Don Henley’s Mesopotamian Connection: “The Boys of Sumer”

I’ve tried submitting this to many prestigious journals of Ancient Near Eastern history, but no one seems to believe that the following pretty much a word-for-word translation from some dusty cuneiform tablets: Nobody on the road Cuz roads ain’t been invented yet I feel it in the air Babylon stinkin like a bitch Inundated river, … Continue reading Don Henley’s Mesopotamian Connection: “The Boys of Sumer”

In Praise of Imperfection: Adolescent Whining, the Black Death, & How We Live Today

…here is a section (from a small book of essays) that one reader has asked me to post here, as I work on revising the entire thing… Like many of us, as a lonely and vaguely unhappy teenager I justified a natural tendency towards silence and social awkwardness with the thought, Why would I want … Continue reading In Praise of Imperfection: Adolescent Whining, the Black Death, & How We Live Today

Happy Black Friday

For those who are out stampeding each other for flat-screen TVs, and for those forced to work so others can get their amazing deals, here’s my usual Black Friday post: When asked if the news of the day surprised him anymore, the poet Joseph Brodsky—who grew up in Soviet Russia and came to America in … Continue reading Happy Black Friday

Week of the Bomb: Monday

Impossible decisions remain impossible, even after they’ve been made. Following on yesterday’s post, here are the voices of those scientists and politicians who admitted the horror of the atomic bomb, but saw its creation and deployment as unavoidable; who felt caught up and even powerless in the equally inevitable march of scientific discovery; those who … Continue reading Week of the Bomb: Monday

If You Don’t Believe in Cultural Appropriation, You’re Wrong: A Satire

SAY IT WITH ME: THIS IS SATIRE! I’ve been silent long enough. When college students complained in 2015 that the Asian-themed food in their cafeteria was a mockery and appropriation of a grand culinary tradition, I said nothing. College students have no money after all, why should they complain about bad food, no matter its … Continue reading If You Don’t Believe in Cultural Appropriation, You’re Wrong: A Satire

Week of the Bomb: Tuesday

Impossible decisions remain impossible, even after they’ve been made. Following on yesterday’s post, here are the voices of those scientists and politicians who admitted the horror of the atomic bomb, but saw its creation and deployment as unavoidable; who felt caught up and even powerless in the equally inevitable march of scientific discovery; those who … Continue reading Week of the Bomb: Tuesday