Picture of Marty Kaplan

Marty Kaplan

Marty Kaplan holds the Norman Lear Chair at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His Jewish Journal columns have won First Place in the Southern California Journalism Awards six times in the past six years. Reach him at martyk@jewishjournal.com

Happy birthday to me

But by and large, despite those enticing pitches, adulthood turns out to mean acceptance — of how you played the hand you were dealt, of mortality, of beshert — even if it sometimes includes flashes of 40-f—ing-8-like fury at the way the world turns out to work.

Welcome to the Orwell Olympics

Why do I have the feeling that if hundreds of billions of dollars\’ worth of Chinese imports and of American business investments in China were not at stake, quiet diplomacy wouldn\’t be the slogan du jour?

On having your (political) heart broken — the Edwards scandal

His follow-up message, in response to my away-from-my-e-mail auto-reply, vibrated in my pocket during dinner, where no one else at my table had a clue what scandal had erupted. I stole a look at the screen, my transgression, I hoped, concealed by the tablecloth.

Ich bin ein Amerikaner

The Bush/Cheney doctrine, of course, was never about being loved. Instead, they said they wanted America to be respected, which turned out to be code for being feared.

Beyond sicko

Because this was happening a short taxi ride from the White House, I half expected someone from Dick Cheney\’s office to burst in at any moment, grab the
microphone and proclaim the conference kaput, dissolved like an inconvenient parliament.

The next president’s gums

The 1960 presidential debates were arguably the first reality show. What took so long for television executives to figure out that there\’s gold in them thar unscripted hills?

Ice on Mars: Good for the Jews?

Is evolution the merely pointless, meaningless consequence of having world enough and time, or is our current state of consciousness just too embryonic to grasp the telos of the universe?


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