Send Me No Flowers

Send Me No Flowers

23

May

2017

Ottessa Moshfegh is a hot property right now.  Establishing herself as a writer of excellent stories in the early 2010s in the Paris Review and Granta, she has just published her first collection of short fiction, Homesick for Another World.  It was her first novel, however, that really put her in the sights of the litera ...
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Deadly Quiet

Deadly Quiet

12

May

2017

I'm not normally a fan of horror movies.  Even when they're well-executed, they tend to be all surface and no depth; they tell us nothing about the human experience beyond the sensation of fear and our capacity for cruelty, which isn't something many of us need to be reminded of.  Without exploration, without an attempt a ...
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Crashing Bore

Crashing Bore

11

May

2017

I've always been a little distrustful of the critical language of rejection when it comes to our current wave of 'difficult men'.  Sure, there's no doubt that the last thing in the world we need is another story about misbehaving white males; it's not like there's a dearth of them.  On the other hand, a good show is a goo ...
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Vox Populi, Vox Invisibilia

Vox Populi, Vox Invisibilia

4

May

2017

As I write this, the Republicans of the U.S. House of Representatives have just voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act in favor of legislation of their own making.  That the American Health Care Act is a complete disaster almost goes without saying; it will rob millions of people of the already inadequate health insurance ...
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The Steps of the Palaces of the Rich

The Steps of the Palaces of the Rich

1

May

2017

This year's May Day sermon is an expanded version of a speech I gave this morning at the dedication by Alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa of Chicago's 35th Ward of an honorary street named for the great radical freedom fighter Lucy Parsons.We’re all here today because of Lucy Gonzalez Parsons. And when I say we’re here today ...
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Ghost Capital

Ghost Capital

30

Apr

2017

It may not be entirely fair to call French director Olivier Assayas, who has delivered some of the most thrilling as well as some of the most bewildering film of the past few decades, wildly inconsistent.  There is always, at least, a baseline of artfulness in his work that suggests a control and purpose at odds with wildn ...
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Race to the Top

Race to the Top

17

Apr

2017

Ever since the 2016 election, when the Democratic establishment faced a surprisingly strong challenge from Bernie Sanders and his relatively mild form of economic leftism, liberal partisans have insisted that everyone in America is underselling the damage done by racism.  (Everyone, that is, except themselves.  No one rol ...
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If the Right One Don’t Get You

If the Right One Don’t Get You

13

Apr

2017

One of the most common -- and accurate -- criticisms of the Netflix series based on Marvel comics characters is that they're so dreadfully long.  At a baker's dozen episodes, each clocking in at an overstuffed hour, even the best of them can become a terrible slog.  (Netflix seems to have responded at least partially to ...
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War Again

War Again

9

Apr

2017

It was only a matter of time before Donald Trump led America into another pointless, brutal conflict overseas. The only surprise is the speed with which he did it; most presidents would wait until they were in much more dire domestic straits before giving into the instinct to prop up their popularity against a pile of forei ...
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Old Wars, New Generals

Old Wars, New Generals

4

Apr

2017

For the good of the country, we are often told, the infighting between liberals (or, as they are properly understood, the party of nice rich people) and the left must cease.  Exactly which faction is supposed to lower its guns first is implicit, but so far they refuse to do so, having had a lot of experience with getting s ...
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The Drama of Our Time

The Drama of Our Time

20

Mar

2017

Fascism, for reasons that should not be difficult to divine, has been very much on my mind of late.  My bedside table has borne a stack of books about the growth, nature, and origins of fascism, mixed in with the novels, for the last six months or so, and understanding the similarities and differences between fascism and i ...
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The Most Beautiful Fraud: Kedi

The Most Beautiful Fraud:  <i>Kedi</i>

19

Mar

2017

It is a false dichotomy to say that in this world there are cat people and there are dog people, and never the twain shall meet.  There are many -- myself included -- who love the company of both animals, and have been lucky enough to have both dog and cat companions over the course of their lives.  But it is also roughly ...
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And You’ve Got Me Hating You

And You’ve Got Me Hating You

16

Mar

2017

It is a canard often, and falsely, leveled at Hollywood that it has no new ideas.  In fact, Hollywood has innumerable new ideas; they're just all bad.  If you're in the television or film business and have a really shitty idea that nobody asked for or could possibly want, you can make gobs of money, especially if your gar ...
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The Women’s International

The Women’s International

8

Mar

2017

Today, Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, is International Women's Day.  It will be marked by protests, marches, rallies, and a proposed general strike by women -- the 'Day Without A Woman' -- in reaction to the election of Donald Trump as president and the legislation, remarkably hostile to women, that he has advanced.It is a da ...
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Rush ‘n’ Attack

Rush ‘n’ Attack

3

Mar

2017

A new wave of Russophobia is sweeping the nation, surely the high-water point for such shenanigans since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.  It's familiar; much of it echoes the anti-communist rhetoric of Ronald Reagan, the closest analogue in presidential history to Donald Trump, only this time our political leader ...
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