Cheer Up with the Smiths! I’m at the American Spectator

reporting live from 1984! What everybody forgets about the Smiths is how much fun they were. And not just fun: The band careened through the ’80s putting out four studio albums which were joyful, sexy, funny, self-deprecating, silly, and even sometimes compulsively danceable. The myth of Morrissey and his mopey muse has some truth to [Read More...]

“All Noir Is Reunion”: I review the “Veronica Mars” movie

at AmCon: When we talk about the TV renaissance, we should talk about “Veronica Mars.” The 2004 “high school noir” show’s extraordinary first season mixed weekly casefiles with a season-long arc–two arcs, actually. Veronica starts the show as a suddenly bereft and embittered California teen: Her best friend has been murdered, her father lost his [Read More...]

From “How to Read the Air”

There were vast swathes of my life that I knew if I looked at closely I would come to regret, and I was certain that soon enough I was going to find the time to do that. [Read more...]

“He Turned 16 in Solitary Confinement”

No words: …In 2009, I and my colleagues at Juvenile Law Center were asked to take on the case of 15-year-old T. D., who was placed in solitary confinement for 178 days while committed to the New Jersey juvenile justice system. He was initially placed in solitary out of concern for his mental health. Yes [Read More...]

Too Much Harmony: “Water by the Spoonful,” A Play About Friendship, Dissonance, and Humiliating Identity

Last night I saw Quiara Alegria Hudes’s Pulitzer-winning Water by the Spoonful at Studio Theatre. It uses dissonant jazz as a metaphor for the disjunctions and collisions in our own lives, asking whether these discordant notes will ever resolve into harmony. The show tells two parallel stories: A young vet with PTSD fights with his [Read More...]

“Actively Cultivating a Celibate Vocation”: A Queer Calling

with some excellent points: …Get to know people who live a celibate vocation Finding active models of a celibate life worth living is hard. I spent time hanging out at monasteries and reading memoirs of people who remained single throughout their entire life. One of the most helpful books for me is My Song is [Read More...]

From “How to Read the Air”

Those who came seeking help often did so with a faint trace of shame hovering over them–the sense that they were once again pleading to someone to grant them a right that everyone else they passed on the street, on the subway, and in traffic took for granted trailed them in almost all of their [Read More...]

An Interview with Rohene Ward, Jason Brown’s Choreographer

“One day, he will be an iconic choreographer!” Kori Ade, Jason Brown’s coach, had told icenetwork about her protégé’s choreographer, Rohene Ward. At the time, Brown had just finished third in the short program at Trophée Eric Bompard, en route to something he had not even dreamed about at the time: a silver medal at the [Read More...]

From Dinaw Mengestu, “How to Read the Air”

While it was common even among the most disciplined teachers to allow for small fabrications, from the beginning the stories I told my students existed on a more ambitious plane. Now when asked for details about my life, I indulged myself. When one of my students wanted to know what I did before I began [Read More...]

From an Interview w/Rene Girard

in First Things: In a way, Christianity is the end of archaic religions because it reveals that the victim is innocent. When you understand Christianity correctly in its closeness and distance from archaic religion it is the same structure, the scapegoat phenomenon, that Jesus is victim of. Yet the text is intended to destroy your [Read More...]