Sunday reading

The Russian Hawaii

The first European explorers reached these heavenly volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean at the end of the 18th century. One, the famous British voyager James Cook, also found his final resting place there. As a direct consequence of this “contact with civilization,” a local chieftain named […]

A trip to the Promised Land

Recent events such as a terrorist attack in the center of Tel Aviv, Netanyahu’s Moscow visit, his meeting with President Putin, and the opening of an exhibition, “Open A Door to Israel,” all led the author to book an immediate flight to Tel Aviv the following day. Having visited two […]

Anti-Gagarin: Hollywood The Dream-Killer

“LET’S GO!” – Yuri Gagarin’s famous cry at the start of the first manned spaceflight (1961) “DON’T LET GO” – the official tagline for the movie Gravity (2013) Watching Academy Award-winning movies is often more thought-provoking than entertaining. In addition to their responsibility for much of the visual indoctrination of […]

Culture wars and the non-West

In the United States we used to talk about the ‘culture wars’, as though the ‘culture’ was the battlefield, the undifferentiated contested space on which the wars were fought. Indeed, many of us still seem to think and speak this way. Our political and pundit classes will still often talk […]

Peter, Paul and Putin

Since having been back in the United States, I got to make a visit to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. It was an awesome experience – and I say this not in the colloquial way but in a heartfelt way. It was one of my first ever […]