Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Generation Gasp

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Saturday Night Live debuted on NBC on October 11, 1975… the day after my 28th birthday. The 1970s cast included future comedy legends: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray. In those halcyon early days, SNL was the freshest breeze to hit the airwaves since Monty Python's Flying Circus. And it was equally offbeat.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Saturday, May 26, 2012


I spent last weekend at the Philadelphia Zoo with my boyfriend and his two-year-old nephew, Layne. I hadn't been to the zoo in years, and so a few things came as a bit of a shock to me. One was the price of admission; like everything else, it's risen. A day out at the zoo with your family can set you back almost a hundred dollars but then, I guess the price of polar bear food has probably gone up as well.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


There's a whole subcategory of movies that my mom likes to call "uplifting." The typical trademark of these movies is an hour and a half of tragedy, death, and misery, followed by about three minutes of pure joy and redemption. Think: George Bailey's impromptu party at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life," or the brand new puppy running through a field at the end of "Old Yeller."

Saturday, May 12, 2012


"Sicko" is the title of Michael Moore's 2007 documentary about the flaws in America's health care system. My wife and I have always been blessed with good health insurance plans through our employers. Consequently, five years ago I didn't pay too much attention to Moore's film. What a difference five years can make!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Saturday, April 28, 2012


When I was a youngster, growing up in Jim Thorpe, my family always had a favorite game that got played nearly every night after dinner. Parcheesi was the hot ticket for a long time. Later, we graduated to card games: 500 Rummy, then Pinochle. Video games, of course, didn't exist.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


And I don't know a soul who's not been battered

I don't have a friend who feels at ease

I don't know a dream that's not been shattered

or driven to its knees

But it's all right, it's all right

We've lived so well so long

Still, when I think of the road

we're traveling on

I wonder what went wrong

I can't help it, I wonder what went wrong

- Paul Simon,

"American Tune" (1975)

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Maybe it's that my folks had kids relatively late in life, after the Great Depression and WWII were behind them and when they were already in their forties. Or maybe it just came naturally to me. Whatever the reason, I was a sissy when I was a kid - and the Fifties was no decade for sissies. This was the Cold War at its most frigid. Nuclear war often seemed just a push of the button away. We kids did "duck-and-cover" drills at school, while our parents priced fallout shelters.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


It's Holy Saturday. My mind goes back half a century to when I was an altar boy in St. Joseph's Parish in Jim Thorpe. Every Saturday night during Lent, the pastor led us in the Stations of the Cross. I was often one of the two altar boys who accompanied him around the walls of the church, stopping (if memory serves) some 13 times to contemplate each of the tortures that were inflicted on Jesus.