Brian Kaller

An Athenian Coup, or Slapstick Bedtime Story?

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 2.47.59 PM July 17, 2015
For tonight’s lesson, I said to my ten-year-old, tell me how the first democracy was created. “Sure,” she said, remembering our lessons past. “It was in Athens, about 2,500 years ago, and the poor people of Athens were unhappy and…
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Comedians in Togas

Busto di Solone (640 a.C ca-560 a.C ca), marmo June 4, 2015
The Greeks were funny. We don’t usually think of them that way; we think of them as marbled patriarchs in togas, Really Important Men We Revere for Some Reason. Admittedly, we don’t usually think of them at all these days;…
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Conversations with Bronze Age Warlords

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 6.58.37 PM April 28, 2015
Pop quiz: What ancient Greek legend begins with the kidnapping of Helen of Troy, and ends with Greeks sneaking into Troy inside a hollow wooden horse? If you said “The Iliad,” you’re wrong, as I discovered reading trying…
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The Real Social Network

graveyard_picture_5 February 4, 2014
The other night I saw the end of a life well-lived. I didn’t know him; I just saw his funeral. My bus rolled through the dark night I was riding the bus from my job in Dublin to our home…
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Horse Burgers and the Lives of Others

horse April 30, 2013
If you could boil our global problems down to seven words, they might be these: we don’t see where stuff comes from. Most of us grew up staring at glowing rectangles without ever seeing a coal-powered turbine. We blithely…
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Classic Cinema and Our Future

grouchomarx6 November 4, 2011
I want to see films for all ages, devoid of hip countercultural irony. I want to see low-budget teleplays in which today’s equivalent of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland put on a show to raise money to build allotments in the old park, a new series of Dead End Kids movies in which modern versions of Tommy and Milty cajole the neighbourhood association to allow pigs in the vacant lot.
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December 4, 2009
County Kildare, Ireland. A couple I know – we’ll call them Bob and Nancy — lived in a century-old house in the middle of their town, a few miles from their jobs and surrounded by long-time neighbours. When the last…
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