Entertainment That Got Me Through 2017: #1, Twin Peaks: The Return


So 2017 was over a while ago, and I still haven’t really discovered much this year, mostly picking up scraps from the one I’ve been writing about. In these retrospectives, we often seek to reclaim a year or a escape it, but in truth it moves with us. If things were miserable before, they’ll be miserable until we’ve dealt with them. And 2018 shows some promise that things might get a little better. But maybe it won’t. If that’s the case, you can keep yourself occupied with some of the best art of the Trump era, because over the past two months, I’ve counted down the best entertainment of 2017. Hopefully you’re richer for having read this series, and if you’ve decided to check any of these out, then, well, that’s beautiful.

1. Twin Peaks: The Return (Showtime), created by David Lynch & Mark Frost

Finally, time to put this best-of-2017 project to bed.

…what year is it?

It made sense that Twin Peaks was going to return. I’m sure they didn’t, but watching the original finale and seeing Laura Palmer tell Dale Cooper they’d meet again in 25 years, it feels like Frost and Lynch have been planning for it all along.

Truth be told, I’m new to Twin Peaks. I sat down earlier this year with the old material to catch up before the new season finished. “Pilot” through “Episode 14” is immaculate, absolutely perfect television. I was drawn in by the gradual exposure of a dark town in denial, the drama of hormonally-crazed high school students, and the irreverence, the jarring tension between the seriousness of a serial killer investigation and the show’s ability to guffaw at anything at anytime. Of course, I was sucked in when phenomena, for which words like “spiritual” and “paranormal” seem insufficient, came further and further to the fore.

After “Episode 14,” the show substantially lost steam, but the characters kept growing and I was pleased to just have more time with Twin Peaks and its residents, however zany or outright pointless their misadventures might have been. But “Episode 29” (the finale) and the oft-underappreciated Fire Walk With Me, both masterpieces, were just what I needed to prepare myself for the ambition of The Return.

So far, it might appear that I’m giving The Return my #1 spot simply because it’s a continuation of a stone cold classic that I happened to find this year. That skepticism is fair, but The Return is so wildly distinct, so at odds with itself, so painstakingly not quite a return that its achievement stands entirely apart from the rest of the Twin Peaks legacy.

It is not what anyone expected. It is not what anyone asked for.

The original series ended on a double cliffhanger, but it doesn’t give either a thought. What Cooper and Audrey were up to these past couple dozen years remains unclear. “Where’s Annie?” isn’t even a thought. Harry Truman is gone. Audrey Horne is barely here. Special Agent Dale Cooper, as we know him anyway, is barely here.

The friendliest moments to people longing for the old stuff are like when we see Andy and Lucy with their son, both so proud of their gibberish-spewing Brando wannabe that they refuse to take their hands off his shoulders for the duration of the scene. But even those moments are truly about the unfamiliar.

In fact, only once does The Return tend to unfinished business with any real sense of respect: Ed and Norma finally get together and shovel themselves out of the shit to Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.”

It’s a crown jewel not just of The Return but the entire series, and it knows this enough to make you wait until “Part 16” of 18.

Otherwise, any satisfaction the show gives us is fleeting. Special Agent Dale Cooper takes just as long to truly arrive, and he just as quickly shows that he never meant to truly return to Twin Peaks. Just as any good revival knows, you can’t go home again. Not really.

So what is there?

Listen to the sounds. You are far away. It’s not about the bunny. Call for help. Drink full and descend. You’re in the shit! I’m not me. What year is it?

Each brief sentence is so evocative, whisking you back to whatever moment.

There’s Lawrence Jacoby, the creepy psychiatrist who’s now a ferocious InfoWars-style radio host, shilling golden shovels on the back of bogus self-help and vague politics. “The fucks are at it again!”

There’s the Woodsman, also quite the radioman, hypnotically closing out the daring “Part 8,” the episode that more than any other distances Twin Peaks from any other television.

There’s Diane, played by 2017 MVP Laura Dern, giving a monologue that would be the high point of any other show.

And, of course, there’s Dougie Jones. Kyle Machlachlan is tasked with three (perhaps even four or five) performances, each starkly different incarnations of Dale Cooper. The greatest of these is the hollowed out shell of Dougie Jones, one of the finest achievements in all of comedy.

So despite these and so many other remarkable standalone achievements, “Part 16” tells us so firmly that it’s all coming back together, that we’re all about to see our favorite people back in our favorite place. The show reeks of confidence.

Then it’s all undone so quickly, like the act of getting everyone in a room together undoes not just the return, but the original, leaving everything further apart than ever.

The Return is so remarkable because it’s such a thorough demonstration that Twin Peaks cannot return.

But the attempt is as haunting, as amazing as what we tried to return to in the first place.

And gosh, listen to the sounds.

The soundtrack is phenomenal, and most prominent are the performances at the Roadhouse that usually close these new episodes. A few stand out: Au Revoir Simone’s “A Violent Yet Flammable World,” Rebekah Del Rio’s “No Stars,” Chromatics’ “Shadow.”

But none force themselves into being a standout moment in a season with so many as Lissie’s “Wild West.”

It is happening again.

All that you lost you get back, and all that you want you can have.

Goodbye, 2017. It can never happen again.

Onto 2018. I’ll be fine, fine. I’ll be fine, fine. I’ll be fine, fine.


Honorable Mentions
#12: Doki Doki Literature Club
#11: Riverdale
#10: 4:44
The Young Pope
#8: Life Will See You Now
#7: Super Mario Odyssey
#6: Better Call Saul
#5: The Wicked + The Divine: “Imperial Phase”
#4: competitive fighting games (part 1: Smash 4)(part 2: Street Fighter V)(part 3: Super Smash Bros. Melee)
#3: The Can Opener’s Daughter
#2: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Worst Songs Ever: UB40’s ‘I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed to genuflect will get my full hurricane-force winds, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t take shots at a jukebox hero overplayed when I was at a college bar drinking a cranberry vodka in a plastic thimble-sized cup.

UB40’s “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You”
PEAK CHART POSITION: #1 in June 1993

In an American chart career devoted to covers, UB40 scored consistent success just before and after the Poppy Bush Interzone with reggae-ified versions of songs given, if this makes sense, a bland bludgeoning. Imagine tempering a butter knife. A friend reminded me of “Red Red Wine.” I see no point in despising it. Neil Diamond’s William Shatner imitation required, shall we say, a lighter touch, and Al Campbell’s lead vocal provides enough energy. The toasting section was for many of us our introduction. And the reviews were solid. Labour of Love hit #1 in England and easily re-charted in the American top twenty  thanks to “Red Red Wine” and, I’ll guess, the success of the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo,” a plague on the chart yet the sort of wan “island”-influenced tune that a fan of Tom Cruise’s Magnum P.I. shirts would enjoy over a rum runner. Continue reading

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‘Love, Simon’ is too straight, but it’s the fantasy young gays need

Awash in cabernet, I blurted, “I’m gay.” Mom’s head snapped toward my father, who, after a moment, smiled mysteriously as if at a private joke, nodded, and said, “I know.”

“You knew?” Mom said.

“Yes. So did you. We talked about this. Remember?”

This exchange went on for at least another minute, and, I hoped, would stretch to ten minutes. I imagined what mist was like. But the spotlight returned. I needed To Explain Things. No one was listening after my two-word announcement. Mom cried. Dad stared at the remains of his food. Continue reading

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Entertainment That Got Me Through 2017: #2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


It’s been a hard year. I saw exactly one film in theaters, my favorite albums weren’t as phenomenal as my favorites in years past, and I can’t leave my phone in my pocket for one hour without the discourse shifting to the President’s tweets, another beloved celebrity being exposed as a sexual assailant, or some other Hell. So over the next twelve days, I’ll be counting down twelve pieces of entertainment that kept me sane in 2017.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch), by Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is widely considered one of the greatest video games of all time.

This is silly.

Two fine pieces of criticism – Tevis Thompson’s essay “Saving Zelda,” though it’s perhaps a little desperate to reclaim a treasured experience of his past, and Game Grumps’ Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson’s Zelda entry in his video series “Sequelitis” – illustrate nicely why Ocarina of Time falls short in its imagination of what a 3D adventure could be, and both more importantly identify A Link to the Past as the culprit for the series’ corrosive blueprint that has haunted every major entry since.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the greatest video games of all time.

I’ll gradually go over how it answers past complaints, but just as nice is that it’s so good that it shows Ocarina diehards why those complaints weren’t just contrarian nitpicking.

This is a Zelda game not just for those that like to quest, but for those that like to play.


“Why are there so many complaints about the initial thrill and then disappointment of Ocarina’s Hyrule field or Wind Waker’s ocean?  Even the Lanayru desert in Skyward Sword offers a similar unfulfilled promise.  The promise being: a world, vast, spread out before you, ripe for exploration, free.  But when was the last time Zelda truly offered this?  When the game plopped you in an open field and said: here is a world – have at it.

Modern Zeldas do not offer worlds.  They offer elaborate contraptions reskinned with a nature theme, a giant nest of interconnected locks.  A lock is not only something opened with a silver key.  A grapple point is a lock; a hookshot is the key.  A cracked rock wall is a lock; a bomb is the key.  That wondrous array of items you collect is little more than a building manager’s jangly keyring.

Almost everything in Zelda has a discrete purpose, a tedious teleology.  When it all snaps into place, some call this good design.  I call it brittle, overdetermined, pale.  It’s the work of a singleminded god, a world bled of wonder.”

So goes Thompson’s argument, and though I find more wonder in these games than he does, his diagnosis is completely, entirely correct. There’s very little fun to be had in any Zelda title that isn’t planned, and a development team’s ability to plan is finite.

These limitations are even more glaring in the context of combat. Each encounter was specially curated to work in the confines of a single room, or at best in a large, samey area.

It’s actually hilarious just how far Breath of the Wild goes to break out of this habit, as if its team were outright paranoid at how boxed in their series had previously been. That camps of enemies will fight you in coordinated attacks is already a revelation, never mind that you might have to fight against the clock before one of them blows a horn and they’ve all descended upon you.

But lifting a metal box dozens of feet in the air before it crashes down on everyone? Riding a rock into a camp for a surprise attack? Carrying a chicken into battle so that cuckoos can do all the dirty work for you?

And with all of the choices those open up (and, honestly, that’s already so far gone from Zeldas past that it’s a little intimidating), the terrain always informs the confrontation. You might be storming these guys from on top of a mountain. You might knock them off a cliff only for them to run back up again.

This is all to say that one can finally exert their imagination upon a Zelda title.

Below is a pretty good window into just how much fun you can have.

Of course, there’s the other primary problem of Zeldas, and that’s that they don’t really care for you to explore: they’d rather send you on a tour. Starting with A Link to the Past, the game would tell you in pretty certain terms that the next thing you should do is travel from point A to point B. Sure, some wandering would always be required, but the sense from the original that you could venture into a place that you weren’t at all prepared for to get massacred was lost entirely. And if things already seemed tedious, the fact that you frequently had to make your way through the dungeons in an exact order drives the point home that these adventurous were far too guided.

So yes, not long after Breath of the Wild starts, you can walk into Hyrule Castle to likely get totally annihilated. Bravo.

More on the castle, one of the game’s strongest points, later, but though this is true, the game still tugs on the sleeves of any player a little more than I’d like, sending us East into a few towns before truly letting us loose, and then even still giving us quite a bit of instruction.

But the freedom is still felt. Yes, it makes the four major quests feel necessary when in fact they’re only helpful, but you can complete them in any order, and you can do what you’d like before giving them any further thought. The dungeon construct seems to have vanished entirely. Good riddance.

When I first began playing, I decided to climb all fifteen towers with my base stamina wheel not because that completed my map, but because it seemed fun. I died hundreds of times in the process trying to sneak past guardians and skywatchers, falling into mud, being spotted by a wizzrobe despite my attempts at stealth. I frequently cheesed my way to the top, but it was such pointless fun that I didn’t feel guilty even when my success felt a little lucky.

I found more of the same thrill when deciding to scale whichever mountain and still do. The way Breath of the Wild implements climbing is divine and I hope it carries over to all subsequent titles.

Some might complain about weapon durability, but I think it helps remedy another of the series’ worst problems. One of Thompson’s primary complaints about Zelda’s past is that each new tool just served as part of your keyring to make your way through each game, but Breath of the Wild aggressively asserts that it’s less about what you carry and more about the thrill of finding these tools in the first place. I recently found myself low on shields. This was less an inconvenience and more something else to do, a problem that I could tackle from a myriad of directions.

I keep finding these small quests for myself.


Do I have problems? Yes. Let’s keep them brief. Firstly, Hyrule Castle is like a “dungeon” of old, but melded perfectly with the actual world around it. Divine Beasts and shrines don’t quite work in this respect: they exist outside of everything else. Hyrule Castle is wonderful: you can move through it, below it, around it, away from it, and back again. There are a few places that might come to mind when I say this (the Yiga Clan hideout), but really nowhere in the game compares to this brilliant concentration of treachery, of getting lost inside.

I do wish the game held your hand even more lightly. The game defaults to sparking your minimap with a big dot to mark where your next mission is. The game is not only better with these off (only being turned on to guide you when you’re entirely lost), but turning off the minimap entirely can make you better acquainted with the terrain, more interested in what you see and what you imagine than anything else.

Other than that…more enemy variety? Better characterization of Zelda, who despite being more fleshed out through flashbacks is still relegated to the role of the damsel? That…that might be all.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the greatest games of all time, and it’s all thanks to the reimagining of a series that has always captured our imaginations but never truly rewarded them.

I could go on about Breath of the Wild‘s charms – something I haven’t brought up that goes a long way for me is the execution of its greater threats, like the ancient technology of the guardians or the body horror of Calamity Ganon –  but one thing I really feel still deserves a mention is the weather: the way light rain can ruin a climb, the way lightning can knock you right out of the sky…

But most importantly, Zeldas past used to load their speakers with wonderful musical loops from Koji Kondo.

Here, the sound is more atmospheric. Usually, it’s nothing at all but the sounds of your own character and the wind whistling through his ears.


Honorable Mentions
#12: Doki Doki Literature Club
#11: Riverdale
#10: 4:44
The Young Pope
#8: Life Will See You Now
#7: Super Mario Odyssey
#6: Better Call Saul
#5: The Wicked + The Divine: “Imperial Phase”
#4: competitive fighting games (part 1: Smash 4)(part 2: Street Fighter V)(part 3: Super Smash Bros. Melee)
#3: The Can Opener’s Daughter

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Songs about friendship


This name of brother does indeed carry with it a fine and delectable sound, and for that reason, he and I called one another brothers but the complication of interests, the division of estates, and that the wealth of the one should be the property of the other, strangely relax and weaken the fraternal tie: brothers pursuing their fortune and advancement by the same path, ’tis hardly possible but they must of necessity often jostle and hinder one another. Besides, why is it necessary that the correspondence of manners, parts, and inclinations, which begets the true and perfect friendships, should always meet in these relations? The father and the son may be of quite contrary humours, and so of brothers: he is my son, he is my brother; but he is passionate, ill-natured, or a fool. And moreover, by how much these are friendships that the law and natural obligation impose upon us, so much less is there of our own choice and voluntary freedom; whereas that voluntary liberty of ours has no production more promptly and; properly its own than affection and

Mates, rivals, thwarted lovers — ah, friendship. The songs below hit many notes, including Jody Watley’s bitter “Friends won’t be around/Friends will let you down.”

1. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott ft. Aaliyah – Best Friends
2. Libertines – Can’t Stand Me Now
3. Queen – You’re My Best Friend
4. Garth Brooks – Friends in Low Places
5. Full Force – Friends B4 Lovers
6. Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back in Town
7. Everything But the Girl – Blue Moon Rose
8. Pretenders – Hymn to Her
9. Big Star – Thank You Friends
10. The Go-Betweens – Magic in Here
11. Bruce Springsteen – Bobbie Jean
12. Don Williams – You’re My Best Friend
13. TLC – What About Your Friends
14. The Clash – Stay Free
15. Tupac – I Ain’t Mad At Cha
16. Spice Girls – Wannabe
17. Randy Travis – Heroes and Friends
18. Bill Withers – Lean On Me
19. Tim McGraw – My Old Friend
20. Bruno Mars – Count On Me
21. Olivia Newton-John – We Go Together
22. Chance the Rapper – Summer Friends
23. Rosanne Cash – Rosie Strikes Back
24. The Jackson 5 – I’ll Be There
25. Dolly Parton – Jolene
26. The Smiths – I Won’t Share You
27. Kanye West – Big Brother
28. Rolling Stones – Waiting On A Friend
29. Miranda Lambert – We Should Be Friends
30. Pet Shop Boys – Being Boring
31. LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
32. MF Doom – Deep Fried Frienz
33. 10,000 Maniacs – My Sister Rose

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Singles 3/16

Lots of marquee acts reviewed this week, none of those singles knocked me out. Sade’s was the disappointment. Maybe I did expect 5 Seconds of Summer to kick ass after three years.

Click on links for full reviews.

Years & Years – Sanctify (7)
Kacey Musgraves – Space Cowboy (7)
Sade – Flower of the Universe (6)
j-hope – Daydream (6)
Jordan Davis – Singles You Up (6)
Ladytron – The Animals (5)
Sigala & Paloma Faith – Lullaby (5)
Meghan Trainor – No Excuses (5)
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – You Worry Me (5)
Daddy Yankee – Dura (4)
Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla $ign – Psycho (4)
5 Seconds of Summer – Want You Back (2)
Kane Brown – Heaven (1)

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Worst Songs Ever: Santana ft. Rob Thomas’ ‘Smooth’

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when possible eschew obvious selections. Songs beloved by colleagues and songs to which I’m supposed to genuflect will get my full hurricane-force winds, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t take shots at a jukebox hero overplayed when I was at a college bar drinking a cranberry vodka in a plastic thimble-sized cup.

Santana ft. Rob Thomas’ “Smooth”
PEAK CHART POSITION: #1 in November 1999.

I know I zinged Rob Thomas two weeks ago, but “Smooth” is the tune I had in mind: a bowlegged and leaden take on Latin pop whose fault lines revealed how baldly white men exploited “ethnic rhythms” and Hispanic singer-songwriters could bend their skills such that their contributions disappeared. When I think of “Smooth” I think of hegemony. I think of the CIA funding the arts — if you wanna keep the Latino vote, encourage this Clive Davis-curated calamity. Of course this didn’t happen — that I know of. It could have — such was the Santana dominance in fall 1999 and spring 2000. Continue reading

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Miami Film Festival — Fin

And now, to quote Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate, we are almost at the end…

DIRECTOR: Juan Sebastian Jacome
WHERE AND WHEN: Sunday, March 18 at 3:30 p.m., Coral Gables Art Cinema

Living at the foot of an active volcano would give most people pause, but in Ashes the rumbling of chronic family drama presents a greater threat. In Ecuadorian writer-director Juan Sebastián Jacome’s second film, the ashes of the title rain as gently as a light snowfall. Needing refuge, Caro (Samanta Caicedo) packs her things and turns to an estranged father Galo (Diego Naranjo). She hasn’t forgiven him for abandoning her mother and by all accounts moving on without a hitch.

Jacome and cinematographer Simon Brauer don’t lack for invention. A lovely shot alludes to the famous window moment in Citizen Kane when Agnes Moorehead’s anguished mother watches the son she’ll never see play in newly fallen snow. Although set in Quito, Ashes could take place in Pompey or Krakatoa; the use of a rotary phone adds to the film’s sense of existing outside time and space.  These elements can’t prevent Ashes from succumbing to predictable catharsis; whether it involves the volcano I’ll let audiences guess.

Winter Brothers
DIRECTOR: Hlynur Pálmason
WHERE AND WHEN: Sunday, March 18 at 6:15 p.m., Regal 18.

Among the festival’s oddest wonders is this submission, which swept the Danish Film Academy’s awards last year. Brothers Johan (Simon Sears) and Emil (Elliott Crosset Hove) toil in a limestone mine, the backdrop of which evokes the wintry, taciturn isolation of a D.H. Lawrence story set among colliers. Writer-director Hlynur Pálmason makes the audience work at comprehension: the audience has to pick the figures out of first the darkness of the mine, then the blanched processing plant, whose acrid fumes are no less poisonous than Emil’s bathtub hooch, brewed from chemicals stolen from the plant.

Then a coworker falls ill after drinking Emil’s concoction, an interrogation which coincides with several rather melodramatic strands. But what stands out in Pálmason’s feature debut is the juxtaposition of landscape and pathology. This low-key Brothers Karamazov pits the ruggedly handsome Johan against the damaged Emil, for whom the only exercise in pleasure is mimicking the poses in a VHS recording of rifle positions. Thanks to the atonalities of Toke Brorson Odin’s score and the affectless performances, Winter Brothers often plays like the study of how a terrorist is born, albeit on a lunar surface far from the sun.

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We got your message on the radio: The best of OMD

At the start of this series a few months ago I got flak for hating Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark’s biggest American hit. I haven’t softened, but I’ve spent more time with OMD’s catalog beyond the superbly named Architecture and Morality. Continue reading

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Worst Songs Ever: Don Henley’s ‘The End of the Innocence’

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Like a good single, a terrible one reveals itself with airplay and forbearance. I don’t want to hate songs; to do so would shake ever-sensitive follicles, and styling gel is expensive. I promise my readers that my list will when … Continue reading

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The myth of centrism, part XC

Americans who spend too much time watching MSNBC, particularly “Morning” Joe Scarborough and “Mika” Brzezinski’s pre-dawn chattering of well-connected sparrows, will recognize the signs of the ptomaine poisoning known as mythicalcenteritis. Its guests like to mourn the collapse of a time when over Merlot and Marlboros Barack Obama and John Boehner considered cuts to social services, Newt Gingrich found common ground with fellow southerner Bill Clinton, Ron ‘n’ Tip had drinks after work, and Richard Nixon got a woody staring at Daniel Patrick Moynihan in the Cabinet Room.

Well, bullshit. “He may be ready to surrender, but I’m not,” Reagan snarled in a fifth-rate Dirty Harry impersonation not long before ordering the withdrawal from Lebanon that O’Neill had suggested. We know what happened between Ginbrich and Clinton, and we’re lucky Obama, recovering most of his senses, reneged on the debt deal with Boehner. What vestiges of centrism existed during the Cold War’s bipartisan consensus on fighting Communism. Pick up any FDR biography to read what the opposition said about him in 1936. And the descendants of the Adams clan still remembers when one of Vice President Jefferson’s paid agents called the second president “a blind, bald, crippled, toothless man who is a hideous hermaphroditic character with neither the force and fitness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” Does Steve King even know how to spell hermaphroditic?

Three days after Conor Lamb’s surprise victory in Pennsylvania, the disease strikes again. One of its symptoms is assuming that calling for another minority leader whose name doesn’t rhyme with “Maborosi” means you belong in the middle. Charles Pierce will have none of it:

This attempt to drag Conor Lamb into David Brooks’ Cloud Cuckoo Land of Responsible Centrism is simply a load. Lamb suggested that it might be time for Nancy Pelosi to step aside as a Democratic leader, but he told Paul Ryan that Ryan’s whole economic philosophy is a façade of a mockery of a sham. These two are not the same thing, and I suspect that, if the Democrats in the House re-elect Pelosi as their leader, she and Lamb will get along just fine. His opposition to the assault-weapons ban—which, we should note, is not on offer anywhere at the moment—is based on his belief that there are laws enough at the moment. However, he is in favor of closing the gun-show loophole, which is something.

But, more pertinent to our discussion of David Brooks’ most recent foolishness is the fact that, despite Lamb’s holding the positions that so warm the Brooksian cockles, the Republicans spent millions of dollars in ads promoting the notion that Lamb was a gun-grabbing Pelosi-bot anyway. This means, of course, that the Republican side of Brooks’ tribalism remains truthless and insane.

The disease will worsen as fall midterms approach. As soon as the Beltway press sense the inevitability of a Democratic takeover of Congress, the pressure on the party To Go the Middle Way will increase because the GOP is exempt from such concerns. Someone has to fill the space.

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Screenings #34

I’ve slacked on posting these updates; I considered splitting the list in half. IF I count the batch reviewed for Miami Film Festival 2018, I’ll post another soon.

Black Panther (Coogler, 2018) 7/10
A Fantastic Woman (Lelio, 2017)
Mudbound (Rees, 2017) 5/10
Phantom Thread (Anderson, 2017)
In the Fade (Akin, 2017) 4/10
Dawson City: Frozen Time (Morrison, 2017) 6/10
After the Storm (Kore-eda, 2017) 6/10
Félicité (Gomis, 2017) 7/10
* God’s Own Country (Lee, 2017) 7/10
Battle of the Sexes (Dayton and Faris, 2017) 5/10
The Man Without a Past (Kaurismaki, 2002) 7/10
* A Nos Amours (Pialat, 1983) 8/10
* Face to Face (Bergman, 1976 6/10
* Mikey and Nicky (May, 1976) 7/10
* A Woman Under the Influence (Cassavetes, 1974) 6/10
L’enfance Nue (Pialat, 1968) 8/10
The Passion of Anna (Bergman, 1968) 5/10
* Through a Glass Darkly (Bergman, 1960) 9/10
* The Life of Oharu (Mizoguchi, 1952) 10/10
Wagon Master (Ford, 1950)
* The Killers (Siodmark, 1946) 8/10
Watch on the Rhine (Shumlin, 1943) 4/10
The Long Voyage Home (Ford, 1940) 8/10
After the Thin Man (Van Dyke, 1936) 4/10
The Crime of Monsieur Lange (Renoir, 1936) 9/10

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