Tom Stoppard’s wonderful play Rock N’ Roll covers the period between 1968, when Soviet tanks rolled into Prague, and 1990, when the Rolling Stones played the city. It’s Stoppard at his near-best: warm and funny, romantic and revolutionary, dedicated to ideas.
At the heart of the play is the reluctant dissident Jan. In Prague, says Jan, “there is only one agent of truth. That is not human—humans disagree with each other.”
In a few weeks, my partner Daniel and I will celebrate five years of marriage. Since we live in Minnesota, where same-sex marriage is not legal, it was not something recognized by the state. But our marriage, our joining together, was blessed by the church. We had our ceremony at an Episcopal church in the southern Twin Cities suburbs.
James Bennet's post from earlier this week made an important and timely point. First he observes that a lot of political reporting has taken a turn from the destructive banality of he-said-she-said false equivalency stuff and toward playing an explicit fact-checking role. (I'm among those who welcome this enthusiastically.)
Then he poses this somewhat chilling question: "What if it turns out that when the press calls a lie a lie, nobody cares?"
Bennet was talking about the Romney campaign's ads misrepresenting the Obama administration's policy on welfare-to-work. But his post seems all the more relevant today, in the wake of Congressman Ryan's speech at the RNC last night.
Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Richard Posner mocks the British father-son pair Robert and Edward Skidelsky for wondering about the balance between work and leisure in contemporary society.
One hundred years ago this summer, a fundamentalist Christian stood before the convention of a major political party and offered an impromptu resolution. He ended his impassioned speech by quoting words of Jesus. The speech was not what you might expect.