Leonard Cohen at Eighty Lights a Cigarette

Leonard CohenThis past weekend, the singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen celebrated his 80th birthday – with a cigarette. Last year, he announced that he would resume smoking when he turned 80. “It’s the right age to recommence,” he explained….

Our culture of aging is one of extremes. You are either healthy and executing vigorous efforts to build your health account, or you are dying. And yet, as we start to “ache in the places where [we] used to play,” as one of Mr. Cohen’s songs puts it, we want to focus on the present.

Source: Jason Karlawish in The New York Times, September 20

Stereotypes on Russian and Ukrainian Television

Typical characters in entertainment on Russian television are happy members of Putin’s consumer society who are not interested in politics and don’t engage with the community.

Typical characters on Ukrainian television live in a poorer society but are heavily engaged in political affairs.

Source: conversation with Howard Aster, president of Mosaic Press