Robert Fuller: Twentieth-century science has shown that humans, like other animals, function according to the same principles as the cosmos and everything in it.
Ted Vaill: Seventy or eighty arch-conservative Tea Party members of the House and Senate have held this country hostage to their right-wing demands that we sacrifice entitlements belonging to ordinary, hard working Americans for the benefit of their rich friends. What is the mood of the ordinary American? Disgust.
Michael Sigman: Roger Nygard’s new documentary The Nature of Existence gives us a good-natured glimpse into the imaginations of brilliant thinkers from science, religion and other disciplines on life’s fundamental questions. If we try to let our imaginations run free and work shoulder to shoulder on real problems instead of fantasizing about self-aggrandizement — my own particular fave being high school basketball greatness — maybe we can become an imagine-nation and begin to turn things around.
Michael Sigman: Given the commodification of dissent in corporate America, it’s doubtful Fey or anyone else will achieve Twain’s trifecta of talent, courage and mass popularity. But worrying about what we can’t control will only invite the kind of unhappiness that caused the great man himself to reflect that, “My life has been a series of disasters, most of which never happened.”
Tom Degan: I imagine that it must not have been easy being Lenny Bruce. He was a man who saw the world as it really is – minus the rose-colored lenses that were the fashion rage during the age of Eisenhower and the New Frontier. “People should be taught what is”, he told us, “not what should be”. There had never been a comedian like him before. His humor was real. It could even be bleak. But he was always – to the very end – screamingly funny. That his was a troubled soul there can be no argument. Newsweek once described him as a “self-destructive genius of a dirty time.”
Robert Letcher: For decades until the recent economic “troubles”, middle classes readily bought into the elite-serving argument: if we don’t question the morality of—and possible connections between—extreme poverty and extreme wealth, elites will act to assure that most of us will never be as poor as those poor Haitians (best delivered with a Glenn Beck quiver).