Articles tagged atheism, agnosticism, religion, history

The Complex Man Behind “Uncle Walt”

The rise (and rise) of Walt Disney, from starving artist to visionary filmmaker to union-busting studio boss to family-entertainment tycoon.

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‘No God But Funny’ and ‘Earth Angel’ Are Preaching to the Choir

It's challenging enough to write good comedy. It's nearly impossible to do so burdened with an agenda, even one as innocuous as featuring a "likeable atheist" as the protagonist.

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‘The Other Man’ Examines Apartheid’s End and a Principal Architect of That Demise

An intriguing documentary about the fall of apartheid and the politician who engineered his own exit, this film teeters the thin line between success and failure, often falling one way or the other throughout.

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Susanna Moore’s ‘Paradise of the Pacific’ Is a Vivid, Powerful History of Hawaii

Moore has no use for easy answers, but rather means to trace a lineage that, for better and for worse, has made contemporary Hawaii what it is.

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‘All American High Revisited’ Is Hardly Typical

Torrance High School was used as the setting for both Beverly Hills 90210 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which may be one reason it seems like a “typical American high school".

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Romance and Rebellion in the Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley

Charlotte Gordon's dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley is an engaging read, but it's hampered by pedestrian writing and a too reverent perspective of its protagonists.

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‘The Pop Festival’ Seems to Have Missed the Music

The Pop Festival is largely an overly self-serious look at an essentially less-than-serious pop cultural event.

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‘The Scandalous Lady W’ Is Scandalously Derivative of Better Dramas

The new "prestige" drama from the BBC is a by-the-numbers mish-mash of 50 Shades, period drama, and Game of Thrones guaranteed to please no one.

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‘Monster Mash’ Is a Veritable Catalogue of the Damned

Nearly every consumer good sold in America from 1957-1972 had some kind of monster on it at some point.

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What Happens When Public Health Becomes a Battleground for the “Moral Language of Health&#8221

After the Wrath is an amazing read and full of thought-provoking ideas and theories about how religion – leaders, institutions, and policy – frames responses to disease.

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For Jazz and Gospel Artists and Audiences, Music Is Their Faith, and Faith Is Their Rock

Black music's spiritual aspect may be a given, but two new books, A City Called Heaven and Spirits Rejoice! go deep into explaining how that actually happens.

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‘I Dream of Wires’, Like Its Subject, Is Large, Intimidating and Multi-faceted

Before the film's halfway point, you are not dreaming of wires, you are in the wires.

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George Carlin: Philosopher, Poet, Preacher

Few comedians have aimed for the mind over the funny bone (while still reaching both) quite like George Carlin has.

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‘Spirits Rejoice!’ Takes a New Look Into an Old Tradition

Scholar Jason C. Bivins thinks through more difficult aspects of the relationships between jazz and American religions, while at the same time examining the permeability of both.

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Corrupted Ideals, Seedy Underbellies: There’s No Place for Heroes in ‘Show Me a Hero’

Writer David Simon and director Paul Haggis explore the seedy innerworkings of institutional politics in a powerful new miniseries.

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Bob Dylan’s Magical, Controversial Night Shows No Signs of Losing Life

Elijah Wald expertly recreates the (in)famous Newport electric set, shifting perspective amongst Dylan, Seeger and others to fans in the crowd and even the beleaguered sound man.

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The Who’s ‘Lambert and Stamp’ Is a Murky Telling of an Unknown Chapter in Rock History

This film tells the story of two men who formed an unlikely partnership and persuaded The Who to sign with them, despite their lack of connections and experience in the industry.

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‘How Music Got Free’ Is a Compelling Read for the Disaffected Music Collector

"What happens when an entire generation commits the same crime?"

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‘Sapiens’ Takes the Long View on the History of Humanity

Yuval Noah Harari's book is a brilliant exercise in counterfactuals: what could, might and should’ve been.

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‘33 Days’ Is a Complex Portrayal of Life Under Nazi Occupation

A harrowing, psychological – and true – first-hand account of Nazi Germany’s invasion and occupation of France.

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//Mixed media

Robert DeLong Upgraded for 'In the Cards' (Rough Trade Photos + Tour Dates)

// Notes from the Road

"Robert DeLong ups his musical game with his new album In the Cards and his live show gets a boost too.

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