So?

Remember in 2008 when Dick Cheney, when confronted with polls showing two-thirds of Americans opposed the Iraq War quagmire, responded with So? I thought about that when I read this part of the Washington Post‘s story on Obama’s struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault: In early September, Johnson, Comey, and Monaco arrived on Capitol Hill in a… Read more So?

Wonder Woman

I recently began reading The Iliad for the first time. Having that in mind when I saw Wonder Woman was helpful in my appreciation of both works. The way Ares interacts with humanity in Patty Jenkins’s excellent film—first subtly, then catastrophically—mirrors that of the gods of The Iliad, who bounce in and out of the affairs of men, sometimes… Read more Wonder Woman

Movies Are Prayers

Tangerine as an opportunity for reconciliation. Top Hat as a jump for joy. 12 Years A Slave as a song of lament. In his new book Movies Are Prayers: How Films Voice Our Deepest Longings, Josh Larsen performs what he calls “cultural refraction,” revealing how the many colors of prayer match quite comfortably with movies of… Read more Movies Are Prayers

Sgt. Pepper’s Magical Mystery Tour

This article comparing The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, both released in 1967, got me thinking about what one hypothetical album that combined the best of both albums would look like. So as part of my Better The Beatles project, I’ve determined a track listing for Sgt. Pepper’s Magical Mystery Tour. Thirteen tracks from… Read more Sgt. Pepper’s Magical Mystery Tour

Win It All

I watched The Verdict recently. Paul Newman’s lawyer character bluffs his way into a high-stakes case, but repeatedly fails on his way to the climax, when a Deus Ex Machina saves the day. I thought about that while watching Joe Swanberg’s latest film Win It All. Getting past the minor thrill of seeing my current… Read more Win It All

Fakelin Newsevelt

Learned a lot from Susan Douglas’s Listening In: Radio And The American Imagination about the development of radio technology and culture, and their impact on 20th century America. Also learned, in a tidbit about Franklin Roosevelt’s crusade against newspapers, that he sounded a lot like another ostensibly anti-media president: Privately, the president in 1940 ask the… Read more Fakelin Newsevelt

What I Think Right Now

Trump was allowed to fire Comey. Comey deserved to be fired. Trump has clearly obstructed justice, which are grounds for impeachment. But good luck getting Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan to care. If President Hillary Clinton had done this Congress would have impeached her quicker than Trump can tweet something asinine, and deservedly so. This all… Read more What I Think Right Now