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Haunted by the Tragedy of Wendy

Today I am haunted by yesterday and the tragic death of Playwright Wendy Wasserstein. She died of lymphoma at the age of 55. Her sister died of breast cancer at 60. Wendy, unmarried, left behind a six-year-old daughter named Lucy Jane who was born three months premature and weighed 1-pound, 12-ounces at birth.

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Affording Cheap Shoes

When I was a graduate student at Columbia University in the City of New York, my friend and mentor Howard Stein said this to me: “David, you don’t have any money; you can’t afford cheap shoes.”

He was right and I have abided that sage advice ever since.

It is better to buy quality once at a higher price than to keep paying a cheaper price more often for a product of lesser quality because, in the end, cheap shoes are more expensive.

One Year Under God

Over the past year, I’ve written about the ridiculous effort to “save” Terri Schiavo‘s body from her dead brain, the ruse of Intelligent Design, and the tragedy of Homeschooling and then recently in The New York Times genius Frank Rich nails every 2005 coffin closed on the open and un-brawly intents of the religious right and other pretenders in two paragraph gems from a jewel of an essay:

An ersatz war on Christmas fits all too snugly into a year that began with the religious right’s (unsuccessful) efforts to destroy the box office and Oscar prospects of Clint Eastwood’s “Million Dollar Baby” and “save” Terri Schiavo and that ended with a federal judge banishing intelligent design from high school biology classes.

In his sweeping 139-page opinion, that judge, John Jones III, put his finger on the hypocrisy of many of those most ostentatiously defending faith from its alleged assailants in America. Referring to the fundamentalists on the Dover, Pa., school board, he wrote that it was “ironic” that those who “so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the intelligent design policy.” That passage fits much of the dishonesty and cynicism perpetrated in the name of religion in America over the past 12 months.

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Why I Love Jack FM

Yesterday I had to find a new radio station to have on all day since Howard Stern is gone and his old station in New York plans to move from a classic rock format to all talk in January. I looked around all the radio choices and picked Jack FM on 101.1 (be careful if you click that link because you’ll be overwhelmed with loud audio) in New York because I’d heard a lot about the Jack-FM-Format-as-iPod experience.

 Jack FM logo

I love Jack FM because it feels programmed just for me. I get great variety and excellent songs. The “Jack” announcer is annoying and robotic but I listen for the music not for the talk.

Why Howard Stern Will Fail

Today is Howard Stern’s last day on regular radio. In a few weeks he will disappear on satellite radio where you will have to pay to hear him. Howard is being paid $500 million over the next five years to fade away and that’s an offer that would be hard for anyone to turn down. I miss the early days when Howard was cutting-edge funny and was the hero of the ordinary person struggling to make it from one day to the next.

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Script Doctor Magic

I have many secret lives. I will reveal one of them to you now: For the past 15 years I have been a well-paid Script Doctor for select Hollywood and New York writers, producers and independent production companies.

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