Donald Trump’s ‘perfect call’ taps Mario Puzo playbook

Film · Language & ideas
From the Zelensky call transcript: July 2019 telcon Donald Trump to President Zelensky of Ukraine

‘Wall art’ a child can understand

Visual arts
“Enough with the memes,” griped Senator Charles Schumer to Donald Trump on Twitter. Luckily, Sen. Schumer did not tweet, “Enough with the arts memes.” That leaves us free and clear to share our collection of ‘wall art’ for the eggification, sorry! edification of America’s ‘Chief Egg-zecutive.’ Spanning the centuries, artists have illustrated the nursery rhyme ...

Pharrell Williams: ‘Cease and desist, Mr. President’

Language & ideas · Music
In a cease and desist letter sent Monday, October 29, 2016, Pharrell Williams‘ attorney Howard King called on the President of the United States to stop playing the singer’s “Happy” during events. In an act of disgusting insensitivity, the song was played at a rally over the weekend just hours after a gunman killed 11 ...

Memo to L.B. from W.R. re: ‘hoodoo’ president

Film · Language & ideas
Excerpted from “Lion of Hollywood,” by the award-winning film historian Scott Eyman, whose new book, “Hank and Jim” concerning the lifelong friendship between Henry Fonda and James Stewart will be out in November 2017. In his 2005 biography of MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, Eyman captures a fascinating exchange between two prominent right-wingers of ...

Populist Eifman Ballet en route to Southern California

Dance
by 
Choreographer Boris Eifman is the Donald Trump of the ballet world. His fans love him for his provocative, populist appeal while his critics find him unsophisticated and far from coherent. And then there’s the Russia thing. Eifman is Russian and his narrative ballets, while modernist in story line, have the old-school Bolshoi tendency to go ...

Not a ‘witch hunt,’ Mr. Trump, decries daughter of John Garfield

Film · Language & ideas
Mr. Trump, words matter. If not to you, then to the rest of us. Trump’s repeated flinging of the loaded expression ‘witch hunt’ (yet again this morning, via Twitter) in a moment of his wounded narcissism strikes a deep, deep chord. It brings painful memories of a shameful chapter of American history. It brings rage ...