Culture View

10/19/2010 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

Thousands of years from now, what will human conversation look like? Like the Talmud? A version of Wikipedia?

Last weekend I participated in two fascinating conversations that got me thinking about the future of conversation, and how both new technology and old Jewish ideas might give us a clue.

08/24/2010 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

I had the privilege of spending much of the summer in Israel, meeting with artists and curators and generally re-acquainting myself with the art scene there. While the reopening of the magnificent Israel Museum in Jerusalem was the most noteworthy event of my trip, meetings at galleries, museums and performances crystallized the idea that art offers a window into the soul — and the possibilities — of Israeli life today.

07/20/2010 | | Culture View

Shortly after Harvey Pekar died last week, at 70, YouTube videos of his infamous quarrels with David Letterman got a dizzying number of views. Pekar was already a cult hero for his underground “American Splendor” comic-book series that began appearing in the mid-‘70s, but it was the Letterman appearances a decade later that catapulted him into fame.

04/20/2010 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Culture View

In my 15 years writing this column, which has focused on the connections between culture and community, I’m not sure I’ve ever had as powerful a sense of the transformative power of Jewish ideas as in the creative arc of writer/performer Josh Kornbluth.

A San Francisco Bay Area institution and former TV talk show host, Kornbluth is a renowned writer and monologist, whose autobiographical work includes probing explorations of such inherently undramatic topics as math, taxes and the Berkeley environmental commission.

03/23/2010 | | Staff Writer | Culture View

When the Israeli historian Shlomo Sand released his book “The Invention of the Jewish People” in America a few months ago, journalists here wondered if it would attract the same attention it did abroad. It was a bestseller in Israel upon its initial release in 2008, and later won the French journalists’ highest honor, the Aujourd’hui Award. So far, however, the book has made little impact here.