Family Is On Fleek

Parenthood is having a cultural moment. It’s striking, because in our materially oriented society, we’ve recently seen a number of celebrities speak out publicly not only about the joy of children, but also acknowledging that their professionally successful lives feel incomplete without children. Indeed, it has become cool to publicly praise family. Should we credit … Continue reading

Sisterhood Is the Best Gift I Can Give My Daughters

There is no one like a sister. During childhood, she’s your best playmate, and if you’re fortunate, when you’re both grown, she remains your closest friend. I thought a lot about sisters while my older daughter was hospitalized in June. Sisterly pairs, and their dynamic relationships, seemingly swirled all around us that week. First, there … Continue reading

What Natalie Portman Gets Right And Wrong About Jews

Natalie Portman apparently thinks Jews spend too much time talking about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. In an interview about her new movie with the British Independent, the Oscar-winner made provocative and newsworthy observations. However, they were also problematic for a variety of reasons. Portman’s most insightful comment is also her most incendiary: “‘I think a really big question … Continue reading

Parenting: German for “Misery”

Is there anything worse than divorce, unemployment, or the death of a partner? According to German adults: parenthood. Rachel Margolis, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario, and Mikko Myrskylä, Executive Director of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, were interested in understanding why parents so often stop at one child, … Continue reading

Matisyahu Fights For The Freedom to Sing

Mrs. Garnett, my 9th grade art teacher, taught us that an artist’s job is to be bold and use his art to confront society about its flaws. However, sometimes, it’s an artist’s life experience that is actually more instructive. Take, for instance, American Jewish Reggae singer Matisyahu. Matisyahu was scheduled to perform at Spain’s Rototom Sunsplash Festival on August … Continue reading

RSVP Yes to Drunk Wedding

The New York Times doesn’t typically report on video-on-demand movies. Yet, The Times recently did just that, chronicling the behind-the-scenes squabbling about the distribution of Drunk Wedding. Paramount apparently came incredibly close to widely releasing the micro-budget film. Since you may not yet have seen, or even heard about this NSFW ensemble comedy, I called director Nick Weiss (a college friend), … Continue reading

Hugh Hefner’s Son Rebels

Twenty-three year-old Cooper Hefner recently proposed to his girlfriend of two years, 24-year-old British actress Scarlett Byrne. In advance of the big ask, Cooper flew across the Pond to secure the blessing of Byrne’s father. And after Byrne accepted, both families celebrated, including Cooper’s grandma. All of this makes Cooper sound remarkably traditional and family-oriented in a … Continue reading

I’m Finally Understanding Moms Who Don’t Let Their Kids Have Sweets

Becoming my mother? That’d be fine. Truthfully, the last person I ever wanted to resemble was Rice Cake’s mother. Yet, increasingly, I do. Rice Cake, whose real name is lost to history, was a 1-year-old boy in my Upper West Side playgroup when I was a kid. My mother pitied him. Whenever any hosting mother … Continue reading

What Amy Schumer’s ‘Trainwreck’ Teaches About Fathers

Is Amy Schumer a secret conservative plant? If you’re a social conservative watching her new movie, “Trainwreck,” you do have to pause and consider the notion. Thirty-something Amy Townsend (Schumer) is a hot mess, or a train wreck, if you like, from the movie’s start. We learn Amy’s back story in the opening scene, as … Continue reading

A Fox News for Pop Culture

Washingtonians don’t mind if you say that D.C. is Hollywood for ugly people. But tell them their city is not the epicenter of power they think it is, and they’ll be troubled. Hollywood’s society of conservatives, the Friends of Abe, believes that the war of ideas is happening in our culture, not our think tanks. … Continue reading


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