Bruce the Blog

May 6, 2021

What would the hit TV series “The Office” look like if it was premiering today? (Odds are there will be a series, whether a revival of that series or a copycat, capturing the new zeitgeist of the post-pandemic workplace.) COVID-19 has left a lasting impact on all facets of our lives that is ...

Read more »

One of the touchstones of the science fiction canon is the 1982 Ridley Scott movie, “Blade Runner.” It’s understandable that Hollywood deemed it impractical, for marketing purposes, to title it after its source material, the 1968 Philip K. Dick novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” A ...

Read more »

Author’s Note: Mom + Pop Culture are a couple of real characters. They could be you and me. Or not. Every so often, I eavesdrop on their conversations. Let’s listen in on what they’re saying right now about that new fast-food joint proposed for their humble hamlet. MOM CULTURE: Pop, I think you ...

Read more »

As grim as the number is, it also shouldn’t come as a shock that it’s reported 2020 saw about 100,000 small businesses shut down—for good, which obviously is very bad. A survey by WalletHub of the states whose small businesses have the best prospects for recovery does not bring especially ...

Read more »

I went to a baseball game this past weekend. It was Opening Day. Not at a Major League stadium. It was at a town ballfield, which in this case happens to be named for our son (Harrison Apar Field of Dreams in Yorktown), but a similar scene was playing out at many other recreational parks. It was ...

Read more »

What better way to pay homage to April Fools’ Day than sing about it—or listen to people who know how to sing sing about it (if you ask me how a local prison stole its way into that sentence, I’ll plead the Fifth). April Fools’ Day has inspired some great popular music. The headline up there is ...

Read more »

Any guy who tells you Adam’s descendants are inherently superior to Eve’s is one of two things: drunk or delusional. Or both. C’mon, man. How much more proof do we need that it just ain’t the case. Brawn never has impressed me nearly as much as brains. Speaking of which, did you know 70 percent ...

Read more »

In our family, this week brings with it not only the promise of spring, but the moist remembrance of 18 springs ago that is cause for pause, reflection, pride, gratitude, and eternal love. When Elyse’s and my son and Elissa’s brother Harrison needed his third open-heart surgery in 2003, the ...

Read more »

Once upon a time, in the canon of cautionary advice, no two topics were considered more verboten in polite company than politics and religion. Another topic about which it’s awkward to speak about in polite company is something that sounds as blunt and harsh as what it means—stupidity. Let’s ...

Read more »

LIZ: What the heck happened to your face? MARGE: What do you mean? LIZ: Have you looked in a mirror lately? The bruises on your face is what I mean. MARGE: Oh, it’s nothing. That’s my badge of honor. LIZ: More like a badge of horror. Does it hurt? MARGE: Not a bit. It’s worth ...

Read more »

Are you enjoying the snow? I am. Not to say I’m going to miss it terribly whenever it stops (if it ever stops), but let’s not deny snow its fun. After all, snow is a main attraction of winter, and with movie theaters only now beginning to re-open, the panorama of entertainment that is snow has ...

Read more »

Now that Year 2 of COVID-19 has turned us into vaccination nation, have you gotten yours yet? Pfizer? Moderna? First? Both? Remember, the vaccination won’t work until you take a selfie and transmit it (oh! bad word) on social media, to make sure you let everybody you know—and don’t know—know you ...

Read more »

Tom Brady and I have something in common. If you guessed, “Enough Super Bowl rings for all but three fingers?” I’m sorry, but that’s the wrong answer. (Not to sell myself short, I have been to four Super Bowls, and I have the souvenir seat pads to prove it!) What the Golden Boy and yours truly ...

Read more »

Set in the mid-19th century, 2019 feature film “Harriet” tells the timeless and heroic story of one Araminta “Minty” Ross, a slave married to a freedman, John Tubman. With an iron will forged in the cauldron of systemic oppression, and adopting a new name to remove the stain of enslavement, as ...

Read more »

People who take a lot of pride in their craft can also take a lot of grief from those who don’t suffer gladly nit-pickers. If a master carpenter saw an apprentice leave a tongue-and-groove seam less than perfectly flush, with even a hint of a gap visible to the eye, he wood nail his protege to ...

Read more »

Written by two Navy veterans, Eugene Burdick and William Lederer, “The Ugly American” is a 1950s, fact-based novel that paints an unflattering portrait of America’s ill-fated, decades-long efforts to win the hearts and minds of the people of Southeast Asia. Featuring characters based on real ...

Read more »

Did you know that we live in the nation’s fourth best state to raise a family? I know I didn’t know that. How about safest states? Where does good, ol’ New York rank in that all-important category? As my dad would say, “menza menza,” roughly translated as today’s meh, or so-so. We’re just ...

Read more »

For starters, here’s wishing everyone a 2021 that’s less fraught and more fruitful than 2020—not exactly a high bar to clear. “You can’t fall off the floor,” a favorite boss of mine liked to say. I hope you’re facing these 12 months with a healthy dose of cautious optimism, awaiting our turns ...

Read more »

Remember Blockbuster? The King Kong of video rentals. Pick up a VHS or DVD to watch for a couple bucks, then bring it back… maybe a few days past due. Blockbuster was built on procrastinators. It made hundreds of millions a year from late fees. Then Reed Hastings happened. The $40 late charge ...

Read more »

“For when the One Great Scorer comes To write against your name, He marks not that you won or lost But how you played the game.” –Grantland Rice (Mom and Dad’s 13-year-old son arrives home after his football game.) DAD: Hey, Star, sorry I had to leave early. Had to rush home to take care ...

Read more »

Picture an unapologetic misanthrope who is mad at the world, isn’t into empathy, and never met a man he didn’t berate. At Christmastime, the season of spreading cheer, he’s none too happily spreading jeers. That might bring to mind a contemporary figure or three, but, for our purposes, it ...

Read more »

When I saw “All Shook Up” at Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT) on its opening night last March 12, who among us enjoying the jukebox musical about the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, would have imagined we were destined to be the last audience to see a show (or the succulent prime rib) at the venerable ...

Read more »

What is it with stuffing anyway? If you think Thanksgiving is known for cooking up family squabbles over contentious topics like politics and whether the Knicks and Jets are really professional sports franchises, stuffing’s no slouch either when it comes to heated arguments over whether the side ...

Read more »

Times have changed And we’ve often rewound the clock Since the Puritans got a shock When they landed on Plymouth Rock. If today Any shock they should try to stem ‘Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock would land on them. So wrote Cole Porter in the American songbook staple, ...

Read more »

I am fatigued. Spent. Drained. Catching my breath. And I haven’t even been running (for office, that is). The good news is that at least it’ll be another four years before the quadrennial circus is back in town. We’ll need at least that long to regain our bearings (and maybe that long for the ...

Read more »

Hey, boss, do you encourage employees to openly voice their opinions, even when they disagree with a company policy or with a decision you’ve made? Do you pay salaries above market rate because you know it costs more to lose a top performer and re-train a new person than it costs to pay a top ...

Read more »

Thanks to Hollywood’s hold on our imagination, we think of AI (artificial intelligence) in the most generic, even caricaturish, terms. It takes the form of either a futuristic, robotic being (think Terminator) or a shadowy, omnipotent presence (think HAL in “2001: A Space Odyssey”). The reality ...

Read more »

This is the month kids look forward to, so they can put on masks and costumes to play pretend in public. I’m a sucker for the playfulness and general weirdness that haunts Halloween. If my surname were any longer, it would qualify as an apparition. I get so excited, I started rehearsing for the ...

Read more »

As I looked around the social hall of my temple, Yorktown Jewish Center, on Yom Kippur, with enough space between properly distanced congregants to drive a Mazda truck through, I mused that we resembled our tribal forebears, Jews wandering in the wilderness, searching for redemption. There were ...

Read more »

Upon their Exodus from Egypt, the emancipated Israelites partied a little too hearty at the base of Mount Sinai, as they waited 40 days and nights for Moses to deliver them the laws of the Lord. Their impatience hit bottom, in the idolatry of a golden calf they made. God’s wrath was incurred, but, ...

Read more »