A tall African-born woman, raised a devout Muslim but now one of Islam's sharpest critics, last week calmly dismantled some of the favorite shibboleths of American liberalism.
An unscientific, random sample of moviegoers who turned out for the new Steven Spielberg's film, "Munich," overwhelmingly liked what they saw. All of these patrons saw the film at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood.
Jews aren't the only ones fasting this High Holiday season.
Two other religious organizations, one Christian, one Muslim, have joined with a Jewish one to call on Americans to take part in a nationwide fast of reflection, repentance, reconciliation and renewal from sunrise to sunset on Oct. 13.
You've honored your closest friends and most cherished relatives with a special place in your wedding party. As bridesmaids, they'll throw you a shower, plan a bachelorette bash and attend other pre-wedding event, which means you'll be spending a good deal of time with them in the coming months. But weddings have a way of bringing out people's true colors. And, like an ugly bridesmaid dress, those colors aren't always flattering. So what do you do about an attendant who's out to steal your spotlight? Or the one who complains all the time? Easy! Just use our baffling bridesmaid behavior decoder and follow our keep-the-peace guide.
Myra Waldo Schwartz, travel writer, food editor and critic died July 25.
Journalism 101, Rule No. 1: The interview is about the interviewee, not about you. Ask a question, then shut up and listen.
"The Book of Lamentations: A Meditation and Translation" by David R. Slavitt (Johns Hopkins University Press. $15.95).
David R. Slavitt's new translation of Eicha (Lamentations) demonstrates his masterful sensibilities and poetic fortitude. Avoiding the abstract and distant language typical of academic poetry, Slavitt's poetry and translations are accessible to the common reader, but written without compromise.
Back when Rod Lurie was the meanest film critic in L.A., he used to gush about actress Joan Allen on his KABC radio show. The guy who once called Danny DeVito a "testicle with legs" lauded Allen as "the greatest working actor in the world." "I'd manage to slip that in every other week," admits the Israeli-born critic-turned-director, whose debut film, "Deterrence," revolved around a Jewish U.S. president in crisis. Allen had heard all about the fawning critic, so she was receptive when he offered to write a screenplay for her in 1998.
Between about 1910 and 1939, no one in the theater made a move without consulting George Jean Nathan. In the midst of scriveners, hacks and stringers, Nathan was the real thing: an erudite theater critic with more than 20 books to his credit, a fabled association with H.L. Mencken behind him (they co-edited "the Smart Set") and a range of European-bred tastes that gave him a sophistication that few of his colleagues could rival. He not only promoted the early Eugene O'Neill, but was a close friend of the playwright's and his staunchest champion. He elucidated G.B. Shaw for the masses and created the appetite that eventually established Sean O'Casey.
Remember that great scene in "Inherit the Wind," when Clarence Darrow asks William Jennings Bryan if a book that details rape, incest, slaughter, nudity and sodomy should be banned? The fundamentalist Bryan answers, "Of course!" and Darrow, with a flourish, whips out a copy of the Bible and declares, "Then you must ban this book!"