Tag: Celebrity


Why It's So Hard to See the Real Bill Cosby

I wrote this review of Michael Whitaker’s 500+ page definitive biography of Bill Cosby, Cosby: His Life and Times, a week before the eruption of sexual assault and abuse charges against Cosby. I held back posting it on TWD because, like Whitaker, I consciously chose not to mention in my review the longstanding charges of Cosby’s sexual predatory behavior. Last week Whitaker tweeted, “I was wrong to not deal with the sexual assault charges against Cosby and pursue them more aggressively.” Listening to the close to 20 women who have come forward......

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What It Means to Be Cool

Over the next seven months, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in an exhibit called “American Cool” is showing 100 photographs of people who defined cool in American culture, from the “granddaddies of cool,” Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass, through the generations, leading to Jay-Z, Johnny Depp and Madonna. I am semi-embarrassed to say, but I always feel it a supreme compliment when people call me a “cool” rabbi. It’s meant having some mysterious mix of rebelliousness, openness to new ideas, charisma with being a bit wild, anti-authority and out front, but in......

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We Are All Tony Soprano

Hearing the news of James Gandolfini’s sudden and untimely death unnerved both me and millions of other people who never met the man.? What’s up with that?? Why do we care so much?? The answer, at least for most of us, comes down to two words: Tony Soprano. Mourning a mobster – a man whose life was predicated on intimidation, extortion and murder – may seem odd. Odder still, when the mobster in question is a fictional character. ?But that’s what all those so effected by the actor’s death are doing. Before......

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