Saturday November 22, 2014
May 26th, 2014
A kiss is nothing. On the sidewalks, in the park, I see one every few minutes, a real kiss, lip to lip. It barely registers. It's as unremarkable as a car horn in traffic, as an umbrella in rain.
And yet a kiss is everything. A kiss can stop the world.
The football player Michael Sam recently demonstrated as much. So did my experience last Sunday, in a Broadway theater, of all places.
Of the many things being said about climate change lately, none was more eloquent than the point made by Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state in the Showtime series "Years of Living Dangerously," when he observed: "We're the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it."
Some people have such a radical vitality, such an electric consciousness, such a lifelong love affair with the world that when they stop breathing, it's like a wind dying, like the waning and disappearing of a light.
And the world feels duller and dumber and more lackluster without them.
Tay Thi Nguyen is one of the mightiest people I've met, at 94 pounds. She has a towering presence, at a bit more than 5 feet tall. She is so strong that she probably could bench press 25 pounds.
Memorial Day is a peculiarly appropriate holiday for our times. Its origins lie in the Civil War, which resulted from the failure of a deeply polarized political system to settle the question of slavery.
When Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., remarked last week that some of the opposition to President Obama's Affordable Care Act is "maybe he's of the wrong color," he was just saying out loud what many people believe. And no, he wasn't calling Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., a "racist."
What's happening in the Republican primaries is less a defeat for the tea party than a surrender by the GOP establishment, which is winning key races by accepting the tea party's radical anti-government philosophy.
I knew before arriving that Netflix's "House of Cards" was an unexpected hit here. Still, it took the ripped-from-the-airwaves coincidence of five members of the Chinese military indicted on charges of cyber espionage to grasp more fully the allure of this American political drama for Chinese citizens and leaders alike.
A plague of heroin addiction is upon us. Another plague. Heroin was the crisis that prompted Richard Nixon to launch the war on drugs in 1971.
Time marched on. Cocaine and then crack cocaine and then methamphetamine overtook heroin as the drugs of the moment. Now heroin is back -- and badder than ever.