David Bouchier

Commentator

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 latest book of essays, Peripheral Vision, was published in 2011. His other books include A Few Well Chosen Words, The Song of Suburbia, The Cats and the Water Bottles, The Accidental Immigrant and Writer at Work. He lives in Stony Brook, New York, with his wife who is a professor at Stony Brook University, and two un-musical cats.

Annice Lyn / AP

Marooned in a doctor’s waiting room, I started reading a sensational magazine article about reincarnation. The article speculated on the past lives of some enormously famous celebrities I’ve never heard of. The author appeared to believe that every media celebrity must be the reincarnation of some past media celebrity, a theory that runs into difficulties as soon as you get back a few generations to the time before media celebrities were invented.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

Acting was once a marginal occupation. In Shakespeare’s time, actors were considered not much better than vagabonds, and even into the 20th century the profession carried a faint whiff of scandal, especially for women. It’s not hard to understand why. Acting, after all, is a form of deception, and an actor is a chameleon who can be a king one week and a brain surgeon the next. You never know where you are with actors.

Richard Drew / AP

Twelfth Night marks the end of the Christmas festivities. By midnight on that date the decorations should have been taken down, the greeting cards put away, and the final traces of the long party removed. Failure to do this is traditionally supposed to bring bad luck.

Kaique Rocha from Pexels

You may remember that twenty years ago, at this time in 1999, we were all full of anxiety about the coming 21st century. Prophets of doom eagerly fed the general sense of uneasiness with dire predictions. Terrorism, war, trouble in the Middle East, economic stagnation and political meltdown were all confidently predicted, and they all happened, as they always do, and here we are. Now those prophecies seem as inevitable and commonplace as death and taxes. The two big things that failed to happen were the end of the world and the obliteration of all computers in the famous Y2K crash.

freestocks.org from Pexels

It’s too late now. Your holiday cards may as well stay in their boxes because you have already lost the card game. This is a game that is widely known but rarely mentioned – the Holiday Card Waiting Game, otherwise known as Call My Bluff.

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