March 12, 2006 |
A 560-page poem about the other world drawn from some 25 years of conversing with spirits at the Ouija board, James Merrill's "The Changing Light at Sandover" inevitably calibrates among the strangest performances in American literature. But what else is new? From Whitman, Dickinson, Emerson, Hawthorne, Poe and Melville through Stein, Williams, Pound, Eliot, Hart Crane and Zukofsky, the instigators of the American tradition (or is it anti-tradition?
October 25, 2004 |
Sometimes, the signs are easy to read. New England wins the Super Bowl without a dominant running back, then acquires Corey Dillon during the off-season. Philadelphia reaches three consecutive NFC title games without a pass receiver worthy of Donovan McNabb's interest, then adds Terrell Owens to the lineup. Reflex reaction then: Forget the wild hunches. Don't play the who's-this-year's-Carolina guessing game.
October 21, 2004 |
With all that's gone wrong in Iraq, critics of the war can take a certain grim satisfaction in being vindicated. Why on Earth didn't President Bush listen to their warnings, which now appear eerily prescient? Just recall what antiwar advocates said: Sen. John Kerry: "I do not believe our nation is prepared for war. If we do go to war, for years people will ask why Congress gave in. They will ask why there was such a rush to so much death and destruction when it did not have to happen."
March 15, 2003 |
For all the billions of dollars' worth of supersonic aircraft and high-tech gadgetry on this nuclear-powered carrier, tracking the frantic choreography of flight operations comes down to the players at the ship's "Ouija board." With up to 200 takeoffs and landings each day, plus the taxiing, parking, fueling and repair of the air wing's 70-plus aircraft, flight deck movements are too fast and furious to plug into a computer for a digital display of the deck scene.
December 21, 1996
I am mystified by the glorification of Clipper Coach Bill Fitch for his having achieved the distinction of being the all-time losing coach in NBA history. Mr. Fitch's record is no coincidence, since he is in fact one of the worst coaches in NBA history, notwithstanding his decades-ago success with sure-fire winners like Larry Bird in Boston and Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston. His principal talent seems to lie in getting inept owners such as Donald Sterling to hire him. Fitch is rigid and unimaginative and seems to make substitutions based on the use of a Ouija board.
October 31, 1993 |
It was a stormy Halloween night and the full moon was partially covered by clouds. Three girls, named Claire, Jody and Jennings, were having a big Halloween sleep-over party. Claire's mother came down the stairs, stopped at the bottom and said, "Claire, I'm going to an office party. Now you and your friends behave yourselves." Claire replied, "OK, Mom." When her mother had left, Claire asked Jody and Jennings what they wanted to do. "Let's use the Ouija board," Jody said.