Commentary Series

Mon-Thurs 8:50 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. Sundays at 10:55 a.m.

More than 50 commentators provide perspective and opinion about current events, topics of interest, and often showcase the work of writers and storytellers. The VPR Commentary Series is produced by Betty Smith-Mastaler.

Send Feedback | Guidelines To Submit A Commentary

Keurig Green Mountain, the Waterbury company known for K-cups and coffeemakers, has been advertising on Fox News, specifically on Hannity. Hosted by Sean Hannity, the program is the most watched show in cable news – and that’s actually a big deal.

Molnar: Going Native

Nov 20, 2017

When we moved to Vermont a decade ago, my business clothes were left behind, along with many trappings of my former life.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. So I had my doubts about refreshing my rusty and uneven Spanish - which I needed for a recent solo trip to Mexico. But there are a host of new language acquisition strategies that replace rote memorization with comprehension.

The calendar tells me I’m old - eighty four. I could have been the oldest person in the audience the night of the Mavis Staples jazz concert in Burlington, but Mavis made me young.

I never think about getting older, but I do cultivate resilience.

A recent New Yorker article described how a private guardian convinced a judge to give her the power to remove an elderly Nevada couple from their house and send them to a nursing home, sell off their personal belongings and take control of their assets, completely shutting out their daughter, who visited nearly every day.

I peered into my clothes closet the other day and had one of those epiphanies people my age sometimes have about the passage of time.

So far, I’m finding middle age to be like adolescence – only better. Sure, my body’s changing in alarming ways: I’m again developing bumps and hair, but now the bumps are where my waist was, and the hair’s on my chin.

Here’s an existential question: If video killed the radio star, then what killed the video star? The surprising answer may be public media.

When my father turned 35, the average life expectancy for a white male in the United States was approximately 66 and a half years. His own father never retired because he worked up until he died.

Performing arts events bring people together for experiences of shared community. In this age of virtual community where we congregate on the Internet with millions of others we will never see or meet, it’s especially vital – and comforting – to interact with people that live in or visit our own place.

Not long ago, I took my five-year-old granddaughter to see a rollicking musical based on the popular children’s book Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard and James Marshall.

Any male not now asking himself about his own behavior towards woman and children is extending the risk to both into future generations. Sexual abuse rolls forward from generation to generation until someone – both victim and perpetrator – decides to get honest with themselves and others. Victims are now coming forth in droves.

In Ken Burns’s new PBS blockbuster, Vietnam, veterans interviewed for the series express a range of emotions.

Kerstin Lange

For those old enough to remember, the fall of 1989 was an exhilarating time. One had to have a heart of stone to not be moved by the chants of “We are the people”. So many East Germans had mustered the courage to challenge their repressive regime that it finally collapsed, and they did it peacefully.

Summers when I was a boy, we’d sometimes go to visit my uncle, who had a small farm on the shores of Lake Champlain. Occasionally we’d take his old rowboat and row ourselves out to a drop-off, where the water suddenly went to more than 10 feet deep. There, you could peer down and see weeds and sand on the lake bottom. It was that clear.

Lange: Vets

Nov 7, 2017

On the day World War II ended, our family was in Niagara Falls; and that evening the colored floodlights played on the falls for the first time in four years.

Mikhail Mordasov

Today, we in the US are grappling with the unsettling fact that Russia sought to influence our 2016 Presidential election. But one hundred years ago today, on November 7, 1917, Americans began to be unsettled by a rather different Russian threat: the Bolshevik Revolution.

I’ve joined the growing ranks of Americans who’ve undergone a total knee replacement.

The complexities of climate change sometimes make me feel like Don Quixote tilting at windmills - charging toward invisible and elusive enemies like political apathy, the polluting byproducts of capitalism, and lowering the energy consumption that powers our daily activities.

Pages