They say when one door shuts another opens. Over the summer, I was saddened to hear that Less Than Three Press, the publisher of my football novel “The Penalty for Holding,” had folded and, for a while, I thought that was the end of the book’s publishing life. So you can imagine my joy that the work – about a gay, biracial quarterback’s search for identity in the NFL – will be reissued by JMS Books Sept. 25. And you can imagine my further delight in hearing that JMS has agreed to publish my new psychological thriller “Burying the Dead” – about a rising Russian tennis star whose career masks his real “day job,” political assassin – Oct. 30.Read More
The contretemps over “Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer mocking Prince George for taking ballet lessons is both a tempest in a teapot and the latest salvo in the culture wars that began with the demonization of Western civilization in the 1960s by liberals who could not separate it from its imperialistic, colonial roots and continued with the demonization of the arts in the 1970s and ’80s by conservatives who decried the arts falsely as a louche tax drain.
“We’ll see how long that lasts,” Spencer retorted to the news that the young prince is taking ballet lessons, with his father Prince William’s enthusiastic approval. It was the flippant, stupid remark of someone with no cultural background (remember her short-lived stint on PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow”?) trying to be witty or at least cool, and it was met with swift condemnation, a swift apology and a redemptive moment played out against the backdrop of 300 male dancers in Manhattan’s Times Square.
And that would be the end of it, except that, as one person put it, you can’t unring a bell, particularly in a divisive time in which every statement seems to be a clarion call to partisanship. Perhaps that’s unfair. We all make mistakes. We’re all more than our worst days. Yet Spencer’s ridicule cannot be undone, particularly for those who have been mercilessly bullied or marginalized for their love of the arts.Read More
In his review of the Public Theater production of Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus,” at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The New York Times chief drama critic Ben Brantley describes the title antihero — a brilliant Roman general with no people skills — thusly:
“He’s all unedited impulse, and watching him try to control his peacetime temper evokes the irresistibly awful spectacle of a tantrum-prone tennis star losing it on the court. (Ian McKellen has said that his 1984 performance as Coriolanus at the National Theater was partly inspired by John McEnroe.)”
You wonder what Shakespeare might’ve done with Nick Kyrgios, tennis’ reigning bad boy.Read More
Graig Nettles, the great New York Yankees’ third baseman of the 1970s, once observed that if you want an entertainer, hire (comedian) George Jessel — meaning that he was paid to hit and vacuum up ground balls from opposing batsmen, something he was quite entertaining at.
But in today’s world, it’s not enough to be good at what you do. You have to be relatable.Read More