Ideas, innovation, exploration, and entrepreneurship make societies rich. When you buy something built elsewhere you are not just buying a fancy new object. You are importing ideas and innovation. When we welcome traders and merchants, with their wares and goods they exchange with ours, we trade not just goods and services, we open our minds to new ways of doing things—doing it more efficiently, more …
Seconds rarely come first. If media coverage is a reliable indicator of public interest, however, seconds in command are currently top of the show, not the postscript but the story itself.
Those who advise, assist, check, and even, on occasion, usurp their leader have always captured our imagination: Octavian (who was to become the first Emperor of Rome as Caesar Augustus) had Gaius Maecenas, his …
In darkness we’ll talk,
until we fade,
about cooking on TV,
or protests at Berkeley.
We sift and settle. We drift
to the coyotes howling
pagan hymns in a choir
that gives them up to each other
in their time of need:
brother, sister, loved one:
here I am, come feed.
They warble, laugh.
When they do we know
they’re only a short walk
from our window, no more
than a quick half-minute’s stroll
(in those flickering,
everything is fractional).
And then, …
On May 1, 1927, The New York Times announced: “Once more war is on between the mighty old dragon that is the Mississippi River and his ancient enemy, man.” Illustrating the story was a reprint of an 1868 Currier & Ives lithograph called “High Water in the Mississippi,” to which had been added the phrase, “In Days Gone By.”
Through the curtain-like trees, the 1927 viewer—perhaps …
My proposal may seem sudden, but ours shouldn’t be one of those late-night quickie weddings at a chapel off the Strip.
I, California, want a real grown-up marriage with you, Nevada. We both have reputations for being fun and youthful and wild, but who are we kidding? We’re both mature states that entered the Union in the mid-19th century.
And look how much we …
We know the story all too well: Baby boomers, that generation born between 1946 and 1964, experience a childhood heavily shaped by the cultural dynamics of the postwar era, and immerse themselves in the rebellion and hedonism to be had in abundance during the counterculture era. Let’s call that familiar tale Boomers 1.0, a version of boomers’ individual and collective lives defined by Cold War …
It once was stated that, “man’s weakness is not achieving victories, but in taking advantage of them.” Indeed, this is the case for global infection control. Throughout history we have so far eradicated only a single major infectious disease threat, a feat accomplished through the leadership of Dr. D.A. Henderson, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 87.
Beginning in 1966, Henderson led a …
Even though the United States is worlds away from ancient Greece, we still sometimes use the Greeks’ vocabulary for describing immigrants and our fear of them. Like the ancient Greeks, some of the more xenophobic among us decry foreigners as “barbarians.” The Greeks named non-natives barbaroi because foreign languages to their ears sounded like bar-bar-bar. The term carried a lot of baggage: Barbarians were ruled …
Jamel Shabazz is a fine art, documentary, and fashion photographer whose work focuses on the African American experience. Before taking part in a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” panel discussion at the Getty Center in Los Angeles to consider the question, “Does Art Capture Reality Better Than the News?” he chatted in the Zócalo green room about Kangol hats, Kool and the Gang, and the pleasures of …
News with an element of sensation becomes breaking news today. Sensation sells. Everything is made sensational even if it is not.