Paul Greenberg

Posted September 29, 2014

If you don't know who Gao Zhisheng is, welcome to the vast club.

Posted September 26, 2014

Every year the annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center is something to see, if only to think on a) how much art has changed, and b) how much we have. For the one sure indication that we're looking at art, good or bad but never indifferent, is its power to send us into reverie.

Posted September 24, 2014

The first thing you may notice once past the double doors of the current exhibit of line art at the Arkansas Arts Center isn't anything on exhibit. It's an old outside wall that became an inside one when the museum was expanded in the 1960s, and its designers had the good judgment to preserve this fine example of WPA-style modernity circa the 1930s. Anything less would have been an insult to history -- and just good taste. They don't make walls like that anymore. Mod museums specialize in the blank. Ornamentation is out. It reveals too much character.

Posted September 22, 2014

News Bulletin: "Scotland has voted No to independence, after millions of voters took to the polls to decide the future of the United Kingdom."

Posted September 19, 2014

'Tis the season when just an ordinary year-round conspiracy theory can blossom into a full-blown mythology.

Posted September 17, 2014

It's an old superstition among actors, who tend to avoid calling one of Shakespeare's tragedies by its name, which is supposed to invite disaster. It's like the way they avoid wishing each other good luck opening night lest they jinx it, preferring to say something like Break a Leg -- but here's hoping that Thursday's referendum on independence for Scotland will prove a flop, and a resounding one. So this issue can be settled definitively, and stay settled. Instead of being decided by the razor-thin margin some of the polls have predicted. So it won't hang around indefinitely, like Banquo's Ghost, showing up at the most inopportune times. Like now and forever. And the United Kingdom can stay united, Scots and Englishmen and the rest, all Britons together.

Posted September 13, 2014

How say anything clear about a presidential address to the nation that wasn't?

Posted September 11, 2014

Man cannot bear too much uncertainty. We like our problems spelled out as clearly as possible, the choices before us arranged neatly, maybe with little boxes beside each to check "For and Against," for nothing seems to frustrate us like being handed an indeterminate sentence and told to persevere. As patience runs out, making a bad decision may come to seem better than making none at all. At least it would end the suspense.

Posted September 10, 2014

Once again our secretary of state is busy observing American foreign policy rather than shaping it.

Posted September 08, 2014

Just a few blocks away from Little Rock's snaggle-toothed skyline, its intersecting interstates and rush-hour traffic, an island of respite opens in the middle of downtown. It's an exhibit of photographs taken between 1995 and 2012 in and around sleepy little Wilmot (Pop. 550) down in Ashley County. That's in L.A., or Lower Arkansas, the southernmost part of the state, which is about as Southern as it gets.

Posted September 06, 2014

2014.

Posted September 04, 2014

The scholar H.W. Fowler described and diagnosed many a linguistic malady in his classic study, "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage," back in that very modern year 1926.

Posted September 01, 2014

Sometimes all it takes is a single snippet in the news to open a world of insights.

Posted August 29, 2014

What a surfeit of surreal scenes have been pouring out of little Ferguson, Missouri, these past few weeks -- as if they'd never end. Amazing.

Posted August 29, 2014

On this Labor Day weekend, like most Americans, I come to praise labor, not indulge in it. Has there ever been a people that speechified more about the joys and satisfactions of work and the work ethic, yet was so enamored of labor-saving devices?

Posted August 27, 2014

Ebola isn't the only plague in this troubled world.

Posted August 26, 2014

The on-again, off-again war in Gaza and Israel is on again, with a massive barrage of rockets fired at whatever targets Hamas can hope to reach in the Jewish state -- Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, anything and everything in between. The Israelis then strike back with an air assault that, by all signs, will be followed by their next land invasion of the Gaza Strip, their third of the decade. Or maybe fourth or fifth. It's not easy to keep count.

Posted August 20, 2014

Lauren Bacall's death at 89 got front-page coverage complete with picture in the New York Times, and it deserved to. Like so many American images and voices in our vast celluloid memory bank, she may have been more familiar than famous -- if the definition of fame has something to do with greatness rather than just exposure. But familiar she definitely was, at least to the generation of American moviegoers who grew up with movies the way their grandchildren now grow up with the Internet.

Posted August 19, 2014

In one of those faux Ye Old English Tea Shoppes serving tidbits as inauthentic as its spelling and typography, Margaret Thatcher briefly shares her thoughts on our current "wobbly" President.

Posted August 16, 2014

"I think this is going to take some time," our president warned last Saturday as he took off for a vacation on Martha's Vineyard, maybe because he felt he had to offer some explanation as Iraq collapsed along with his foreign policy in general.