Room at the Top

It’s got a modern rhythm, and in Laurence Harvey it’s got a modern performer. Sneering, antipathic, and incapable of warmth, he represents a break from the Ronald Colmans and Cary Grants and Peter Lawfords. He plays a scheming mill worker’s son who like Tony Curtis in Sweet Smell of Success can’t see past his ambition.Continue reading “Room at the Top”

“She looked like a tomato struggling for self-expression”

From Brad Leithauser’s appreciation of Wodehouse’s Bertie and Jeeves (the “sort of bonding that springs from romantic love”): The Bertie and Jeeves partnership gets better as it goes along, in part because Wodehouse learned to trust that his reader was in on the joke. Just as he gradually realized that we didn’t need to seeContinue reading ““She looked like a tomato struggling for self-expression””

“Climate change has already left its mark on all continents and across the oceans”

Keep building beach houses, boys and girls, because the future looks bright: Climate change has already left its mark “on all continents and across the oceans”, damaging food crops, spreading disease, and melting glaciers, according to the leaked text of a blockbuster UN climate science report due out on Monday. Government officials and scientists areContinue reading ““Climate change has already left its mark on all continents and across the oceans””

Cold bitches: Nymphomaniac Pt. 1

Nymphomaniac opens like overwrought noir. Darkness. It cuts to water dripping from corrugated roof onto garbage cans. Eventually the camera settles, idly, on a battered Charlotte Gainsborough lying in an alley. Power chords announce the introduction of the next major character: a prim Stellan Skarsgård dressing (contrast, right?). He finds her body and nurses herContinue reading “Cold bitches: Nymphomaniac Pt. 1”

Santeria: “We’re in a transitional phase”

The Miami Herald wrote a thorough uncondescending story about santeria. From what I’ve noticed at the university and around town it flourishes; seeing middle aged men dressed in white from head to toe indicates that they’re saints or about to become saints. More and more santeria faithful are going to Nigeria for the purpose ofContinue reading “Santeria: “We’re in a transitional phase””

Singles 3/28

A strong week: the most top drawer candidates of 2014 to date. From MNEK’s quiet electro R&B to Shakira trying to outshriek a guitar, these songs approach the expected with genuine eccentricity. At the other end Cole Swindell (who should consider changing his name to “Swindle”) hits the nadir of bro country, with ‘sensitive’ touches.Continue reading “Singles 3/28”

Florida exceeding DC’s initial Affordable Care Act enrollment predictions

I post a lot of disparaging news about Florida. Here’s some good news: More than 440,000 Florida residents had been enrolled through the federal marketplace through the end of February, putting Florida on pace to exceed the federal government’s initial projections by the time enrollment closes Monday. The numbers are impressive for a state inContinue reading “Florida exceeding DC’s initial Affordable Care Act enrollment predictions”

Then the war came: Five Came Back

Grand Illusion impressed John Ford. Here was a film, he thought, that while showing the nobility of a vanished class did not flinch from violence. He wanted an American remake, but Darryl F. Zanuck, president of Twentieth Century Fox demurred. At RKO George Stevens realized his Gunga Din was a pro-war picture. “The film isContinue reading “Then the war came: Five Came Back”

To dialogue or not to dialogue

This morning a coworker almost killed me. Yesterday, he said, he had dialogued with a vice president. I couldn’t call Public Safety. This horrid neologism is popular in bureaucracies, which can’t drop the assumption that no basic word or phrase is enough to convey the importance of what just happened Kingsley Amis: In the past,Continue reading “To dialogue or not to dialogue”

Ultra: Music festival as corporate bonanza

I’m glad the intentions are so clear: Increasingly, the corporate world is realizing that festivals like Ultra, which organizers predict will draw 165,000 people to Bayfront Park this year, are a compelling way to reach what has become a broad audience. The soft drink 7-Up has joined Heineken as one of Ultra’s sponsors, and energyContinue reading “Ultra: Music festival as corporate bonanza”