August 8, 2010
By Mona Simpson Alfred A. Knopf. 384 pp. $26.95 Reviewed by Abby Frucht Mona Simpson's fifth novel bears many a resemblance to its sprawling predecessors, among them her celebrated debut Anywhere but Here (1986), about a girl and her self-absorbed mother making an impetuous cross-country drive. Simpson's second novel, The Lost Father (1992), along with her third, A Regular Guy (1996), made similar use of an intentionally disorganized structure, allowing their protagonists to roam, digress, obsess, and repeat themselves while moving haplessly backward and forward along spiraling, tumultuous, and curiously suspenseful narratives.
July 23, 2010 |
When Rachel Weisz arrived on the island of Malta to film "Agora," she found herself in the middle of the fourth century. It wasn't because the island nation was still living in the past, but because the past had been rebuilt. Using a huge chunk of the movie's $70 million budget, a full-scale replica of Alexandria had been built by production designer Guy Dyas (who did similar large-scale work on "Inception"). There would be no green-screen acting in "Agora, only a trip into history. Weisz plays the philosopher/astronomer/mathematician/teacher Hypatia in the type of religious epic Cecil B. DeMille might have made if DeMille believed in skepticism more than spectacle.
April 1, 2010
CEI BELL'S op-ed ("Abuse of LGBTQ Children") is heart-wrenching. Foster families should be screened for their understanding and acceptance of all sexual orientations. With respect to the alleged abuse by a DHS worker, this should be investigated immediately, No such behavior can be tolerated. Thanks to Cei Bell for a disturbing but important article. Tim Kearney, Democratic Candidate for State Representative Philadelphia Stickin' up for the mayor Re Mary Ann McMahon's letter criticizing Mayor Nutter: I'm tired of people trashing the mayor.
November 10, 2009 |
Charles Tyson, elected South Harrison Township's first black mayor in 2006, said yesterday that he had been worn down by racism in the Gloucester County farm community and would resign as deputy mayor effective today. Growing up in the town of 2,700 people, he never felt the sting of intolerance, said Tyson, 67, whose term of office was to expire in December 2010. Soon after news spread that he would be the Democratic candidate for mayor, his tires were slashed, his campaign signs were defaced, and he was subjected to threatening phone calls and e-mails laced with racial epithets.
January 19, 2009 |
A young woman's sorrow over the gay-bashing of a beloved friend and neighbor. The words of a mentally handicapped boy forced to leave his school because of the cruelty of his "normal" classmates. A girl who speaks of her pain and, ultimately, her forgiveness of a teacher who saw only the color of her skin, not the talent within her. Those are a few of the scenes in Mosaics, a theater piece including movement and song that is both an expos? of intolerance and a plea to be free from it. It is one of the original, socially conscious works of ACTing Out, a drama troupe at Gloucester County Institute of Technology in Sewell.
September 14, 2008 |
Despite her efforts to portray herself as an average, small-town, "folksy" American, Sarah Palin's political views - ardently pro-gun, pro-censorship, antichoice and antigay - make John McCain's conservative credentials pale in comparison. What few observers have said, however, is these beliefs are not just extreme - they are radical, and even bear a comparison with some of the most notorious "rural radicals" of our time. It has been years since groups such as the Montana Militia, the Posse Comitatus and the Sagebrush Rebels, and individuals such as Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski have made us wonder why so many "angry white men" populated our rural regions.
June 25, 2008
It's not surprising that State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler) would spew angry words about a Muslim group on the House floor in Harrisburg. Metcalfe's past work includes lobbying against a state grant to the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. because it tries to attract - gasp - gays and lesbians to visit the city. He is making a career out of disapproving of others. But it was surprising that one man's intolerance would force his colleagues to shelve an innocuous resolution intended to welcome an annual gathering of Muslims in the state capital.
May 12, 2008 |
Barry Morrison listened with a modest smile last week as one speaker after another extolled his "courage" and "passion" and "integrity. " "He is a hero," Mayor Nutter told the audience of 500 at the Crystal Tea Room. "I love you, Barry, for being my friend," said an emotional Tom Martinez, a former "white supremacist from Kensington. " It sounded like a farewell party, but no. Morrison, executive director of the regional Anti-Defamation League, was celebrating his 30th anniversary at the ADL and has no plans to leave soon.
March 4, 2008
Working with Temple University officials, Philadelphia police took decisive action by charging four Temple students with the senseless beating of the grandson of a Holocaust survivor. The attackers reportedly shouted anti-Semitic slurs before pummeling the 23-year-old college student, a visitor to the North Broad Street campus who attends Penn State University. While the victim suffered a broken nose and orbital bone in his face, the hopeful news is that he is expected to recover fully, his father told a campus meeting on the attack late last week.
January 18, 2008 |
Strawberry Mansion High School disciplined students involved in a cafeteria melee captured on video that was posted on YouTube.com last month, but did not report the fight to the district until yesterday. Likewise, school administrators did not follow the district's discipline policy in two other recent incidents - one involving a box cutter and the other an assault on a school police officer. "We will not tolerate failure to report serious incidents or failure to report them in a timely fashion," Tom Brady, the district's interim chief executive officer, said in a statement yesterday.