Arts & Leisure

Robin Williams and inner peace

The mania was always part of the magic. Now, with Robin Williams dead by his own hand at the age of 63, we can only wonder if that magic came at a costly price. Of course, for those of us who didn’t know Williams, such wondering is grim, speculative and…  [more]

Seinfeld, sitcoms and simpler times

Gone are the days of Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine. It's been 25 years since the debut of Seinfeld, and the sitcom landscape has significantly changed. Recently, Robert O’Connell wrote a compelling piece for The Atlantic about his favorite childhood sitcom, a mediocre series called Just Shoot Me. The show…  [more]

Bearing false witness on Survivor: Cagayan

If you want to be on Survivor, practice fire-making, spearfishing and silencing your conscience, because one of the essential tools of the game is the bald-faced lie. On last week’s Survivor: Cagayan, ex-policeman Tony found himself struggling to shore up his four-person alliance. He faced a simple math problem: only…  [more]

Hot in Cleveland and the sneaky secularism of sitcoms

Equipped with a “just for laughs!” cloaking device, sitcoms have long played a pivotal role in spreading secularism from America’s urban coastal centers to its heartland. For half a century, the attitudes of Manhattanites and Los Angelenos toward sex, race, gender, piety, politics and a host of other culture-war battlegrounds…  [more]

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