September 15, 1989 |
Deep inside my being, where he can't be seen in public, is an ugly, greasy, short-tempered troll who likes to throw things at television shows that celebrate the "The Human Spirit. " I keep the little creep in check most of the time. But since I know the kind of malice he's capable of, I generally avoid writing about the routine uplifting, feel-good, made-for-TV movie about Normal People Coping Despite Tremendous Odds for fear that I'll end up sounding less like Pauline Kael and more like Al Bundy.
July 27, 2006 |
In its best, most redemptive moments, sports will shine a light on the unbending and indomitable human spirit, and in so doing repair our sad sense of innocence lost. Just about the time we have given in to despair, when all seems irreversibly soiled by the dopers and head-butters and steroid freaks, someone will happen along to cleanse and disinfect. That current someone is named Floyd Landis. He is a wiry, hawk-nosed, tireless bit of gristle with a capacity for enduring pain that is beyond our comprehension.
May 8, 1994
Excerpts from Nelson Mandela's victory speech on Monday: To all those in the African National Congress and the democratic movement who worked so hard these last few days and through these many decades, I thank you and honor you. To the people of South Africa and the world who are watching: This is indeed a joyous night for the human spirit. This is your victory, too. You helped end apartheid, you stood with us through the transition. . . . I am your servant. I don't come to you as a leader, as one above others.
September 16, 1992 |
A few months ago, I finally got around to doing something I had long intended. I looked up a long-lost friend. Bernard Gotfryd and I, once very close, talked by telephone. "How nice to hear from you," he said in a voice that was recognizable, but a bit formal for someone I had known and respected for many years. "Same here," I said. "I think about you a great deal and decided to find you. " While our long absence from one another had not exactly made us strangers, there clearly was a need for us to become reacquainted.
May 8, 2008
ONCE AGAIN, our city has endured the painful loss of one of our finest. I'm saddened about the loss of life and lawlessness that has plagued our beloved city. We are living in desperate times, citizens feel hopeless and afraid. We need change: a change from bureaucracy, a change to galvanize people of all faiths and ethnicities for a common cause, "the good of humanity," and a change to strengthen and energize the human spirit. Without it, we are destined for a world of more violence, destruction and death.
August 4, 1994
It's a global village, all right, and that just makes it harder to keep the creeps out. Many American parents have disabled their home telephones from calling 900 numbers, lest their rambunctious and inquisitive offspring decide to call one of the phone-sex lines advertised on cable television or the back pages of selected magazines. This worthy precaution has financial as well as moral motivations; the lines can charge up to $3 a minute. Now, this parental blockade has sprung a leak.
December 20, 1999 |
With the sun coming up at 7:15 and setting at 4:38, tomorrow will be the shortest day in the calendar year. The time in between represents the fewest hours that the sun shines down on our planet - until the same time next year. On this abbreviated day, autumn ends and winter begins. The time for pumpkins, squash, nuts, apples, turkey dinners and all of the other of nature's generous bounties is over. Ahead are the barren, bone-chilling, snow-driven days of winter, with galoshes, mackinaws, hard-to-start cars, colds and Jack Frost painting all kinds of scenes on window panes.
February 10, 2009
Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger's first TV interview - on 60 Minutes - made it clear why he has captured America's imagination. The reasons go deeper than the obvious: his incredible feat of landing U.S. Airways Flight 1549 safely on the Hudson River. Despite his discomfort with his new role, Sullenberger said he understood why the global response to his heroism has been so overwhelming. In him, Americans have found a reminder of the old can-do spirit that overcomes near-impossible odds.
December 2, 2002 |
Play well, live well. That's how I look at it. Play is an essential human activity not bound to any necessity except that of the human spirit. Play - whether it's rolling a bocce ball, lifting weights, dancing, hiking, or rock climbing, liberates and reveals. Until I started coaching the boys' varsity team at International Christian High School four years ago, I was merely a spectator in basketball. I'd played 4-5 games a week for nearly 40 years. Then a torn knee ligament sat me down.
May 13, 1993 |
When a natural disaster strikes a part of the world that is already struggling, news footage tends to make the misery faceless. In And Life Goes On, a unique documentary filmed amid the rubble of the 1990 earthquake that took 50,000 lives in northern Iran, Abbas Kiarostami tells stories that render the suffering individual and vivid. And Life Goes On celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and movingly expands the traditional limits of the documentary. Kiarostami shot an earlier film in a now-devastated village, and in this work, he chronicles his search for the two boys who starred in it and who are now somewhere - alive or dead - in the ruins.