Nothing like Paris

These streets are made for walking.

A mile or so up the Champs-Élysées and I’m the only one in sensible shoes. This is Paris. I’m an aging American tourist and can’t stop trying hard not to seem like one. But it’s a vain effort. People on the street seem younger than before. They are still svelte as weasels and still favor tight black apparel. They come in a variety of ethnicities. They wear […]

Autumn elsewhere

From the Seine in 2007.

So long. Farewell. Auf wiedersehen, adieu. Also, arrivederci. The brunette and I are off to the continent. First to a little town in Italy, and then to a big town in France. We’re calling it a 15th anniversary trip, even though it coincides with a niece’s wedding in Santa Margherita Ligure and some work-related stuff in Paris. They say both are lovely this time of year. But […]

Bring on da crap

So ye call this a movie, do ye?

The world really is going to hell, isn’t it? We’ve got ISIS cutting off everybody’s heads. We’ve got the ebola virus on a sightseeing tour of America. And now we’ve got Adam Sandler contractually obligated to do at least four more movies. It’s the last one that really makes me fear for America. Ever seen “Blended”? “Jack and Jill”? “Grownups 2″? Me neither. But I have noted […]

Fun with vampires

That's the last time I use the drive-thru.

We all have our guilty pleasures, and one of mine at the moment is “The Strain,” the TV adaptation of the books by Guillermo del Toro. It’s all about vampires taking over New York City. It’s like “The Walking Dead,” except, you know, with vampires. And an evil presence orchestrating the whole thing. You can see why it’s a guilty pleasure. But bear with me. These aren’t […]

American History ‘R’

roosevelt art

The past really would be just a bucket of ashes except for what it can teach about the present. The new PBS series “The Roosevelts” has at least one good lesson: In America, strong presidents are better than weak ones — unless you are a member of the foreign-tyrant or corrupt fat-cat community. We viewed all seven episodes over the past week. It’s compelling stuff. But you […]

Heads will roll

Our work here is done.

Welcome to the Foreign Policy Korner, wherein we assess all that’s wrong in the world and sort it out in a few paragraphs. First, let’s agree on something: There are no good guys anywhere in the Mideast. None. There are surely good people — the families getting maimed and slaughtered as a way for fanatics to keep score — but there are no groups, rebel or government […]

For your listening pleasure

Now featuring a work of staggering genius.

And now for something fiction-related: One of my stories is now available as a podcast. Remember podcasts? They were those sound files you could get on the Internets and listen to on a device called an “iPod.” Apparently that’s still a thing, even if iPods are not. A few months back I was contacted by a site called Crime City Central. The man in charge, Jack Calverly, […]