Tag Archives: Karen Ackerman

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Dear Mr. Blitzer, I just watched your interview with General Hayden.  As a determined and incisive journalist, you had an obligation to press the general for using, within his June 16th tweet, the photo of the train tracks leading to Birkenau.  As a Jew, you were true to your people and your history when you insisted that care be taken with comparisons made between one human tragedy and the Holocaust. As a child of survivors and a grandchild of victims, you were obviously motivated to respond emotionally to a possible casual use of Holocaust iconography. However, I believe it’s time to stop holding the Holocaust sacrosanct.  It’s time to consent that the entire period of history, from the mid-1920s until well past the liberation of the camps, must be perceived and used as a lesson of the most profound importance to our entire world today. The general has it right.  […]

I would very likely bite anyone who tries snatching this book from my hands. Yesterday morning, 6AM, I’m grumbling, “Don’t bother me; I’m reading!” The other evening, 5PM, I’m whining, “I hope someone’s on top of supper because I’m getting hungry.” This has been going on for days, now. I was awake at 3 o’clock this morning. The house was cold so I curled into a capsule beneath the blankets. I was also under cover so the dogs wouldn’t twig that I was awake and demand a pee and then, as morning follows evening, kibble follows pee, tug follows kibble, and so on. Forgive my awkward segue, but reality isn’t always smooth. The book I am reading is Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum. It’s not new, originally published in 1998, with an updated edition released in 2014. It isn’t that big, topping out at 630 pages (and I probably won’t […]

Dear Representative Paulsen – I write that merely to be polite as you certainly are not “dear” to me, and with a frown and a shake of my head as you represent everything I find most troubling about the current political environment.   I’ll spell it out, not for your benefit,  because I’m quite convinced you don’t care, but for my benefit.  I want to be able to say that I, at least, spoke up when our American civil liberties and quality of life were threatened.  I cried out as our Democracy died. If you were deserving of your job, you would not continue supporting a political party more invested in maintaining power than in engaging in good governance.  I’ll begin where I begin as there is nearly no end to your party’s objectionable behavior and all are nearly equally abhorant. Gerrymandering:  “Partisan gerrymandering has become a tool for powerful interests […]

Pull it together, for crying out loud! I can’t settle. I can’t write right. Words fail me. My anger feeds my fear and my fear feeds my feelings of insignificance and impotence and that, in turn, feeds the deadening belief that everything I do from here on must be of great significance. I need to write a warning that’s gripping and funny and pithy, and personally momentous, while, at the same time, historically accurate and, above all, true. But, in fact, I can barely see the screen because I can’t stop crying out loud! Literarily. Literally. Then Miriam sent me Sarah Ruhl’s speech. Every artist deserves a daughter like Miriam. Remarks from playwright Sarah Ruhl on accepting the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust Distinguished Playwright of the Year Award at Lincoln Center, New York on Monday, November 14, 2016. Thank you so much. I am so honored, and humbled, […]

I’ve just begun reading the new biography of Penelope Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald published her first book at the age of 58 but didn’t become famous until she was 80. I’ve just begun my 6th full length play even though the first 5 have never, yet, met an actor, director or stage. I’ve just begun training my new puppy and coming to terms with my older dog’s cloudy eyes. I’ve just sent another play to the Yale Playwriting Competition. I don’t know, but I’m guessing I’m competing with the young, the edgy, the up-and-coming and probably haven’t a dust bunnies chance with a Dyson. A stranger asked me the other day (don’t ask me why), “How long ago did you retire?” Retire!? Me? Never! What the hell? I’ve just begun! Oh, imagine what possibilities might arise when we refuse to withdraw into the night.