Kitty Genovese Documentary

This isn’t a review of a movie I’ve personally seen.  However, links to information on the documentary appear at the end of this post. After Kitty Genovese was murdered in her Kew Gardens neighborhood in 1964, news outlets reported speculation on what happened during the attack.  The speculation was wrong, but it made a sensational story so it stayed in people’s memories. In 2014, a book raised questions about things we’d assumed for years. Kitty Genovese: The Murder, The Bystanders, The Crime That Changed America by Kevin Cook offered a completely new perspective, and showed how the tragedy was exploited in … Continue reading Kitty Genovese Documentary

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks (Review)

Hallucinations By Oliver Sacks $15.95 Vintage Paperback 326 Pages Copyright 2012 ISBN-13:  9780307947437 If you have no known mental illness which should affect your visual, auditory or other senses, have you ever panicked when a high fever has caused you to see a menacing — and nonexistent — stranger standing over your bed? Have you heard your dog’s metal collar tags jangling nearby shortly after your dog has passed away? Many of us have been though that, and if a semi-educated acquaintance points out that hallucinations suggest “schizophrenia,” you’ll handle that conversation a lot better if you’ve read this fine … Continue reading Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks (Review)

Unique Art Documentary

Rene Magritte (Belgian painter, 1898-1967) was once quoted as saying there was no deep meaning behind his paintings.  He said the only thing behind his paintings was a wall. The 1999 documentary Magritte: An Attempt At The Impossible challenges that modest statement.  The production offers interviews with the artist as well as theories on the history and influences behind his work.  In the fifty-five minute running time, the viewer becomes not only better informed but more curious about Magritte’s work and life. The documentary is beautifully photographed, with embellishments that suit the artist’s work well.  When describing Magritte’s erotic work, nude models … Continue reading Unique Art Documentary


Last night I was at a residents’ meeting in the lobby of my building. Those meetings are consistently dull, and unfortunately the group last night was the smallest I’ve seen yet.  I skip most of the meetings myself, so I can’t judge. Our main source of entertainment was watching other building occupants walk through the lobby, on their way up to their apartments or out for the evening.  One, a casual friend of mine who gave up on the meetings a long time ago because they were excruciating, moved at a fast clip with a small suitcase on wheels. Maybe … Continue reading Rainbows

Ya Gotta Dance…

Over the past few days, the tragedy at Pulse in Orlando has proven repeatedly that a crisis will bring out the best in some people and the worst in others. Within a day, so many potential donors lined up at a blood bank they had to be asked to return later, and deposits to a GoFundMe account exceeded all expectations.  Articulate speeches, candlelight vigils and rainbow displays expressed emotional support.  Those were among the best reactions. One example of the worst was uploaded to YouTube.  Pastor Roger Jimenez of Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento, CA, referred to Pulse club patrons … Continue reading Ya Gotta Dance…

Solidarity After Tragedy

Here’s a link to a partial list of people fatally shot during the Pulse attack.  The list will be updated later: Last night a candlelight vigil was held in San Francisco’s Castro District, to remember the people who died in the attack at Pulse in Orlando. A small number of people in the crowd gave the impression they were there just to party.  Grinning people were taking selfies, and someone who was drunk accidentally slammed into me and nearly knocked the lighted candle out of my hand.  I won’t dismiss all of them as jerks.  Some may have socially … Continue reading Solidarity After Tragedy

Pulse Club Shooting

We’re still waiting for news updates on the tragedy in Orlando, Florida.  However, it appears one person used an assault rifle to open fire on the Saturday night crowd in a gay club. The person committing the shooting is thought to be a religious extremist.  The word “Muslim” is likely to be played up in the news, but the truth is any type of extreme thinking will interfere with reasoning and suppress a person’s empathy.  All extremism is dangerous because it prompts people to act on impulse.  It can take over everything inside a person’s head. Donald Trump has gone … Continue reading Pulse Club Shooting

A Newspaper’s Disturbing Promotion

(Disclosure: A slightly different version of this post appears on a private social media page.) An Italian newspaper, Il Giornale, (The Journal) is encouraging readers to study Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler, supposedly to prevent history from repeating itself.  A link to an online TIME article about the controversy appears at the end of this post. Many years ago, I read an article in The New York Review Of Books about an effort to revive Fascism in Italy. A political movement called La Forza (The Force) was popular with people born after WWII, who had no memory of what happened in their country during the war. … Continue reading A Newspaper’s Disturbing Promotion