Author Archives: Nava Brahe

Harry Morgan Remembered

NAVA BRAHE: To me, Harry Morgan is best known as Colonel Sherman Potter from my very favorite television series, M*A*S*H. I was rather young when the series first debuted, and my parents weren’t that particular about what I watched back in those days. Granted, prime time television was ridiculously tame compared to what’s on there now, and for the record, even though I absorbed countless episodes of All in the Family and its ilk, I turned out fine; at least I think so. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Rebecca Black and Bullying

NAVA BRAHE: Bullying pisses me off – and don’t for a second think that kids are the only ones guilty of it; adults are just as culpable.

When I read the story about Rebecca Black leaving school for being bullied for the success of her “Friday” music video, I was upset, but I also had a revelation: grown-ups have become obsessed with protecting their kids from bullies, but who is preventing the grown-ups from bullying each other? It’s a conundrum I never before contemplated, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Kids aren’t the only ones doing it. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Philip Roth Swears Off Fiction

NAVA BRAHE: I can understand why Philip Roth has sworn off fiction. He said so in an article that appeared a couple of weeks ago in the Financial Times. Roth is an author with a body of work that entitles him to make that statement.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Look, you’ll find no bigger Philip Roth fan than me. With the 50 years of great literature he’s given the world, he has the right to read nothing but instruction manuals and cereal boxes for the remainder of his days.

Just don’t then ask me to take him seriously as a current fiction writer if he’s that detached from the genre. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

The Future of Radio

NAVA BRAHE: As an old college radio station alumna (Kingsborough Community College’s WKRB), I went through a period where I was deluded enough to think I could have a career in radio. That was during the mid-8os, just after MTV signed on, and “Video Killed the Radio Star”. I met a lot of great people, many of whom I’ve reconnected with thanks to social media, and I had a damn good time. Did I ever work a day in the business? No.

CHRIS PUMMER: Radio is dying because it sucks. Because the great local disc jockeys aren’t as local, which means they aren’t as great. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Judge Judy

NAVA BRAHE: I’m sorry, but “Judge Judy” is every Jewish kid’s nightmare. She may sit on a bench in a black robe with a lace collar, but when she starts berating those who stand before her, she might as well be wearing an apron and wielding a spatula. This has nothing to do with adjudicating legal matters (such as they appear on television), this has to do with being a Jewish mother. Granted, I don’t think many people get that aspect of her persona, but if you’ve had, or still have a Jewish mother, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: My late grandfather loved watching the “judge” shows, and he loved asking me questions about the cases. Invariably, I’d have to remind him that nothing that happens on those shows is anything like what happens in actual court (with the exception of NYC landlord-tenant court, which is really more of a bazaar than an institution of justice). Had he lived just a bit longer, my grandfather would have had the pleasure of seeing my brother on The People’s Court… despite my strenuous objections. My brother won, and he looked good doing it, but I maintain that it was a mistake, and not just because those shows make the American legal system look bad. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The No Way To Win Diner

AKIE BERMISS: I’m no purist. Not by a long shot. But I’m not really a rebel either. This makes for a troubling situation overall, since most purists therefore view me as a rebel and most rebels view me as a purist. Its a numbers game really if you want to know where you wind up on the scale of things. That’s why dining out is hard for me, I have a lot of weird food issues and I’m a persnickety eater over all. I know its declasé to eat with your knife and fork held at the same time, that one should not mix up the various foods on the dish, that one should drink slowly and in conservative sips. And that one should order off the menu and eat it as the Chef designs it to be eaten. That’s why I stay away from the kind of restaurants featured in an article in the New York Times last week — restaurants where the Chef/barista is the law-giver and the customer has no say.

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: I’m not suggesting that every restaurant (or any, for that matter) should be inflexible. To the contrary, I think any service industry establishment should be guided by the desires of its customers. Being “puritan” (or just plain unwilling to accommodate patrons) is an enormous risk. It’s less likely to succeed, in the traditional sense, than giving customers what they want. But if you let it go too far, then you risk becoming a doormat, which is also pretty bad.

NAVA BRAHE: I’ve witnessed more than my share of food proclivities over the course of my life, specifically those of my extended family. I have a cousin who is the quintessential picky eater and will likely make a scene in the most easygoing of eateries; yet she will periodically chow down on a Big Mac, fries and a Coke, and then proclaim she’s “hungry” after licking the last of the french fry salt off her fingers. Then, there’s my diabolically certifiable aunt, who’s a food hoarder of a magnitude where someone needs to dispatch an A&E camera crew to track her food-shopping exploits. Me? I eat whatever you put in front of me. I can’t remember the last time I sent back anything at a restaurant that wasn’t to my liking. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Two And A Half Men Considered

NAVA BRAHE: There isn’t much on television these days that is worth watching. When a friend of mine couldn’t stop raving about how “hysterically” funny Two and a Half Men is, I decided to give it a whirl. I started watching the episodes in syndication, but it wasn’t long before I was making a point of watching the first-run episodes on CBS. The acting, along with the writing were especially clever, but what kept me coming back for more were Chuck Lorre’s now infamous vanity cards at the end of each episode. I had a DVR at that time, so I was able to pause, read, and laugh out loud at most of them. All in all, the time invested was time well spent.
Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom

NAVA BRAHE: I am so glad Jonathan Franzen isn’t one of those mass-market authors churning out one or two books a year; frankly if he were, I couldn’t handle it. Then again, Freedom isn’t the sort of novel you’d want to read more than one of. One is quite enough to get your mind going in a million different directions, contemplating what is wrong in society. Turns out, in Franzen’s world, there’s a lot wrong, and very little right. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture, Orphaned Opinions | Comments Off

Expressing Anger on the Internet

JESSICA BADER: During my late teens, I spent a good deal of time on message boards about pop culture. Back in 2005, I was asked to be a moderator of one of the message boards where I had been an active participant, a forum where people discussed pop music in general and the Radio & Records airplay charts in particular. It isn’t much of an exaggeration to say that the year I spent as a moderator (and later, administrator) of that message board taught me some of the most valuable lessons about human nature that I’ve ever learned.

NAVA BRAHE: Is it anger or is it cowardice? When you wander into a chat room or onto a message board, and you add a well meaning and (you feel) innocuous contribution, and someone “flames” you, are they genuinely angry, or are they hiding behind the “anonymity” the Internet provides us to vent their frustrations? Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Comments Off

Super Bowl, Non-Football Edition

JESSICA BADER: I am much less bothered by melisma/vocal runs during the national anthem then most people seem to be, so if I think Christina Aguilera went more than a bit over-the-top just now, I’m guessing that the median viewer…

Posted in Sports | Comments Off