Jan 132018

Evanston RoundTable, Jan. 11, 2018 Funny the things we remember. I read once, as a kid, about a jet fighter pilot who was testing a new plane. The plane stalled and he went into a tailspin. Try as he might he could not engage the gear to pull the plane up. With the ground fast approaching and nothing to lose […click to read more…]

Jan 132018

Evanston RoundTable, Dec. 28, 2017 Americans have a fixation on eating and weight, and every year countless articles, books, and TV segments are churned out telling us about the latest diet fad. But rarely do they consider the essential component, which is hunger. For thousands of years, hunger was humankind’s constant companion and scourge. The Bible spells out dozens of […click to read more…]

Dec 152017

Evanston RoundTable, Dec. 14, 2017 Welcome, everyone, thanks for coming. So glad you all could be here. Wish I could too! (Awkward pause.) It’s OK to laugh, I’m just kidding! Actually of course, I am here, laid out in this nice plywood box, very comfy in my favorite cashmere sweater, blue jeans and sensible loafers. No suit and tie for […click to read more…]

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…]