Dec 012017

Evanston RoundTable, Nov. 30, 2017 There were two boys who were schoolmates and best friends. But they were very different. Bobby seemed to have it all: smart, good-looking, and athletic, he was quarterback of the football team, dated the most popular girls, and had top grades. Plus his family had a lot of money. Kasheem wasn’t much of a student […click to read more…]

Nov 172017

Evanston RoundTable, Nov. 16, 2017 Every day seems to bring more accusations of and discussion about sexual harassment, as women everywhere are emboldened to speak out and men begin to realize that sexual misconduct of any type (whether theirs or someone else’s) is no longer amusing or acceptable. It is not hard to pinpoint the exact moment when this thinking […click to read more…]

Nov 022017

Evanston RoundTable, Nov. 2, 2017 It seems like every other Evanston conversation begins with a complaint and ends with a question. The complaint is about the state of the world, from dysfunction in Washington and Springfield to rampant gun violence, crumbling infrastructure, racial and gender inequity, and much more. The question is, what can be done? Most of us feel […click to read more…]

Oct 192017

Evanston RoundTable, Oct. 19, 2017 From Kafka to the Existentialists, alienation and isolation have been central tenets of modern life. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, everyone experiences “the same condition of infinite remoteness.” But is that really true? The facts suggest otherwise. We are all wrapped up in and connected by togetherness, and our remoteness is mostly an aberration, […click to read more…]

Oct 052017

Evanston RoundTable, Oct. 5, 2017 There is a big upside to the downside of life’s brevity: it focuses our attention on getting things done. Many years ago I volunteered at an Evanston-based hospice that worked with the dying. We were there to provide essential chores and relieve the main caregivers for a few hours so they could get out. Given […click to read more…]

Sep 222017

Evanston RoundTable, Sept. 21, 2017 Northwestern University’s Block Museum is readying a major exhibit on the English poet and artist William Blake, who died in obscurity in 1827 at the age of 69. Blake illustration to “The Shepherd” from Songs of Innocence, 1789 Since then countless artists, radicals, critics, and connoisseurs have discovered Blake’s intense and passionate vision and radical […click to read more…]

Sep 222017

Evanston RoundTable, Sept. 21, 2017 In a world brought low by hateful politics, toxic weather, and a seemingly endless supply of misery and divisiveness, it is well to remember the everyday miracles we take for granted. Consider flight. A recent trip to New York began with a phone call to a cab company to drive me to the airport. I […click to read more…]

Aug 252017

Evanston RoundTable, Aug. 24, 2017 Are you feeling dull, depressed, muddled? Looking for ways to brighten and improve your life? To stay mentally sharp, change things up! Change can be accomplished in lots of ways big and small, many of which are easy and free. For instance: Go to work a different way. If you take the train, try the […click to read more…]

Aug 132017

Evanston RoundTable, August 10, 2017 Some sayings are about as useful as the breath used to say them. (Including this one.) Not all, of course. Whether you call them sayings, slogans, aphorisms, axioms, maxims, proverbs, words of wisdom, epigrams, precepts, platitudes, catchphrases, truisms, or (sometimes) clichés, there are many that are interesting, funny, and occasionally valuable. The master was Ben […click to read more…]