Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 7:30 am
As the father of two rambunctious boys (ages 4 and 7), Halloween is a holy day at my house. Kids have forced me to shed the cynicism that I associated with this holiday, and I've fully embraced the celebration. Just don't ask me to wear a costume.
The news out of Syria these days is a barrage of images: destroyed buildings, gruesome casualties, weeping mothers. It's both disturbing and inspiring to a thriving movement of Syrian songwriters, rappers, poets, writers, graffiti artists and actors trying to cope with what's happening around them.
NPR's Kelly McEvers recently attended a performance by Syrian artists in Beirut and sent this report.
It's largely forgotten now — but there was a time when the mere mention of Brooklyn would produce a cascade of laughs. It was like saying "woman driver" — surefire guffaws. Everybody from Brooklyn was supposed to be a character.
Every platoon in every war movie had one wise guy from Brooklyn in it. Brooklyn natives spoke funny. They said, most famously, "youse guys." At a time when African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics barely existed — visibly — in movies or on radio or television, Brooklyn was the all-purpose stand-in for our great American ethnic diversity.