Oct/Nov 2023

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(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

A Word on Israel-Palestine

No nation is in a moral position to cast the first stone, and no one should protest for or against any event who doesn't know the context, i.e., history, no matter how horrific it may be. The killing currently being rained down on Gaza is less visible than the images of slain women and children we saw after the Hamas attack. Almost 3,000 Palestinian children have been ripped apart and crushed so far by 500- and 1000-pound bombs. I have yet to see any images of the remains of those children in mainstream media. Nor do I recall seeing images of the victims of Hiroshima and Dresden—or Hanoi and Cambodia, for that matter. One photo of a slain or wounded Israeli woman or child has greater effect than dozens of videos of Palestinian high-rises collapsing under a plume of gray smoke.

Thomas J. Hubschman

Back to the Present

It would be unlikely if any of those men, sophisticated intellectuals who fashioned the earliest forms of Christianity over the course of the next few centuries, did not incorporate into their thinking the culture that had formed them. Hellenistic society may not have been the high culture of 5th-century-BCE Athens, but it was its legitimate heir. As he conquered the world, Alexander built theaters and stadiums, spread literacy and Greek religion. The Roman gods were Greek gods with Latin names. Educated people of the centuries that followed Alexander's conquests would have been as familiar with the themes of the great tragedians and philosophers as we are of Ibsen and Freud.

Thomas J. Hubschman

Three Love Stories from the Time of COVID

Danny, a fellow writer who bears some resemblance to Pete Davidson, is maybe not even an ordinary looking guy, who happens to be married to some version of Ariana Grande or Cate Beckinsale, a woman who should be way out of his league except for the fact that he's funny. Sally's certainly every bit as funny (fwiw, Sittenfeld is also quite funny), but the best she's done in the recent past is bag a fellow member of the writing staff. As the plot moves forward, we go from "Why doesn't this happen in reverse?" to "Can this happen in reverse?"

Marko Fong