Humanities, the arts, words, culture, character, the language that people really speak when they speak to each other -- oh, these are creatively deep waters for somebody like Anna Deavere Smith to swim through.
Perhaps a tougher question than it sounds? Cliché talking points about 'finding my passion' make me cringe. Self promotion can't be all there is. And then there is the fact that I need the money now. So what's the real answer?
I chose carnivals to write about because they operate in town centers across the country. The focus of the community often is an annual event and each has workers with lives as colorful as the carnivals they work.
Even though the American economy is recovering -- albeit slowly -- these are still stressful and trying times. We need to move from that begrudging process of recovery to renewal in the belief in America and the American dream. How important is hope to that renewal?
"A first job may be similar to one's experience with grade school," Larry Ragan wrote in a private memoir. "It becomes engraved in the memory." And since Larry was my first boss, he is engraved in my memory.
Three days after Studs Terkel's death, the New York Times published a column by critic Edward Rothstein titled "An Appraisal: He Gave Voice to Many, Among Them Himself." The piece is a striking instance of the low art of red-baiting disguised as high-minded criticism.