Strictly For New York Yids

The legendary comic Mickey Katz is the father of Joel Grey and grandfather of Jennifer Grey. Apart from siring these celebrities he was quite something in his own right. The following songs are Katz classics. ************************************* I confess to an undue interest in Mickey because of a debate that has...

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The $38,000 Handbag And Ms. Oprah Winfrey

The whole world knows about the incident by now. But on the freaky chance you don”t, here is what happened. Oprah Winfrey was in a department store somewhere in Switzerland and asked a clerk to take down a certain handbag from a high shelf for her examination. The clerk refused, telling her she couldn’t afford it because it cost $38,000. To no avail, Ms. Winfrey protested but did not identify herself. Later, using the power of...

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Gone But Never To Be Forgotten

Once again I turn to the subject of Ronald Dworkin, my own favorite great thinker of the the 20th century. Ronald wrote the following in a NY Review of Brooks article: “In my own view, someone who leads a boring, conventional life without close friendships or challenges or achievements, marking time to his grave, has not had a good life, even if he thinks he has and even if he has thoroughly enjoyed the life he has had. If you agree, we...

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A Fairly Evil Man

My wife is a somewhat prominent America historian and so it is with some trepidation that I disagree with her about FDR. It seems to me that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a nasty person who ranks among the ten worst presidents in our history. JoEllen doesn’t think he is in the top ten Terribles but does not supply her ranking. She agrees that at his worst, few compare with him for evil. His worst moment was his acquiescence in the...

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DOCTOR Sidney Gendin

I’m having a real hard tussle with the secretarial staffs of my internist, cardiologist, cardio surgeon and dentist. I want them to call me “Doctor Gendin” but they know I am “only a man with a Ph.D., and not a REAL doctor. So they keep calling me “Mister,” knowing this makes me alternative between wanting to kill them and wanting to sob my head off until I die. In two weeks I am having a man split open my...

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Low Grade Pricks

Not without good reason am I ending my subscription to the London Review of Books. For several years LRB has prided itself on cultivating the worst gang of lowlifes in the literary world. I do not know what the charm is in doing that but it is definitely the case. Consider the disgusting David Runciman of the distinguished Runciman clan. Thanks to his family power, he can say anything and get it published. Last year he wrote an anti-Lance...

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