My new Think Again column is called, “David Mamet, My Hero” but he’s not really my hero, here.
In my new Nation column, I explain why I so deeply admire Jake Weisberg for his deeply principled commitment to destroy Medicare and cut taxes on the rich, among other things, here.
In Academe, they write, “The slow collapse of the newspaper industry has opened up public discourse to additional infusions of ideologically motivated misinformation. Walter Lippmann wouldn’t be pleased, writes Eric Alterman," here.
In the Daily Beast, they write, “Although Dominique Strauss-Kahn fits the stereotype of rich, leftist, Jewish banker preying on the poor and getting ethnic support from notable friends, there have been few anti-Jewish attacks on him in France, showing that claims of an anti-Semitism epidemic in the country are overblown, writes Eric Alterman,” here.
This just in: Editor of Feminist Press Prefers Philip Roth Not Sit On Her Face. No really, here.
Let’s see. I caught Paul Simon’s recent show at the Beacon in support of his new CD “So Beautiful or So What?” The album has been getting better reviews than any Paul Simon album in a long time. I’m having trouble remembering the songs though. The lyrics are deep and true. I think my problem is with the rhythm of the tunes, which has not yet quite cohered for me, after about seven or eight listens. The concert was blissful, though. Paul put together a crack eight piece band and they play like a smooth, tight unit regardless of the type of music he has them playing at the moment. There were only two Simon & Garfunkel songs: a solo “Sound of Silence” and “The Only Living Boy in New York.” He could have played every night for a week and still left out a masterpiece here or there. Simon is inconsistent and sometimes pissy, but like Woody Allen, his genius and his rootedness help us live our lives more connected, less alone in this great and cruel city. Information about the new record is here.
Speaking of this city, if you live here, go see the new Tony Kushner play, “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide…” at the Public Theater that I quote at length in my new Nation column. One of the silliest things Andrew Ferguson says in that David Mamet piece is that Tony is a writer of “agitprop.” Together with Tom Stoppard, Tony is our greatest living playwright, and although this play is way too long, it is challenging intellectually and emotionally on a level that floats above almost anything else you can find in film or theater these days. Flawed as it was, I loved it. Ticket info here. I’ve seen a lot of Broadway plays of late. If you’re thinking of going here is the order I would pick. (I did not see “Book of Mormon” yet.)