Monthly Archives: February 2016

The perfect critic — “sureness of touch”

Alfred Kazin’s America should form an essential component of a literature lover’s library. Warm, alert to the divine in the human, Kazin wrote for the common readers, one of the last of the New York intellectuals who included Mary McCarthy, … Continue reading

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Oscars — Scrunchy Face edition

11:59. Spotlight! An upset! We stagger to the exits. An ode to print journalism saves us the forces of Scrunch. 11:56. Scrunchy Face wins the award in the worst Best Actor lineup of my lifetime. Mangling his director’s name, muttering … Continue reading

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Oscar predictions — the final frontier

My final predictions, and I haven’t even entered a betting pool. ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE Bryan Cranston, Trumbo Matt Damon, The Martian Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl WILL WIN: Bryan Cranston’s … Continue reading

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Clinton and Sanders: after South Carolina

With more money raised than any candidate in either party, commanding the passion of the young, Bernie Sanders killed his primary campaign in South Carolina tonight. As I type, fifty-two percentage points separate him and Hillary Clinton with 29 percent … Continue reading

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Oscar Predictions, Part 2

More Oscar picks after my first part: DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE) Amy Cartel Land The Look of Silence What Happened, Miss Simone? Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom WILL WIN: Amy SHOULD WIN: The Look of Silence by some distance, despite … Continue reading

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Singles 2/26

I can’t remember a week in the last two years when I’ve reviewed so many tunes that I know will end up in a year-end list. From Chilean Alexander Andwandter’s worried gay thumper to Brandy Clark’s worried-horny stab at “Baby, … Continue reading

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The stakes of the election

Of course I’m going to laugh at an article that begins, “I hear you’re still not Ready for Hillary” before launching into a defense of her sincerity around birthday cakes and attending a staffer’s daughter’s graduation. And paragraphs like these … Continue reading

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‘A War’ too cozy for comfort

A war with two fronts: in Denmark, Maria Pedersen (Søren Malling) deals with her three unruly elementary school aged kids. Meanwhile over the dusty hills of Afghanistan’s Helmand province, her husband Claus (Pilou Asbæk) leads a group of skilled, scared men … Continue reading

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Vultures circling: The Life of Pablo

Kanye West – The Life of Pablo “[Kanye] West may be inappropriate and given to TMI, but he’s a fundamentally conservative figure,” Alex Macpherson wrote in his review. So are Alan Jackson and Maxwell, to take two examples. Like other … Continue reading

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Scalia: St. Hubertus loyalist

We now know what the late Antonin Scalia was up to the weekend he was found dead. The associate justice was hunting as a member of, I’m not lying, the International Order of St. Hubertus: “Honoring God by honoring His … Continue reading

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You mean it’s Oscar time again? My picks

As the first year in which I’ve seen a large percentage of the nominees, 2016 should feel blessed. It should also be a year when I curse the Academy of Motion Picture Farts & Biases for fucking up the Best … Continue reading

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The queerness of reading

“Could a country that had widely read Huckleberry Finn have taken Donald J. Trump seriously for a second?” David Denby asks in a piece called “Do Teens Read Seriously Anymore?” My response: has anyone who’s read Huckleberry Finn not laughed … Continue reading

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