Archive for News and Media

Art, Artifice or Pageantry?

Donald Trump’s disdain for “fake news” is legendary as is his love of pageantry. At this very moment, with Covid-19 ravaging the country, Washington under martial law, and Visigoths planning a second takeover of the U.S. Capitol, The Donald is busy working out the details of his departure pageant – Air Force One, red carpet, honor guard, military flyover, 21-gun salute, and a final pass over the White House on his way to Mar a Lago.

Nero fiddled, Donald fidgets. 

We know about his creepy interest in Miss Teen USA, Miss Universe, and military pageants, but his affection for fake art is less well known. Trump Tower, Mar a Lago, and Bedminster are full of it. You’d think the son of a wealthy New York real estate investor, with an Ivy League diploma, who’d spent most of his adult life in Manhattan would have a nodding acquaintance with the real thing, but from the faux-gold chandeliers and fake Renoir in his Trump Tower apartment to the forged Time Magazine covers of himself at Bedminster, The Donald has shown us his love of fakery.  read more

A Lesson in Freedom…

Following last week’s assault on the US Capitol, CNN released this video of sequestered Republicans refusing to accept or wear masks offered by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. At the time, the room was occupied by close to 100 members hiding from the insurrectionists. Less than a week later, at least four people in that room, including a 75-year-old cancer survivor, tested positive for Covid-19.

In an Op-Ed last week, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote, “Refusing to wear a mask is no more a “personal choice” than is drinking all evening and then stumbling into your car and heading down the road. In a time of plague, shunning a face mask is like driving drunk, putting everyone in your path in danger.” read more

Then and Now…

In the waning days of World War II, France was deeply divided. Invaded in 1940, it quickly capitulated and for four years was humiliated by the German occupation and puppet government in Vichy. 

Local Resistance cells were established throughout the country to aid the Allies and Free French Forces of General Charles de Gaulle’s government in exile, but the majority of French citizens kept their heads down, went carefully about their business, and submitted to the humiliating occupation.  read more

A Trump Allegory…

Over the years I’ve tried on several iterations of Christian orthodoxy–I was baptized Catholic (grandmother’s wish), then went on to Congregational Presbyterian, Unitarian, and Episcopalian versions. Sometimes my engagement was passionate, sometimes not, but I settled on being an Episcopalian 30 years ago because I liked the rituals – the smells and bells – Catholic without those politics. My attitude changed when a rigidly conservative vestry forced my friend, Robert Taylor, Dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral, to resign. He was a star, but gay, and that got under their skin. Since then I’ve felt a kind of benign indifference. read more

Some Pilots’ Pilots…

John Glenn died on December 8, 2016 – four years ago today – at age 95. Chuck Yeager died yesterday at age 97. I didn’t know either of them, but they were models for the kind of pilot and person I aspired to be. Extraordinary men who led remarkable lives and became legends in their own lifetimes.

It’s difficult to write anything original about them. Their biographies are exemplary and posted everywhere, but what strikes me today is the contrast between these citizen heroes and the cowards currently serving in Congress and the White House. These two giants were courageous, quiet, hard-working Americans who answered the call to service, delivered in multiple wars and later in peacetime. John Glenn served 24 years as a US Senator from Ohio following his career as a Marine Corps fighter pilot and astronaut. read more