In a heartfelt Moth story about the sometimes disparate relationship between fathers and sons, Neil Gaiman shared with an audience that his proud father had shown up to a very stressful book signing, unannounced, while Neil was signing copies of Anansi Boys, an adventurous novel about fathers and sons that blends myth, prophecy and family dysfunction.
In Israel the ultra Orthodox have attempted to inflict their values on a population that doesn't always cotton to their values. In an age of increasing terrorism, there will be a tendency to constrict both the exercise of beliefs as well as the right to express opposition and outrage at those self-same beliefs. The Supreme Court will have its work cut for it.
But this was an unusually interesting night at the Morgan, the eve of the PEN gala, and many in the room were slated to attend the writers' annual dinner that would honor Charlie Hebdo's Gerard Biard and Jean-Baptiste Thoret accepting the Freedom of Expression Courage Award on behalf of the magazine.
Lamarche and Christie agree on Marriage Equality and Charlie Hebdo but, like the country, divide on why it's the fire this time in Baltimore. Will we have recurring police-triggered violence -- from Harlem in 1930s to Ferguson and Baltimore today -- or can government reduce both police violence and urban pathologies?
Freedom of speech might be integral to the hard-won flowering of modern freedoms valued in the West, but its fragile bloom has faded and could die without proper tending by courageous politicians and media working in a global partnership to oppose Islamism and the Zeitgeist of political correctness.