February reading

More biographies should look like Robert Gottlieb’s on Garbo. Not Greta Garbo. Garbo. Apotheosizing herself into a mononym after the global success of her third film Flesh and the Devil (1927), the Swedish actress shaped a generation’s ideals of gender and screen sensuality. Simply put, she exploited the most tensile and intimate of media toContinue reading “February reading”

‘Children might see it as something that’s forbidden or not allowed or looked down upon’

I’ve dealt with enough students to accept to what degree the thought of admissions of any sort drives them to a state of apoplexy or even PTSD. High school for the gifted is a finishing school in all but name, a rigorous systematizing of what they think they will experience in college. Forget earning aContinue reading “‘Children might see it as something that’s forbidden or not allowed or looked down upon’”

Miami Film Festival 2022 attempts a return to normal times

At last. Miami Film Festival, celebrating its 39th edition, can at least screen movies at its pre-COVID breakneck pace with the certainty that an overwhelming number of attendees will have been double vaxxed (boosted is another story). The better to enjoy this year’s selections, which include opening night comedy The Good Boss starring an excellentContinue reading “Miami Film Festival 2022 attempts a return to normal times”

The expanding attack on queer Americans

The situation in Florida (the state with the prettiest name!) continues to wither if citizens don’t belong to a governing majority that despises public education but would support shipping their teething child to Siberia at six months if men could get pregnant. HB 1557, which wants to ensure elementary schools ignore the pleas of gay,Continue reading “The expanding attack on queer Americans”

Lessons in survival: Years & Years and Elvis Costello

In It’s a Sin, Olly Alexander plays a young English man who realizes his sexuality at the same time as his theatrical ambitions have already enraged parents who would prefer he used grant money to pay for an education in the law. On arriving in London he wastes no time fucking as many men asContinue reading “Lessons in survival: Years & Years and Elvis Costello”

How to live through a plague

Since finishing the British TV show It’s a Sin a couple days ago, I’ve imagined myself wheezing on a hospital bed like my uncle, dying from the petri dish of horribles to which AIDS exposes the immune system, kept functional for the sake of an EKG reading by hatred for the stricken faces blinking atContinue reading “How to live through a plague”

January reading

Flipping through the Christopher Ricks-edited The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse, a paperback bought long ago because it was the only place to find Swinburne and George Meredith without checking out a ponderous tome from the library, I read a maudlin lyric by Charlotte Brontë, whose Jane Eyre broke me on reading it theContinue reading “January reading”

To speak is a sin, or: ‘Don’t Say Gay’

I suppose this bill is conservatism of a sort, a return to the Florida schools I knew where homosexuality when discussed meant a tenth grade religion teacher ramming his index fingers together mimicking two penises, references to fanny packs as fag bags and The Picture of Dorian Gray as a “book written by a homo”Continue reading “To speak is a sin, or: ‘Don’t Say Gay’”

November reading

“By my values,” he writes, “the thesis of this book is an American tragedy,” Jefferson Cowie writes in The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics . The forty-year period during which New Deal politics dominated American civil life, Cowie writes, happened under world-historic conditions whose consequences rattled leaders on theContinue reading “November reading”