David Bouchier

Sunday Matinee host, 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.

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David Bouchier 11/3/14
9:05 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Politics and Language

It is always a waste of time to suggest that: "Everybody should see this" or "Everybody should read that," because "Everybody" pays absolutely no attention. But I'll make an exception in this case. In an election season, everybody should read or re-read George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language." It doesn’t take long, perhaps ten minutes to absorb the whole thing, and it works like a kind of linguistic flu shot. Next time a toxic cloud of political rhetoric comes your way you will find to your surprise and relief that you are completely immune.

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David Bouchier 10/27/14
8:48 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Reflections of a Recovering Runner

Yesterday our quiet neighborhood was enlivened by the appearance of hundreds of runners, taking part in a ten kilometer run to raise money for charity. I was able to watch the scene with great benevolence and without nostalgia because my running days are long past.

I caught running in 1977 during a year I spent at the University of California in Santa Cruz. It was drifting in the warm air like a virus, and my resistance was low. After many happy decades of avoiding all forms of artificial exercise I started to run, or at least to jog.

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David Bouchier 10/20/14
12:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Escaping from History

The daily dose of bad news has been so overwhelming lately that this one fragment of good news almost passed me by. But I was tremendously encouraged to read the story about high school students, teachers and parents in Colorado who launched a mass protest against curriculum changes that would, in effect, have sanitized the teaching of history.

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David Bouchier 9/29/14
7:35 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Independence for All

The campaign for Scottish independence that ended in failure last week aroused intense interest because it posed the most basic of all political questions, namely "What is a nation?" There are almost two hundred recognized nations in the world, but there could easily be two thousand if every independence movement succeeded. Nationalism is back with a vengeance: Uigars in China, Russians in Ukraine, French speakers in Quebec, Flemish speakers in Belgium – the list of restive minorities who want independence is enormous.

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David Bouchier 9/22/14
7:40 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Autumn

At 10.29 this evening, just as you are enjoying the Miss Marple mystery on public television, the earth will be divided precisely into two, half in daylight and half in darkness. It’s the “Autumnal Equinox,” the first day of fall which always brings a little chill to the heart. Labor Day is one thing, but this is official. Summer in our northern hemisphere over.

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