Category «Special»

Do I want to go to a Comic-Con?

Comic books. You either read them or you don’t. There’s not a great deal of gray area for people when it comes to reading and collecting comics. It’s a lot like anchovies- you love them or you hate them. Luckily, I’m not here to write about comic books (or anchovies), but rather a series of …

After this our exile

This is a 1955 recording of T.S. Eliot reading ‘Ash Wednesday’ – strangely, it sounds much older, like an old phonograph cylinder recording, some bit of ancient audio cultural pre-history. That’s probably what the words and their delivery convey. I almost always read this poem on this day, so I thought I’d share:Ash Wednesday

Blago! (The Musical)

With the sensational success of Milk, an Oscar contender if ever one rolled on a projector, we have new project for Mssrs. Penn and Van Sant – another ode to a governmental folk hero in the making. For nothing captures these early Depression Era II days of strange municipal doings than a little side project …

The Newcritics Year in Review

In this quirky, personality-driven, iconoclastic corner of the media universe, any kind of year-end list-building runs up hard against two competing factors that tear at any kind of universality: as middle-brow armchair critics, our tastes are rather catholic, but our production is – in the kindest sense – distinctly idiosyncratic. We write about what we …

The Twisted Head: Chaos and Comedy in the North Bronx

The action films of the 1970s shot in and around New York embrace a curb-level realism – an obsession with gritty locations – that no studio or backlot can possibly reproduce. The storefronts, dented cars, barren parks and filigreed subway els dress movies like The Seven-Ups, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, and the French Connection, …

In Honor of Sarah Palin

I believe we must treat our political foes with respect in the arena of public opinion. And so I will dedicate this post to the Governor of Alaska. This is Banned Books Week, and it’s always appropriate to look at what drives literary censorship in this country. According to the American Library Association, more than …

A Book for the Times: World Made by Hand

For many years now, curmudgeon-blogger-painter-author James Howard Kunstler has been predicting the downfall of America’s vast consumer society in stark terms, in his non-fiction books (like his 2006 The Long Emergency) and on his iconic blog, Clusterfuck Nation. Read Kunstler for a couple of weeks, and he will piss you off. Read him for a …