Ben Sen's Blog

Politics, Culture and Religion Without Projections

Ben Sen

Ben Sen
Location
New York, N.Y.,
Birthday
December 31
Bio
I'd rather be judged on the basis of my posts than anything written in my bio. It's put down and gathered as a record of my experience and a response to what I see as the important issues in the world today. I don't pretend it's anything other than subjective. The purpose is to analyze, interpret, express opinions, challenge the status quo, open a few doors, and entertain. I heartily welcome ratings, comments and dialogue. That's what makes this media unique and valuable. It also keeps me honest and encouraged since I'm not getting paid. Take a risk and say something; it feels better. A "conversation" is essential for the growth of the individual and the collective. I have faith it extends beyond the confines of what is said here. "For it is necessary for awake people to be awake, or a breaking line may discourge us back to sleep, the signals we give--yes, no or maybe--should be clear: the darkness around us is deep." From A RITUAL TO READ TO EACH OTHER by William Stafford

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Editor’s Pick
JUNE 23, 2011 12:46PM

The Best Father's Day Ever

My daughter is my heart.

She always has been, since the day she was born. Watching her grow and "expand" as a person has been the greatest joy in my life. I'm sure many if not all parents who love their children feel the same way, but that isn't any reason… Read full post »

     Starting from my last year in high school, the idea of leaving the house without a paperback in my coat or pants pocket was untenable. I read a novel every two or three weeks--sometimes more, sometimes less--a habit only interrupted by college when I was forced to read what "… Read full post »

     It's the unthinkable.  What nobody wants to imagine or accept.  A coalition of Arab states and Iran attacking Israel.  Until the downfall of Mubarak nobody would have predicted it.  Now the question is whether it is inevitable.

     Can… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 5, 2011 2:40PM

Why I Don't Eat Eggplant

     In the summer of 1967, yes, I'm that old, I came to New York City to find work as a journalist.  I didn't have a college degree and nobody heard of the school I attended.

      I did the usual, went to the offices of the New York Times, TimeRead full post »

APRIL 28, 2011 2:20PM

WHY BLOG?

     I have to admit it.  I lose it every once and awhile.  Okay, maybe a little more than that, but not all the time.  Okay, maybe...

     I used to write for money, not much, but enough to make a living for three years as a freelance, until I h… Read full post »

APRIL 25, 2011 12:34PM

The Legacy of Stan Dale

     Chances are you never heard of Stan Dale.  Like most of us Stan died known and loved by a close circle of friends, "disciples" to use the term broadly, and the hundreds if not thousands of people whose lives he changed forever.  I was one of them.

 stan_dale_thumb

&nbs… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 11, 2011 12:09PM

Confessions of a Frankophile

     Maybe it was growing up Catholic in Detroit and belonging to the old guard who knew "Detroit" is the French word for "strait," referring to the river and the French were on top of the historical pecking order.

     Maybe it's the bread.

   &… Read full post »

                    I build small houses from lumberyard scraps like I write poems, using plywood, cardboard, the odd two by four for the frame.

          &… Read full post »

     God, I love blogging.  I don't have to kiss anybodies ass.  You can either agree, disagree, think I'm stark raving mad, or make a mental note: this might be something I'm looking for.

     It's only March and I've already seen two great movies in… Read full post »

     I've heard reports that over 15 per cent of public employees in Wisconsin voted Republican in the last election.

     It sounds hard to believe, but not shocking.  I had a Wisconsin protester visit my blog who berated me for having the temerity t… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 1, 2011 10:37AM

Labor Unions Waiting for Godot

     The most salient feature of what I think about labor unions, and "union workers" comes from personal experience--not a theory of "socialism" or "capitalism" or any of the rest of the intellectual mumbo-jumbo that is so often the basis for opinion in the matter.  (Th… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 23, 2011 2:31PM

The Rule of Three

     What I don't like about the Rule of Three is after two deaths how do you know the third won't be your own?

    So far for 2011 it's been my former business partner Diane, and my mentor and friend Joe Ellin from college.  Diane's death came a… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 4, 2011 5:30PM

Becoming George Plimpton

     I woke up last night dreaming about George Plimpton, the writer, "professional amateur," editor, actor, bird watcher, and raconteur who left for the next dimension in 2003.  I used to especially enjoy watching him on the talk shows, so relaxed and engaged but withou… Read full post »

     C.P. Cavafy died in the ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt at the age of 70ty in 1933.  You don't have to know anything about poetry or even be interested in it to be fascinated by his story.  He died in almost total obscurity.  Known to very few even in hisRead full post »

JANUARY 3, 2011 4:39PM

Visiting Old Detroit

The old house is gone,  the city destroyed, can you see it, no?  Hey, it's ancient Mesopotamia, thieves digging in the ruins, what hasn't fallen ready to fall.

I wake up cold and dreaming about the fruit cellar and the girls who lived nearby, not necessarily in that order.

The girls li… Read full post »

1)  The Dems have little notion of loyalty.  I'm speaking as much of the constituency as the pols.  It's the anarchistic streak in them.  They mistake it for independence, not understanding the nature of progressive legislation is incrementalism, not ideological purity. … Read full post »

    Bob: I agree I failed in my assignment to "tell a tale of truimph that demonstrates careful planing and sly ingenuity."  I told the tale of triumph, but not the careful planning...part.

     It 's due to not having a hell of a lot to tell, but that wou… Read full post »

     How to interpret the midterms without falling into the ideological traps?

     That's the question, especially since a sucker is born every minute  and becoming one of them is not an aspiration.  It isn't enough to say historically the midterms a… Read full post »

OCTOBER 15, 2010 12:57PM

Israel: The Land of Shame

Two parts to the story: Avigdor Lieberman has declared his ultra-nationionalist agenda more clearly, moving to the right of Netanyahu to garner the paranoid vote, and Ahmadinejad has now travelled to Lebanon for the first time since he was elected in 2005 to rally the Herzbollah troops and the Shite… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 11:31AM

Why Don't More Muslims Read My Blog?

     Anybody who was there will never forget the day Richard Marner punched Sister Francis in the face.  It was the seventh grade.  He knocked off her black and white bonnet, revealing her nearly bald head and floppy ears.

     The entire class gasped… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 12:05PM

The Philosophy of the Midterms

     It's foolish to contend with the prevailing wisdom: all politics are local, but these midterms hold special qualities:  a) they are in the midst or follow the greatest recession since the great depression, depending on your point of view, b) they follow th… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 10, 2010 8:21PM

I Quit or A Scumbag is a Scumbag

I worked for awhile at a famous old bar in New York City.  I can't say the name and won't confirm it if you guess right.  I still have friends who work there for the scumbag who owns the place.

While I was there the owner died, the last of a… Read full post »

AUGUST 6, 2010 10:57AM

Movie Review: GET LOW

The movie GET LOW won't win an Oscar.  A year from now it will largely be forgotten by all but a few aficianados.  It's what Hollywood calls a "small movie" about real people and how "we" live.  It's box office draw won't put it in the top ten, twenty, or fifty for… Read full post »

JULY 27, 2010 8:17PM

Sentiment

I remember driving out to Brooklyn in the little yellow Ford Fiesta.

Something landed on the rear window and busted the glass.  I heard of a shop under the highway that sells them used.  I even had the new used glass installed and feel good about it.

It's the years when my da… Read full post »

JULY 8, 2010 8:51AM

Jon Stewart Escapes Sudden Death

Let's see if I have the facts straight:  a woman hired as a "correspondent" by the Daily Show gives an interview for the website Jezebel.com.  The actress Olivia Munn is said to describe the show as "a boys club where women's contributions are often ignored and dismissed."  (That's a q… Read full post »