Have fun. Ignore the conservative bent to some of these options, especially towards the end of the quiz (“National defense is considered a public good because…,” rofflez). I got a 80% (48 out of 60 right).
Thanks to TIME Magazine, its subscribers now know that we and the rest of America incorporated “ghetto blaster” into the vernacular years ago. And, oh yeah, something called, goodness me, “rockism.” (Thanks, Matos)
Teaching three classes and a slew of writing (the fruits of which I’ll post directly) have kept me from posting this week. As usual there’s too much political chicanery for me to comment on — from the numbing certainty that the Democrats will nominate Hilary Clinton as their candidate for POTUS to the idiocy ofContinue reading “The world is too much with us”
The second film in a row in which he had no hand in its writing, David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises is also the second consecutive film in which he reminds us that, before his art rep subsumed him, he was a skilled manipulator of batshit B-movie conventions. Since the charm of his work before The DeadContinue reading “No promises”
In honor of the release of Springsteen’s latest 4.5 star masterpiece Magic, here’s a little treat. One of the more interesting covers:
(The film, that is. Ask me about cruising on your own time.) (1) Eric Henderson is right-on in admiring how the film’s raunch sticks a lubed finger up the arse of the resigned gentility of, say, Brokeback Mountain. Of course director William Friedkin believes that, as he smugly reminds us in one of the DVDContinue reading “Notes on Cruising”
Occasionally I remind myself that I was an English guy and fiction writer before a pop critic. With eMusic launching an audiobook section I’m hoping to write stuff like this more often.
Like the Mick Jagger of Dirty Work or Richard Nixon on the day of his second inaugural, Kanye West envisions conspiracies between dumb-asses and “the establishment.” Mobilizing resentment against those in power yet, of course, exempting themselves, these are men who had and have nothing to be glum about, yet their success felt compromised byContinue reading “Shorter, vainer, louder, sadder”
Angry and frightened by the Larry Craig nonsense, one of our former student editors came out to the university community – hell, the world – a few days ago. I’m pleased to see that his letter to Andrew Sullivan was published on Sullivan’s site this afternoon. I’m proud of Joel.
Watching Away From Her, the audience isn’t supposed to believe in Julie Christie as actress; writer-director Sarah Polley uses her as iconography, and with those magnificent cheekbones and that wan elusiveness flickering behind her eyes, who could blame her? When I watched the cold drift of Alzheimer’s into her brain mimic the piling of CanadianContinue reading “"An aged man is but a paltry thing"”
Now here’s one collection I can look forward to. My birthday’s in just two months. Please start a charity drive. As big an influence on me as Pauline Kael.
I don’t dislike Common like so many of my colleagues — his timbre and tone are so persuasive, so there, that I’ve often wondered whether it’s my fault that, aside from his turn on Kanye West’s “Drive Slow,” he doesn’t reward relistening (this is my way of explaining to myself why I haven’t sold myContinue reading “"You talk about the people as if you own them"”