Left Behind

Left Behind

25

Jul

2016

I won't be watching the Democratic National Convention this week.  I don't care for pomp in a time of hardship; I'm not interested in seeing elites congratulate themselves on their moral rectitude; and most of all, I watched enough of the dismal Republican get-together and there's only so much shit I can swallow in a month ...
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The Infinite Pathways of God

The Infinite Pathways of God

21

Jul

2016

There is no such thing as purity in cinema, and even the expressions we find most effective and audacious are compromised in a million little ways before we ever come close to seeing them.  One change, in the casting or in budget or even in the weather, and the movie could be lost, or end up as an entirely different film.R ...
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Slippin’ Jimmy

Slippin’ Jimmy

20

Jul

2016

Better Call Saul might have seemed like it was born with the television equivalent of a silver spoon in its mouth.  Afforded every advantage by the AMC network, and bringing with it a built-in audience from Breaking Bad, one of the most successful and acclaimed cable dramas of all time, it was almost certain to do well, a ...
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Thou Shalt Catch Them All

Thou Shalt Catch Them All

19

Jul

2016

Six months ago, if you had a grown adult wearing a t-shirt with a children's character crash into you in a public place because they had their face buried in a cell phone screen and weren't' paying attention to their surroundings, odds were pretty good they were just using Duolingo to practice a language of no practical val ...
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Dark Satanic Mills

Dark Satanic Mills

18

Jul

2016

We kill our idols at such an alarming rate, you'd think we could afford to replace them.  At a time when great artistic achievement is increasingly hard to find, we have been gripped with a mania for casting the few geniuses our culture manages to mint aside with great force, usually less because we find something flawed i ...
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Bein’ Good Isn’t Always Easy

Bein’ Good Isn’t Always Easy

16

Jul

2016

Preacher was a comic of its time, and that time was the 1990s.To put it another way, Preacher was a comic of the time when many of its biggest fans -- fans who are now television-watching adults, and, for that matter, television-criticism-writing adults -- were in their 20s.  Which is all well and good; there's nothing w ...
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Makes Me Feel Good

Makes Me Feel Good

15

Jul

2016

It says something -- something I am dead certain is not good -- about our culture that the preeminent political statement of the moment is where you stand on the Ghostbusters remake.  As I write this, Paul Feig's all-female reboot of the beloved franchise has only just had its wide opening, and already there's a backlash ...
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Tom Block: Not Dark Yet

Tom Block:  Not Dark Yet

12

Jul

2016

My friend Tom Block  is in serious trouble and needs our help.Let me tell you about Tom. He’s smart , funny , a great storyteller , a terrific writer , and a critic of unusual insight . He’s lived a life  many of us would love to lead.Most recently he took a two-year road trip around America, during which he kept u ...
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To Save You From a Life of Need

To Save You From a Life of Need

11

Jul

2016

It takes a lot of nerve for anyone, let alone a Czech, to title a story "Mr. Kafka".  Finicky Franz casts such a huge shadow on the literature of Prague that it's audacious to the point of foolhardiness to invite the comparison.  But if anyone earned the right to do it in life, it was Bohumil Hrabal.  The Brno-born eccen ...
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As Rare as a Blue Sky

As Rare as a Blue Sky

8

Jul

2016

OLD TIME RADIO FAVORITESWhere Creeps the Shuffler!From the Casebook of Kidneypunch O’SullivanOh, Those Bulczywyczs!The Aaron’s Basinet Polish and Badney’s Consumption Grease Old-Time Variety Hunker-Down HourAround-the-Barn NewsFarmer Seth’s Country Comedy ChiaroscuroLi’l’ Jinx and the Hard Luck ...
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Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

7

Jul

2016

It is not often that the events of a single day so crashingly drives home the lessons of a social moment. America had barely raised its head from the pillow after learning of the death in Louisiana of Alton Sterling, a black man hustling bootlegs outside of a convenience store, when it further learned of the death in Minnes ...
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An Excellent Choice

An Excellent Choice

6

Jul

2016

Yorgos Lanthimos does something that is almost unprecedented in film today:  he makes movies that are entirely original.Say what you will about his work -- that it is ridiculous, that it is pretentious, that it is incomprehensible, that it is impenetrable, that it is cynical, that it lacks humanity -- but you cannot accuse ...
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America the Impossible

America the Impossible

4

Jul

2016

Today is the Fourth of July, America's national holiday.  Longtime readers of this site will know that every day on this year, I post a little sermon about the state of the country, always trying to follow the advice of the late, great Paul Fussell, who wrote, in BAD, or, the Dumbing of America:  "There is one day of the ...
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No Last Philosophy: Rorty and Social Hope

No Last Philosophy:  Rorty and Social Hope

23

Jun

2016

When I finally got around to reading Richard Rorty’s Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, I experienced the kind of revolutionary bolt from the blue that changes minds and changes worlds.  I’d read Rorty before (a few short essays here and there, and his Objectivity, Truth and Relativism), and liked what I’d seen, but ...
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Really Real

Really Real

22

Jun

2016

A TAXONOMY OF REALITY PROGRAMMINGCOMPETITIVE SHOWS:* People compete to win money> People compete to win the right to continue being on television* People compete in a performing talent show> People compete in a performing talent show with or against celebrities* People compete in a race, sport, or oth ...
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