Putnam calls for citizens to lobby for federal policies such as expanded tax credits for the poor, more day care and growth in community colleges -- much the legislative agenda of President Obama, who was denounced for "class warfare" when he proposed it.
Political films tend to create a black and white universe and Burning Bush is rescued from being a lives of the saints, employing the Czech penchant for ambivalence and irony, which serve to broaden its moral spectrum
Sometimes a revolution can be started by a seemingly futile act. That's the premise behind the Czech miniseries Burning Bush, which made its American debut this week. It's playing theatrically in New York and can also be viewed on Fandor.com. Kino Lorber will be distributing the DVD release.
Is Kristof justified in lending his New York Times megaphone to launch what is effectively Dylan's call for a sort of cultural blacklisting of Woody Allen -- a trial by media because it's too late for a trial by court?
Undoubtedly, translation is a tricky business; but what is sadly clear, though, is how the need to do away with humor translates so seamlessly and all too well, from Kundera's fictional Czech republic to a very real and dangerous Iran.
Last weekend Vaclav Havel died, just at the time when he was most read in Cuba. He left and we can't hear his voice in a classroom of our University, nor listen to his extensive collection of anecdotes about the years of Soviet control.
It's my hope that going forward we do not come to undervalue, or lose sight of, art's special capacity. I hope future generations will be able to spend their moments interacting with the ever-replenishing fount of a composition.
Slow Thinking is intuitive, woolly and creative. It is what we do when the pressure is off, and there is time to let ideas simmer on the back burner. It yields rich, nuanced insights and sometimes surprising breakthroughs.
It's important to remember that politics demands nuance and good listening skills, that politicians are not saints (except I guess St. Sarah), that dealing with repressive Russia is not going to be uncomplicated.