Author: smithmeaword_ufq3lh

Is the universe funny?

Is the universe funny?

What insights can we gain by looking at philosophy from a comic point of view, or at comedy from a philosophical point of view? Few are better equipped to tackle such portentous questions than my lifelong friend Eric Kaplan, Ph.D., the Emmy-winning TV comedy writer, executive producer on The Big Bang Theory, and author of …

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Dad’s War With Grandpa

Dad’s War With Grandpa

According to an article on Forbes.com, the Hollywood family comedy The War With Grandpa—adapted from the 1980s children’s book by my father, Robert Kimmel Smith, and starring Robert De Niro—earned just over a million bucks box office on its first day of release, October 9, making it the number-one movie in the Coming-Apart-at-the-Seams States of …

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Kiss me once and kiss me twice…

Kiss me once and kiss me twice…

To commemorate the 75th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (as well as the Russian invasion of Manchuria that started in between), I produced a special documentary episode of my weekly radio program, “Crazy Words, Crazy Tune,” that aired from noon to 2pm on August 7, 2020. Blending popular recordings from 1945 …

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Everybody step

Everybody step

The Syncopated Times has published this article detailing how syncopation conquered the Broadway stage in and around 1920, giving birth to what’s now called the “American popular songbook” of show tunes, and describing the early careers of Irving Berlin (look at that boychik!), Jerome Kern, and George Gershwin. This is the longest piece I’ve ever …

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Robert Kimmel Smith (1930-2020)

Robert Kimmel Smith (1930-2020)

My sister, Heidi Pie Aronson, and I co-wrote this remembrance of our father, who passed away on April 18. *** Robert Kimmel Smith, novelist and author of the children’s books Chocolate Fever and The War With Grandpa, died Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 89. He passed peacefully from natural causes, said Margery …

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Where’s a world order when you need one?

Where’s a world order when you need one?

Since 2020 began I’ve been thinking about some of the year’s significant anniversaries, especially it being the 75th anniversary of everything that happened in 1945. I was expecting that we’d have heard a lot about 1945 by this point in the year, with world leaders gathering and doing whatever they do at commemorations: pompous speeches, …

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The First Race Record Turns 100

The First Race Record Turns 100

The March 2020 issue of The Syncopated Times newspaper will run my article on the historic 1920 recording of “Crazy Blues,” by Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds, the disc that opened the way for African American artists in the record business. The article explores the circumstances of the recording and the career of Perry …

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Ticking away…

Ticking away…

Reflections on the latest “Doomsday Clock” reset, published January 29 by the Progressive Media Project. This is your wake-up call! This piece was distributed over the Tribune News Service wire and was printed in newspapers and websites coast to coast! Print pickups include The Republican of Springfield, MA; Kenosha News of Kenosha, WI; Times Leader …

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The Jackie Robinson of Jazz

The Jackie Robinson of Jazz

Everybody knows Brooklyn’s number 42, but I’m surprised how many people are unaware of how popular music got integrated in the 1930s, paving the way for Robinson and Rickey to break baseball’s color line after World War II. The pivotal figure for jazz was Teddy Wilson, whose musical compatibility with the King of Swing created …

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Round 2 for the Presidentials

Round 2 for the Presidentials

Here’s my article on “the Democrats’ do-si-do,” published on Common Dreams in the wake of former VP Biden’s entrance into the race. (Here’s hoping they fix the woefully outdated bio. And photo—I haven’t worn that goatee in years!) Let me know your thoughts on this thinkpiece!