Opinion

Hath Not a Jew

Of Shakespeare’s major comedies, The Merchant of Venice is my least favorite because it’s the least funny. In a post-​Holocaust world it’s difficult to stage the play’s anti-​semitic jokes, and directors often make the understandable choice to shift the tone contour of the play toward the political and tragic.

Passing the Torch

Earlier this fall, a group of about 250 civic and cultural leaders gathered to pay tribute to Teresa Heinz Kerry on the occasion of her handing over the chairmanship of The Heinz Endowments to her sons. From creating Riverlife, to championing causes from the environment to social equity to the…

Whistleblower

by Jennifer Papale Rignani
In 1991, the smell of Nabisco saturated the air in Pittsburgh’s eastern neighborhoods. The cookie factory was still just that, years away from its second act as a Google anchor. Sears was closed, but its big blue shell sat fading in the parking lot on Highland Avenue. Peabody wasn’t Obama…

On a Lonely Stretch of Road

I had occasion recently to pet a wild animal for the first time.

Car Trouble

At 5:30 a.m. one recent morning, I was driving the Parkway East to Monroeville, and actually ON TIME. I began to hear a loud “ka-​thunk” from the front left of my mini-​van. Suddenly, my front left wheel popped clean off. Had it been later, I would have been horrified at…

On the (Inevitable) Donald, Part V

We’ve talked about school desegregation and we’ve talked about the fight against discrimination, two highly desirable movements that were, unfortunately, built on the backs of working families, leaving the elites who sponsored them untouched. Unsurprisingly, many of those working families now support Donald Trump and, whether he wins or loses,…

On the (Inevitable) Donald, Part IV

Let’s talk about discrimination. I had a friend, now deceased, we’ll call Millie. Millie grew up in a wealthy and influential family and graduated from law school in the 1930s — a real gender pioneer. But getting a law degree and getting a law job were two different things. Whenever Millie would…

On the (Inevitable) Donald, Part III

I’ll be talking about delicate issues in these posts, so let me be clear about what I’m saying — and what I’m not. Hundreds of years from now, when historians look back on our era — say, the period beginning just after World War II — the glory of our time won’t have anything to do…

On the (Inevitable) Donald, Part II

by Greg Curtis
One reason I dislike Trump but also dislike his elite critics is because I have the misfortune to live in both camps. If you merely took a quick, casual glance at my vita you might conclude (as I try to trick everybody into concluding) that I am a card-​carrying member…

On the (Inevitable) Donald

by Greg Curtis
Right-​thinking person that I am, I’ve spent my adult life in broad agreement with elite American opinion on all the major issues and movements of the age: opposition to the War in Vietnam, support for the Civil Rights Movement, gender equity, reproductive rights, immigration reform, environmentalism, equality for gays, lesbians,…

Smart City

by PQ Staff
Certainly, it’s not great news that Pittsburgh didn’t win a $50 million federal Smart City Challenge grant to redesign its transportation system.

The Best of Intentions

by Elizabeth Wiethorn
I just hope my mother doesn’t testify against me… if she does, I am in deep trouble.

Advice to a Would-​Be Reporter

by Douglas Heuck
I was talking recently with a friend’s son who’s interested in journalism, which today seems like a very uncertain proposition. Perhaps it always has been— my parents certainly thought so.

Brexit Grexit Nexit Kerflop

by Greg Curtis
The EU’s leaders “cling to the decaying corpse of a European super nation-​state with no clue as to what alternative other than breakup and secession there might be.– Philip Bobbitt, Stratfor I’m right in the middle of a series of posts on how best to navigate a new era of…

The British Vote and Pittsburgh’s Demographics

by Paul Scripko
We’re all trying to figure out the implications of the somewhat surprising news that UK voters decided by a comfortable majority to leave the European Union. No matter what side you identified with in this grand referendum, it’s always invigorating when democracy’s voices speak.
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