Syvia Siegel, 1921-2017

November 19, 2017 My mother, Syvia Siegel, died on Tuesday, November 14. She was 95.917 years old and would have been 96 on December 19th. As is the Jewish way, we buried her as soon as was feasible, in her case less than 60 hours after her passing. The rabbi at Congregation Beth Jacob in …

Katniss Everdeen and Michael Bennett: Separated at Birth?

This is about the sports-industrial complex, not about sports. You may be someone who loves watching the games and are a sports fan. You may be someone who almost never watches professional sports, but care deeply about the progress of our nation. You may be both. In all cases, I am writing to you. The …

A Disruptive Play Podcast . . . Something’s Coming!

My book, Disruptive Play: The Trickster in Politics and Culture . . . . will be coming out this fall or winter. Play champion Kara Fortier allowed me to cast my pod in her direction and we got to talking about it on her Playgrounding website. The Trickster Consciousness in a Polarized World with Shepherd …

Let’s Hear It For Burt Bacharach!!!!

In the first half of the 20th century, something wonderful happened in America. Out of vaudeville and music hall theaters, jazz and folk, and the native songs of Stephen Foster, there arose an amazing outpouring of great songwriting. Popular songs, Broadway show tunes, jazz standards, and eventually songs from movies. Some were all four. Some …

June Music: What Do You Think I Am, Some Kind Of Idiom?

June 20-25, five shows in six days. Let’s save the best for the first, on Tuesday, June 20th Pharrell ‘Pharoah’ Sanders, one of the last titans of jazz still with us, concluded a three-day run at Seattle’s Triple Door dinner club. At 76, he continues the journey that he began by the age of 21 …

The Grateful Dead Are That Good The legendary Grateful Dead show from Barton Hall on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York on May 8, 1977, sometime in the late evening, night even—is really great. And I’m thrilled to have all four shows of that May 1977 run, loving Buffalo, New Haven, Ithaca/Cornell, and …

…and here’s the Education Plank of the Kind-of New Kind-of Left in Seattle

What Seattle’s New Left Wants: Education   A Marxist Critique of Identity Politics …and my response: I commend our new left social justice educators for continuing the fight to end institutional racism and address social equity. But this activism leaves the job only half done. Calls for social justice ring hollow when they do not …

Six Songs Each From Six Great 1966 Albums

    If the Beatles of 1963 were the arrival of modern rock, 1966 was the year it moved into its second phase.  I think of 1966 as a year of pregnancy.  The momentum built by the British Invasion and the American Response signaled support from the record companies and sureness from the artists, as …

Fake News: dada Did It!

   During the summer of 1919, two expatriated dadas living in Zurich were bored. Hans Arp (1886-1966) and Tristan Tzara (1896-1963) spiced things up by fabricating a duel between them. They planted the story in Swiss newspapers and falsely reported that fellow dadas Francis Picabia, Oskar Kokoschka, and Walter Serner were at the duel as …