David Bouchier


David began as a print journalist in London and taught at a British university for almost twenty years. After coming to the United States in 1986 he continued to teach and to publish a regular humor column in The New York Times regional edition. He joined WSHU as a weekly commentator in 1992, becoming host of Sunday Matinee in 1996. His most recent books are a collection of stories about life in a French village called Not Quite a Stranger, an essay collection Out of Thin Air, a memoir, An Unexpected Life (2018), political essays Dark Matters (2019) and Journal of the Eightieth Year (2020). He lives in Stony Brook, New York, with his wife who is a professor emeritus at Stony Brook University.

Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

In 1922 there were about 100,000 domestic radios in use in the whole United States, and 30 broadcasting stations. By 1924 there were half a million radio sets and over 500 stations. Radio just kept on growing from there.

Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay

Spring is here: the trees are leafing out, the flowers are springing up, taxes are falling due and the first air conditioning service vans are circulating coolly through the suburbs. This is the season of romance and it is, or should be, the time for spring weddings.

A bust of Franz Liszt
Image by Jolanta Dyr from Pixabay

Self-image has always been a problem for our species. We worry far too much about how we look. A cat or a cockroach doesn’t fret about its appearance, but we humans have whole industries dedicated to making us appear better, more stylish and more attractive than we are.

Image by Noah Haggerty from Pixabay

Earth Day was established in 1970, and that was no accident. We were just beginning to see the Earth in a new way — from space. It is one thing to know intellectually that we live on a ball of dirt floating in the middle of infinite nothingness — it was quite another thing to see it as we saw it in those first photographs from the moon landings. Suddenly it was all too clear that this was it — this was all we had or would ever have by way of real estate, and perhaps we should take care of it.

money taxes
Image by Eric Perlin from Pixabay

The Federal tax deadline has been put back this year, which must please a lot of people. But the whole Kafkaesque system somehow seems less formidable than it once did, now we are living in a post-truth society where anyone can say any crazy thing and expect to be believed. Lies have been certified as truth at the highest level, which should make filling in the 1040 form much easier. The IRS, which in any case is overwhelmed by a backlog of tax returns, would surely never question our sincerely held beliefs about income and expenses, no matter how unlikely they seem.