The Age of Ophelia and the Sticky Transom

We live in The Age of Ophelia and of the sticky transom, and neither of those things are good, or worthy, when day is done. Ophelia is one of the most insipidly sad characters in all of Shakespeare’s greatest works — and in Hamlet, she not only dies a coward’s death — she also deeply burns disappointment into every reader of the play and observer of her character in performance.

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Memeing What You Say: My People, My Home

There’s an Old Black Guy who stands outside the Journal Square Bus station in Jersey City station selling newspapers on the sidewalk every morning.  He greets everyone who walks past him with a hearty, “Good morning, and how are you doin’ this fine day?”  His voice is syrupy and friendly, but since he repeats that phrase to single person who passes by, the genuineness of the greeting quickly becomes lost in the rote citation.

One morning, an Old White Guy came up to the Old Black Guy and I overheard their conversation that I will share with you now.

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A Perishable Impulse

August 1961.  Teenage East German border guard Conrad Schumann leaps to freedom on the Western side.  The Cold War begins.

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Doing the Wrong Right Thing

Science has proven when an animal is trapped by fire it will always try to flee the flames, even if that means leaping off a ledge or jumping into unknown waters and into death.  We saw evidence of that self-salvation in the brutality of the World Trade Center as people willingly leapt from windows one hundred storeys above the ground — some even joined hands in the free-fall — just to escape the fireball burning their bodies.

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Getting Up and Out

Do you remember the moment when you decided to get up and move away from your hometown and family?

What that decision voluntary or not?

What prodded you to make the move: College, marriage, military service or something else?

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The sharp whistle calls
a wild, lonesome, heart homeward
while home fades crying