced some fine buildings (though admittedly none that come to mind) the dictum of Adolf Loos in his essay “Ornament and Crime” that avoidance of ornament was “a sign of spiritual strength” could not be more wrong. Loos likely was responding in part to religion and a world of religious edifices that had always been decorated. In the early years of the 20th century, when a new spirit of rational inquiry evolved in Europe and when ideas of social equality were coming to the fore, … Continue reading The Crimes of Modern Architecture

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The Angel of Urbanism

Enrique Penalosa, the former mayor of Bogota, has a wonderful Q & A in the New York Times in which he claims that “sidewalks are the basis of democracy.” He hardly needs to say more—he is the angel of urbanism. There is no clearer statement of urban values than the idea that walkable, high-density core cities and democracy are near equivalents. It ought to be a clear principle that in this age of global warming and environmental destruction that walking and biking are not only the future of the world but are forces for moral good. Bravo Mr. Penalosa, keep … Continue reading The Angel of Urbanism

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