Gregorio Allegri, “Miserere”

The choir at St Matthew's sang this at Tenebrae last night. Amazing.And with that, I'm out. See you on the flip side. … [Read more...]

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“Vampire Brats”: I watch “What We Do in the Shadows”

at the Federalist:Before you accept the immortal kiss of the vampire, ask yourself one question: Do I want to be doing the dishes for the rest of eternity?“What We Do in the Shadows” is a charming mockumentary from writer-director team Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, exploring the unglamorous side of vampire life (or death) in New Zealand. It perfectly mimics reality-show conventions, like the self-narration with which the film opens: “So it’s six in the evening, which is when I … [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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Forgiveness and Social Justice

Does Christ's command to love our enemies and bless those who curse us place especially heavy burdens on the marginalized and disadvantaged?On its face the answer is obviously "yes." The more vulnerable you are to others' abuse of power, the more they will hurt you and the more you will have to forgive. Women so often appear as icons of forgiveness in men's stories (last point) because we are more vulnerable to them than they are to one another.This is part of the reason for something … [Read more...]

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“Haunted Hollywood”: I watch “Maps to the Stars”

for AmSpec: Part of the reason David Cronenberg’s new Maps to the Stars is so engrossing is that it’s two kinds of movie at once. The surface is all brutal Hollywood satire, the child star who only eats red Skittles and the washed-up actress demanding that her assistant fetch her Xanax and Kozy Shack pudding. This stuff is breathtaking: the massage therapist who helps his scantily-clad clients work through child abuse (“I’m going to press on a personal history point now”), the hateful cheek-kis … [Read more...]

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David Carr, RIP

I now inhabit a life I don't deserve, but we all walk this earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn't end anytime soon.--The Night of the Gun I've noticed in reading the tributes to David Carr that he used the word "caper" a lot. He talked about life--sobriety, work, marriage, parenting--like it was a carnival, like it was something he was getting away with. His book, which obviously you should read, is one of the few "addiction memoirs" which make … [Read more...]

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Me on “Marta Oulie,” Sigrid Undset’s First Published Novel

at the University Bookman: Marta Oulie opens with the confession, “I have been unfaithful to my husband.” So it comes as no surprise that the novel depicts a woman’s sexual awakening: the obsessive thoughts of him, the thrill at his touch. “I suddenly felt scared and didn’t dare look at the scrap of chest visible below his throat, but then couldn’t resist glancing at it.”What might be more surprising is that this is the sensual passion of a virgin for the man who will become her husband. Lik … [Read more...]

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