Robert Mundell On Why The Market Is Feminine

Robert Mundell received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1999 for his work in “monetary dynamics and optimum currency areas.” (He is currently professor of economics at Columbia University.) For as long as I can remember, I’ve owned a copy of his little primer, Man and Economics (McGraw-Hill, 1968; another edition bears the subtitle The ScienceContinue reading “Robert Mundell On Why The Market Is Feminine”

NYPD: In New York, Protests Are A Terror Threat

There truly can be no police department more tone-deaf, more insensitive, more colossally, thickly stupid and offensive than the New York Police Department. Consider, for instance, its latest announcement, that of the formation of a special anti-terror unit: A brand new unit of 350 NYPD officers will roam the city with riot gear and machineContinue reading “NYPD: In New York, Protests Are A Terror Threat”

On Avoiding Company And Conversation

Yesterday afternoon, after I had finished teaching, as I hurried to the Flatbush Avenue subway station to catch a train for my evening workout, I saw a Brooklyn College colleague out of the corner of my eye. I walked on; I did not want to say hello; I did not want to stop and talk.Continue reading “On Avoiding Company And Conversation”

Claude Lanzmann’s ‘Shoah’: The Holocaust Brought To The Present

One of the most distinctive features of Claude Lanzmann‘s Shoah is that it features no archival footage. Not a single second of it. There are no grainy, black-and-white flickering images of Jews being herded into train cars for shipment to concentration camps, pushed and shoved along by brutal, indifferent German soldiers, of camp inmates peeringContinue reading “Claude Lanzmann’s ‘Shoah’: The Holocaust Brought To The Present”

Springing Back To Teaching

I return to teaching tomorrow. The 2015 spring semester kicks off at 9:30 AM with the first meeting of my ’20th Century Philosophy’ class. The class’ description reads: This course will serve as an introduction to some central themes in the twentieth-century’s analytic, post-analytic (or neo-pragmatic), and continental traditions. Time permitting, the philosophers we willContinue reading “Springing Back To Teaching”

All Things Bright And Beautiful: The Sunshine Holiday

On a day like this, as the East Coast digs in and prepares for a blizzard, as my daughter’s daycare shuts down early and as Brooklyn College, my employer, preemptively calls for a closing tomorrow, I figured I might as well write about the time I used to get days off when the sun shone.Continue reading “All Things Bright And Beautiful: The Sunshine Holiday”

Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia And The Insight Of The Depressed

There is a moment during the disastrous wedding reception that kicks off Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia that you suspect the reason Justine the bride is being so mysteriously, bafflingly, awkwardly morose, is that she is aware of an impending apocalypse, the one made imminent by a beautiful blue planet approaching the earth on a collisionContinue reading “Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia And The Insight Of The Depressed”

Nick Kristof Should Stick To High Profile Rescues

Nick Kristof writes on his Twitter feed: Activists perhaps should have focused less on Michael Brown, more on shooting of 12-yr-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland http://nyti.ms/1CHROG7 This is the kind of sensible, pragmatic advice that journalists like Kristof, safely ensconced in their opinion pages, are in the habit of handing out to unhinged radicals everywhere:Continue reading “Nick Kristof Should Stick To High Profile Rescues”

Military Brats And Shoe Shines

A good shoe shine isn’t easy to pull off. You have to do a preliminary cleaning of the shoe first: a removal of the dust and grime that has accumulated on the shoe’s precious leather exterior, perhaps with a cloth or with a spare brush. Then, you apply the polish itself with another small brushContinue reading “Military Brats And Shoe Shines”

On Not Watching Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible

A dozen or so years ago, my now-wife-and-then-girlfriend’s roommate, a young woman who worked as a community organizer, told me that she had recently seen Gaspar Noé‘s recently released Irréversible. She really liked it: it was a disturbing movie, hard to watch because of that notorious eight-minute rape scene and all the other violence, but I,Continue reading “On Not Watching Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible”