Watching ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ with 18,000 teenagers was one of the most profound theater experiences of my career

The arts are vital to our lives as humans. And if one entered the cavernous arena suspecting that 18,000 teenagers might view this as class-trip goof-around time, those suspicions evaporated with the extinguishing of the house lights. The students from Queens and Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island laughed with the actors playing the young narrators: Nina Grollman as Scout, Nick Robinson as Jem, Taylor Trensch as Dill. There…

In the Era of Fake News, Teaching Media Literacy is a Must

My 13-year-old recently approached me at bedtime, a worried look on his face. “Is there going to be a draft for World War III?” he asked sheepishly…. He showed me thousands of videos kids had made. Most were meant to be satirical, I think, about being drafted. A quick search of the hashtag #WWIII showed that these videos had been viewed 1.2 billion times. That’s billion. I think he knew they…

Fascinating, and very sad, story behind an iconic National Geographic photo.

Fascinating, and very sad, story behind an iconic National Geographic photo. McCurry wanted to take more pictures but Sharbat Gula fled. No part of the written story mentioned her narrative or even her name (which McCurry did not care to find out). He did not take her consent or her father’s to publish the image. When Sharbat Gula finally saw the cover that would make her face world-famous, she felt,…

Pen Pals (ST:TNG Rewatch, Season 2, Episode 15)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. A new-to-me “Data Hears a Who” character story, featuring a multi-layered philosophical jam session in Picard’s quarters, a substantial B-plot for Wesley, and some tacked-on science-fictiony frippery for the groundlings. I started watching the show late at night, and lost interest when Wesley was steeling himself in the hallway before addressing the geological survey team he had assembled. When I…

James Comey: Trump won’t be removed. But we’ll be fine.

Here’s an editorial by someone who feels a heck of a lot more optimistic than I do right now. The free press fostered and protected by the genius of the First Amendment has let Americans know the truth, if they wish to. They can see the facts and the process, and they will be shaped by that, both now and for the long term. In November, Americans, fully informed, will…