naked cap: Unemployment is Miserable and Doesn’t Spawn an Upsurge in Personal Creativity.

The reality is that there is an on-going malaise – a deeply entrenched sense of failure is overwhelming, which stifles happiness and creativity, even after the individual is able to return to work. This negativity, borne heavily by the individual, however, also impacts on society in general.

Boy howdy. I have friends and acquaintances, recently reemployed, who are still struggling with the feelings of inadequacy and 'otherness' as a result of long-term unemployment. You're told that a college degree should pretty much insulate you against employment undesirability, but when the reality hits that you're not really any better off than a GED holder in the current employment environment ... that shakes and damages multiple points of cultural 'faith'.

The Paris Review: What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men?

Hemingway’s girlfriend, the writer Martha Gellhorn, didn’t think the artist needed to be a monster; she thought the monster needed to make himself into an artist. “A man must be a very great genius to make up for being such a loathsome human being.” (Well, I guess she would know.)

As you know, this is bothering me right now. I ask myself why I can so easily erase Polanski, but still respect Picasso. Perhaps because I was introduced to Picasso as 'great artist' first in my youth, Polanski first as a troubled genius/rapist in my adulthood. Woody Allen has always driven me bonkers. "Sleeper" is about the only Allen (with himself in it) film I could sit through ... my urge to stuff a sock in his mouth and drop him off at a bus station is just too strong.

Ethics are not supposed to be easy. And they're always worth contemplating. I am concerned about how my choices affect my overall character. Is it not true, that if we can rationalize the output of a monster ... then we can rationalize slavery, the medical experiments on concentration camp survivors, etc.?

I can't bear to do that. Again, we run up against moral consistency as being virtual handcuffs, and moral relativity looking awfully seductive but ultimately deadly to modern society.

Context can help. But when the context is expired, when the monster is dead ... then what? I look to the fact that Hitler is long burnt, but we have Nazis in our streets ... the same streets that housed those who so valiantly defeated the scourge.

Public Books: Love in a Broken World.

How much agency do women really have?

Important questions asked within. I often talk about the roadblocks and purposeful handicaps that are legislated into public assistance ... there are societal, cultural and legislative roadblocks for minorities, women, also. 

If we spent less time handicapping 'others', we might have the society we dream of.

Catapult: My Mother Has Terminal Cancer, and I Can’t Seem to Stop Buying Sweaters.

I know that I’m operating on the level of superstition, collecting sweaters like talismans in order to stave off what I already understand: Mourning cannot be circumvented, and some holes cannot be plugged.

The vacuum, in my experience, becomes filled with nuances of the missing person that you observe in others ... family members, friends, strangers. You learn not to reach for those nuances ... as soon as you try to grasp, the wisp of soul is gone. Continuing the lesson of having less attachment to things that are gone forever. When they come, merely observe and smile, appreciate the experience. These experiences are a gift to you and you alone, noone else would understand or appreciate the circumstance.

Groping has "never been acceptable"????!!!!

1995, People's Choice Awards. Prime time TV. Tells you a lot about the '90's. Scripted, yes, but that doesn't save it. This didn't even make a blip in the newspapers. Clinton was tattooing the wallpaper in the Oval Office with Lewinsky, and Packwood was stacking 'em like cordwood in Congress.

"You get the culture you allow; you get the culture you ignore."

I haven't decided what to do with "good ol' boy" Moore yet, but I can tell you what to do with Franken - he needs to become intimately acquainted with the nature of his violations. And we have a unique opportunity at this moment in time.

Rent him a room for the night.

With Kevin Spacey.