Author: Haven Pell

If this chart accurately depicts the makeup of American voters, why are we yet again faced with such deeply disappointing choices as we contemplate the coming elections? The sharp increase in polarization in recent years is well known, but is it naturally occurring or intentionally created? There is a political observer called Hal Gershowitz who […]

It seems unusually churlish to have named this year after the definition of perfect vision, as it is hard to think of a time when there has been less clarity. In general, people are not very good at uncertainty. They seem to like knowing their children will return to school in September and, after the […]

The spring and summer of 1974 we’re not very good for my court tennis, but they were excellent for other aspects of my life. I put check marks next to law school and the bar exam, ended my Upper West Side apartment lease and began the next adventure by getting married, moving to Omaha, Nebraska […]

The late 1960s are better remembered than the middle of that decade because turmoil resonates more than simmering transition, albeit a transition that was fast coming to a boil. Before the mid 1960s, boys who were viewed to be well educated, thanks to time spent at a handful of New England boarding schools and four […]

I was on a Zoom call the other day with PJ O’Rourke, a political satirist who was a leader of the National Lampoon and is the author of 20 books. “O’Rourke’s original reporting, irreverent humor, and crackerjack writing makes for delectable reading” describes his oeuvre. He has addressed this audience many times before and it […]

I bet you would be surprised to read that headline. Most businesses seem to have trade journals that address the interests of industry participants, host conferences and facilitate the exchange of news and ideas. Generally, they attract little notice outside of their niches. How often, for example, do you find yourself wondering about what The […]

If you’d like to get an argument going, put the very few people who have tried to play every court tennis court in the world into the same room and set them to matching their achievements. We all have our own ways of counting and these are invariably the ones most favorable to ourselves. As […]

Today is the 75th day of lockdown. I have been keeping track in the journal I write every day. The District of Columbia, where I live, will gently reopen tomorrow, which makes me wonder how I will end the daily count. Is a gentle reopening the measure or is there a starker divide between locked […]

Now that we have ascended the Zoom learning curve and perhaps found the result disappointing, let’s skip the obvious first question and move to the second. “What’s next” definitely comes after “when is next” because, at this point, we’d accept pretty much anything other than shelter in place. I’d love to answer the “when” question […]