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Great Old Stuff

New York Daily News cover with Donald Trump

“What did it cost to be Eugene O’Neill?” Lloyd Richards asks. A great documentary on the great man. There are a couple of clips of Al Pacino “acting,” but the rest of it is terrific enough to offset this.

Wendell Berry is a farmer, a writer and a Christian — and better at each of those callings than I am.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

– Wendell Berry

All The World's An Editor


“A Doggie Sound”

Shakespeare spoke nothing like his modern interpreters. Here's a sampling of what the Bard meant his plays to sound like.

“You will be familiar with some of my songs as of next week.”

A clean cut Frank Zappa chats up Steve Allen and plays the bicycle. Just watch.

Let me draw you a picture. Some people still have a hard time wrapping their minds around climate change and global poverty. Here’s a handy interactive graphic that just might make it clear.

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham.

Billy: God is perfect.
Woody: You know, when I look in the mirror in the morning, it’s hard to believe that.

PBS may make you suffer through endless doo-wop and new age “music.” But they are forgiven, because they’ve made the best Hamlet ever available online:

David Tennant with the Royal Shakespeare Company

David Tennant as Hamlet


What’s the reward for a lifetime of creating theater and movie magic? Don’t ask.

Carol Channing, Della Reese, Ethel Merman and Ann Miller on The Love Boat

On a damp grey afternoon, I clicked on the Schumann. Suddenly it was a beautiful day.

David Kim Piano, media samples

Your Mother Is Always Right

Woodcut of Pope Joan giving birth during a street procession.

A few words from E.B. White, who could do more with a few words than anyone.

Shall I Not Compare Thee?

Billy Collins reads “Litany,” a good poem that makes fun of bad ones. No one is ever the blind woman’s teacup.

Swords into Plowshares

Sculptor John T. Young converts the diving fins of nuclear subs into works of art.


The Washington Post runs the account of the Pearl Harbor attack that Betty McIntosh’s editors refused to print because they thought it would be “too frightening to the women.”

Well, the hurricane blew down the autumn leaves before they could put on their fancy dress ball. As a consolation prize, here’s Yves Montand introducing “Autumn Leaves,” originally “Les Feuilles Mortes,” in his wonderfully depressing Gallic way.

Two of my favorite Williams create possibly the greatest moment in cinematic history.

David Tennant is my favorite Hamlet and favorite Doctor. There’s not even a word for that level of achievement. Here he combines the classic and the intergalactic.

Brilliant and funny video by Steven Appleby about thinking. Would that we were all as good at it as he is.

A politician is an artist
in the art of following the wind
of public opinion.

That’s from one of Peter Maurin’s Easy Essays. Maurin (1877–1949) co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement, people who tried — and are trying still — to be authentic Christians by choosing lives of poverty and peace. Maurin was a mystic, farmer, social agitator and about 12 other worthwhile things. You can read more of his still relevant Easy Essays here.