Point and shoot: Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi”

Forbidden by the Iranian regime from making movies, Jafar Panahi persists anyway. His last three films comment on the art in terse, semi-essayistic formats. Taxi, winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, is in one way his boldest yet. If he can’t direct, release, and promote films through the usual methods,… More Point and shoot: Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi”

Just have a good time: Janet Jackson and Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett – Tangled Up The title track nods to Kool & the Gang’s “Get Up On It” and Zapp, with a dash of N’Sync’s “Pop.” The self-satisfied “Die a Happy Man” hues so closely to “Waiting for the World to Change” that I can see the tire treads on John Mayer’s back. If these… More Just have a good time: Janet Jackson and Thomas Rhett

Fighting gun culture: don’t yield an inch

Ever since the Plumbers unit, Reagan, and the Gingrich Congress, liberals have quashed the moral clarity of their arguments for the sake of imagined conversations at Thanksgiving with conservative relatives. To avoid upset stomachs, they equivocate. Abortion shouldn’t be legal in all circumstances. Of course Saddam Hussein is a monster. Homosexuality isn’t a choice. Lots… More Fighting gun culture: don’t yield an inch

Spouting the phrase ‘collateral damage’

The American airstrike on an Afghan hospital did not produce an edifying effect on the media’s coverage. Glenn Greenwald fumes: This obfuscation tactic is the standard one the U.S. and Israel both use whenever they blow up civilian structures and slaughter large numbers of innocent people with airstrikes. Citizens of both countries are well-trained –… More Spouting the phrase ‘collateral damage’

Singles 10/3

A gallery of also-rans: Tinashe and Babyface disappoint after releasing strong material all year; BTS crap out; and Bon Jovi reminds me of how badly they can suck when they work hard. I give Brad Shoup credit for forming a worthwhile bauble for the sake of “Hold Each Other,” the “Dear Mr. Jesus” of (bi)sexuality… More Singles 10/3

‘Well, cancer is temporary too, isn’t it’

FOX News has a show called “The Intelligence Report.” To my ears this sounds like a public access show for current and former spooks. Florida congressman Alan Grayson discussed his proposed amendment to keep the government funded during any putative shutdown: Trish Regan: Joining me right now with a plan to stop government shutdowns from… More ‘Well, cancer is temporary too, isn’t it’