"[This book] embodies the Buddhist wisdom about change, life, and the
world more than anything written after the events of that day."
Robert Stone

December 2011 Archives

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December 24, 2011


May you be blessed with peace, love, enlightenment, prosperity, and good health in the coming year. And don't forget your sweater.

December 17, 2011

Farethewell, Christopher Hitchens

The leading English-language essayist of our age. Journalist. Literary legend. Firebrand. Truth-seeker. Rabble-rouser. Self-professed contrarian. Principal of principles. Provocateur. Colleague. Friend.


Christopher Hitchens, 62, passed away 36 hours ago (after a bout of pneumonia that came on during his battle with cancer of the esophagus) and already the intersecting spheres of journalism and literature have been knocked off-axis.

In this year when four friends have passed on--photographers Brian Lanker and Tim Hetherington, restaurateur Elaine Kaufman, and my dearest mate since childhood, Marc Kravitz--if I have found any consolation since hearing the news of Christopher's departure, it is in the belief that the heavens (despite his avowed atheism) will have opened up to embrace him, as George Orwell and Dorothy Parker stand ready to welcome him with a generous glass of Johnny Walker Black on ice.

As added consolation, I have found these observations by his friends to be more heartwarming than heartbreaking...

...Remembrances from Graydon Carter, Ian McEwan, Christopher Buckley, George Eaton, various friends at Slate, and the introduction to a recent book of Christopher's, written by Martin Amis.

...And I also recommend these pieces, written since this original post, by Henry Porter and Ross Douthat.

December 16, 2011


Succinct as a haiku, this video from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams shows the progress of the new structure, One World Trade Center, already visible from all five New York City boroughs.

An uplifting sight, quite literally.

December 11, 2011


From the advance word...the Oscar buzz...the cast (Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow, Jeffrey Wright, et al)...and the trailer, the post-9/11 film, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer), looks irresistible--even if potentially unbearable.