In the Basement of the Doll Hospital: Short movie reviews, mostly women in horror

I continue to believe that since November is the month when Catholics especially remember our dead, I get to watch lots of horror flicks. DON'T JUDGE MY SPIRITUALITY.Also, I couldn't help but notice that the first four of these movies include a scene with a woman peeing. They're all doing slightly different things with it, but is Ladies Pee Too the signature of '10s indie horror? If so, can we get a different signature?Contracted: A new-fledged lesbian with a history of drug addiction … [Read more...]

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“Fragile Unions Like the One That Conceived Me”: Matthew Loftus

on the way two recovering alcoholics' troubled marriage is still bearing fruit, decades after they almost split up: I was six months old, and my mother was ready to leave. My dad had been remarking for some time that he did not want to be married anymore, that it just wasn’t working out for him. My mother had tired of saying that that was fine.They couldn’t communicate much beyond that, though she did know how to make things dramatic. Lacking funds for a suitcase, she piled our belongings in … [Read more...]

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“Amends,” My Novel About Reality-TV Rehab, Is Available in Paperback

now! A month in rehab would be stressful enough without a television audience. When the ramshackle cast checks in for "Amends," a new reality series about alcoholism and recovery, they don't know if they've been cast as villains or potential redemption arcs. Over the course of the show they learn what God sees when he shuts his eyes, how to appreciate the comforts of hallucination, and what it looks like when a wolf fights a troll. A conservative journalist woos a homeless Ethiopian visionary. … [Read more...]

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“Love Is a Losing Game”: I review an Amy Winehouse documentary

for AmCon: It’s impossible to describe Amy Winehouse’s voice. Crackly, crimson, fractured and sultry: That’s just the scratchy surface. “Amy,” the new documentary from director Asif Kapadia, delves into the jazz chanteuse’s troubled life and early death, but never forgets to show us Winehouse’s talent and craft—and her gentleness.“Amy” plays like a defense brief. There are villains: Winehouse’s father Mitchell, her husband Blake, and the paparazzi. The movie takes Winehouse’s own narrative a … [Read more...]

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Are You Drinking With Me, Jesus?: Benedict Options and Recovery Communities

This is part of a series on the "Benedict Option." Part one, part two, part three.I mentioned that I was struck by the number of people at Libresco's "Benedict Option" discussion who were in recovery themselves, or who had some close contact with recovery communities. I don't want to make too much of this, really--I know more people are in recovery than I realize, and Leah's thing was pretty much the opposite of a representative sample. But if we're wildly speculating on what people with … [Read more...]

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“‘Force is the Best Medicine’: How America Overdosed on Drug Courts”

by Maia Szalavitz:...If doctors were to deviate this far from the standard of care in treating patients, they would face malpractice judgments and, in extreme cases, criminal prosecution. But drug court judges face no such accountability, even though they generally acknowledge that addiction is a disease and make final decisions on which treatments are permitted. “A judge’s decisions cannot be mucked about with unless they’re illegal or a total abuse of discretion,” says Peggy Hora, a retired … [Read more...]

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Prurient Solidarity

(I am all about the sexy post titles today.)There's this thing I do, where if I know or suspect that you have a let's say intense and troubled relationship to drugs or alcohol, I will immediately think your art is better, your writing is more insightful, your skating is more sublime, you are cooler and funnier and more physically attractive. If I start to catch that scent from you I will start sniffing, and if my suspicions are confirmed my estimation of your personal awesomeness will … [Read more...]

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