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Go High Go Low: Spinoza vs. Ashton Kutcher

Consuming too many empty tabloid calories and not enough high-culture fiber? Let us help you get back on a balanced diet. This week our high-brow stories are kind of heavy, so we’ve prescribed an espresso shot of celebrity gossip with which to wash down the big ideas.





Go high: In the New York Review of Books, British academic Tony Judt, who’s caused a boatload of controversy with his criticism of Israel, warns that focusing too much on the Holocaust will desensitize people to its very real horrors. Playing on Hannah Arendt’s idea of the “banality of evil,” he worries about the “banality of overuse.”

Go low: When guests at a Miami Orthodox wedding saw the rapper/producer Pharrel watching the revelry from a distance, they invited him to join in. TMZ has pictures.

Go high: The New Jerusalem, a play that just opened, dramatizes the life of Spinoza. The Village Voice calls it “Inherit the Wind with a chilling extra touch of proto-Nazism.”

Go low: If you visit the pool at the JCC in Manhattan, you just might spot Jerry Stiller wandering around sans pants.


Go high: Have you ever noticed that Woody Allen uses the same typeface in nearly all of his films? Here's why.

Go low: Demi and Ashton have been missing Shabbat services lately! Might they be giving up on Kabbalah?

Previously: Britney Spears vs. Joseph Epstein

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