Pay Back Africa

Pay Back Africa

19

Feb

2018

Tonight's blog entry, which ought to be a relatively simple movie review, is one of the most difficult things I've ever had to write, which is in itself is illustrative of how thorny cultural criticism has become in late-stage capitalism.  The reasons for this are manifold and all worth exploring:  increased diversity, th ...
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A Spectrum is Haunting America

A Spectrum is Haunting America

15

Feb

2018

Look. Politics isn't easy.  It's terribly difficult, enormously frustrating, full of compromise and defeat.  And even though it's subtle and complex, suffused with gray areas and uncertainty, we still have to define it by its ability to conform to four sections of a lazily drawn grid.We understand.  We are here to help.< ...
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Animal Eyes

Animal Eyes

9

Feb

2018

Paul Kingsnorth, it's safe to say, is a man of special talent.  His work with the Dark Mountain Project -- one of the only cultural movements to take seriously the concept of a post-human world -- and his insightful environmental journalism alone would be enough to establish his brilliance and insight, but he also wrote T ...
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The Floating World

The Floating World

31

Jan

2018

Stephen King adaptations, as my friend Scott Von Doviak can tell you, are a real mixed bag.  When you're the best-selling author since Johnny Bible, though, everything you write is eventually going to find its way to the big screen, sometimes more than once.  The holiday season saw the release of two hotly anticipated Kin ...
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Public ISIStance

Public ISIStance

30

Jan

2018

Brothers!  From the Levant I send you greetings, and convey to you the blessings of Allah against the infidel, the invader, and the apostate.  I also bring you stamps, as requested, and some of that berry-flavored sparkling water Riad really likes.  Riad, this was not easy to find, and you can reimburse us anytime for th ...
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L’Ideé est Debout

L’Ideé est Debout

24

Jan

2018

This year, I made the decision that all the non-fiction I would read would be about two events, separated by a century but bonded in the blood:  the Paris Commune of 1871 and the revolts that spread across France in May of 1968.  Both are events that have had a gigantic place in my revolutionary imagination and have influ ...
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On Thin Ice

On Thin Ice

23

Jan

2018

There have been a number of films lately -- and are likely to be more, as I continue to get older and things I think of as happening in the not-too-distant past become ancient history -- in which things are fictionally re-created that I remember as vivid memories.  Nothing really prepares you for this sensation, and the ce ...
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Go See a Star War

Go See a Star War

16

Jan

2018

As I have to tell everyone around this time every year, I'm not really a big fan of the Star Wars franchise.  I'm the right age, and the right kind of nerd, but I was preoccupied by other stuff like comic books and role-playing games when I was a kid, and the exploits of Skywalker & Co. never really got it hooks into ...
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The Professional

The Professional

12

Jan

2018

It's been ten years since Donald Westlake left us, and it's a loss that's still deeply felt for those of us with a taste for pure throwback noir novels.  Westlake was the creator and author, under the pseudonym Richard Stark, of a series of novels featuring the enigmatic professional criminal known only as Parker; while th ...
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Prince of Dorkness

Prince of Dorkness

8

Jan

2018

The older I get, the less patience I have for so-bad-it's-good culture.  I get why it's so appealing to the young -- I've been there, kids, I understand! -- but the closer I get to the eternal silence of the grave, the less willing I am to spend two hours of my precious time watching Turkish Dr. Strange or whatever sub-pa ...
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A Thousand Beers

A Thousand Beers

7

Jan

2018

I have drunk a thousand beers. A thousand beers have been drunk by me.  Since I started keeping track in 2014, my drinking has encompassed a thousand beers.  "The Man Who Has Drunk a Thousand Beers" is what they call me in fashionable quarters; some ruffians in low spots prefer "Ol' Thousand-Beers Pierce".  In the tech s ...
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As Above, So Below

As Above, So Below

4

Jan

2018

Okay, let's first get the obligatory Twitter joke out of the way:  The Shape of Water is the best movie you'll see all year about fish dicks.That was fun, wasn't it?  It feels good to laugh.  Now, let's move on to the actual review of Guillermo del Toro's latest fantasia.  Set some time around the end of the Kennedy a ...
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A World Where Every Neighbor is a Friend

A World Where Every Neighbor is a Friend

2

Jan

2018

Death, we are reminded every time someone dies*, comes in threes.  A good truism; a strong truism; and most importantly, a truism that can be stated in less than five words, making sure it will lodge in our consciousness before we get bored and go off to play video games or join a drug gang.  Unfortunately, it suffers fro ...
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Please Baby Please

Please Baby Please

8

Dec

2017

I've been defending the films of Spike Lee for a long, long, long time.  I'm old enough to remember having very deep thoughts (well, as deep as could be expected for a 16-year-old suburban white kid) about the first incarnation of She's Gotta Have It, his very first full-length feature film, and being fascinated with t ...
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Indistinguished Opposition

Indistinguished Opposition

6

Dec

2017

In my last entry, about the massive betrayal of the American people to a handful of plutocrats via the passage of a license to loot posing as a tax reform bill, I caught a small amount of hell from Democrats, who wondered why I had harsh words for their party.  While I feel that I spared the majority of my wrath for the Re ...
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