Archive for April 2014

We Need Congress To Be The Boss

The CIA operates in stealth; it is associated with some of the worst abuses of power in recent American history, including assassinations, coups, and torture; it has military capabilities. Congress needs to be firmly in control of its relationship with such an agency. The Constitution demands no less.

Two Trees

In the world of Genesis, knowing the difference between good and evil seems to be a bad thing. Adam and Eve develop what in English we call modesty, the sense that some things should stay private, which they experience as embarrassment. And somehow that makes them God-like. And even more confusingly, God treats this as a bad thing, objecting as if He were afraid of the competition. What a thematic mess, at least for a modern-day Christian!

Satisfying JOHN & JEN at Red Branch

Of course, the musical is not just the tale of the working-out and the ultimate dispelling of a family curse. It is also a poignant account of a woman relating to a treasured younger brother and an even more treasured son in light of the early loss of the brother.


A jukebox musical, whatever its dramatic blueprint, is first and foremost a delivery vehicle for nostalgia. This is a popular thing and to a great extent a good one. It is no easy trick, though. Almost every song tells some sort of story. The stories in most songs, even the simplest ones, imply surprisingly extensive contexts, and taken together, these contexts tangle rapidly. There exist only a few possible fundamental ways to minimize those tangles.

Only Two Duets: Red Branch Does Not Solve The Last 5 Years’ Mysteries

The tale of a marriage from first kiss to the moment of separation, it leaves essentially unidentified the problems that cause the separation. What we see are more in the way of symptoms. Catherine is uncomfortable with her writer husband’s celebrity; she opts out of attending parties with him; their careers make them spend a lot of time in different cities; he has an affair. These are common kinds of incidents in breakups, but they do not explain the breakups; they do not explain how a couple who were originally propelled into each other’s arms by passion come to be so awkward and distant with each other. That part of the story is told in ill-connected snapshots.