Roderick Mead’s St Michael for the Modern Age

via the extraordinary Monster Brains … [Read more...]

Colonialism Isn’t Just a River in Egypt, You Know: “A Fan’s Notes”

on white supremacy as a form of "I like thinking about it" addictive denial. All the racial stuff in this book is really fascinating. IMO this specific passage gains power from the cartoonishness of the black characters--they're fantasy figures dancing through the sickened imaginations of the (also cartoony) white man--although at least one of the black characters in AFN is only as cartoonish as the whites. Anyway there's so much in this passage about the nature of white racial fantasy, … [Read more...]

“The Uncomfortable”: Deliberately Inconvenient Everyday Objects

These are glorious:more; via Matt Jones among others. … [Read more...]

What Keeps Mankind Alive: 1995 Theological Vampire Flick “The Addiction”

"All sin tends to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is what is called damnation."--possibly Auden? Attributed to Auden, anyway. For a while now I've been trying to hunt down Abel Ferrara's ultra-artsy, not-on-DVD vampire movie, The Addiction. It's on YouTube again now--see it before it vanishes!--at a link you can find here, along with Kindertrauma's reflections on the film. I watched it last night and suspect I need to watch it at least once more before I have any firm … [Read more...]

High Command: Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis in (and on) “Trapeze”

I've watched a few movies lately which I haven't posted about here. My one-line review of 1952's underworld soap opera Casque d'Or is basically, "Simone Signoret eats cheese off a knife. Thanks France!" Slightly longer review: Signoret is sultry in a layered performance; she's great at conveying irony and intelligence with just a quirk of her lips.Even more fun was last Saturday's adventure, 1956's Trapeze. It's playing again this Thursday at AFI, so you can catch it on the big screen! It's … [Read more...]

“Flying Camels, Butterflies, And Twizzles”: In Which I am a Sports Correspondent

for the American Spectator: In early January, I attend my very first professional sports competition. The U.S. National Figure Skating Championships have already been going on for four days; the event sprawls over four disciplines and five age categories. I’m at Boston’s TD Garden to watch the senior men, including the two men we’ll be sending to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.Sport, like art, uses the limited body to hint at a world without limits. The ball soaring over the stands, the runne … [Read more...]

“No, Where Are You Really From?”: Dinaw Mengestu’s Novel of Ethiopians in America

Dinaw Mengestu's 2010 How to Read the Air tells two parallel stories: In alternating chapters, Jonas Woldemariam retells the story of his Ethiopian immigrant parents' ill-fated road trip through the Midwest, and his own equally ill-starred career as a teacher and husband. But the book is more tangled than most parallel-lines-meet narratives. Jonas is not only retelling the road trip but retracing it; the chapters about his teaching include the many stories he tells his students about his … [Read more...]


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