Category Archives: Commentary

Opinion or analysis concerning whatever’s on my mind.

Possum Mechanics

Max Planck invented the term “quantum,” writes Deepak Chopra, a professor of family medicine and public health, in a letter to the NYTimes. He quotes a 1931 interview with The Observer of London in which Planck said, “I regard matter as … Continue reading

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When Is Kill Not “Over”?

The illustration made me read this essay by Michelle Goldberg (“Margaret Atwood’s Dystopia, and Ours,” NYTimes, 9-14-19). On first glance, the picture’s Dairy Queen Blizzard ™ of cartoon imagery made me grumpy. Whatever it purports to symbolize, I thought, this … Continue reading

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Twice Broken

Roberta Smith describes Ernst Ludwig Kirchner as “the best and most versatile of the German Expressionists.” Like many 20th-century German painters, Kirchner was twice broken, by World I, which resulted in his nervous breakdown, and the rise of Hitler, which … Continue reading

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A Pioneer Gallerist

In 1926, Edith Gregor Halpert (1900-1970), an émigré from Ukraine, opened the Downtown Gallery on West 13th Street. It was the first gallery in Greenwich Village and she was the city’s first female gallerist… Horace Pippin, Stuart Davis, Charles Sheeler … Continue reading

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Grisaille

Roberta Smith situates artist Amy Sherald within a group of youngish painters … who have broken with, absorbed or simply ignored modernist abstraction. Instead, they work with the figure as a way of reaching broader audiences; dealing with issues of … Continue reading

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Sashaying Words

As a linguist I collect jargon from exotic domains such as counterpoint, quantum mechanics, cricket — and now, children’s drag. The topic has surfaced in a current article by Alice Hines: “Sashaying Their Way Through Youth,” NYTimes, 9-8-19. I’m currently … Continue reading

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Ambiguous Freedom

Film maker Gus Van Sant is known for “Drugstore Cowboy,” “My Own Private Idaho,” and “Good Will Hunting.” I didn’t know he also painted. Watercolor on linen is an unfamiliar combination for me. I’m not sure I would look too … Continue reading

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