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by M. King Adkins

24 Sep 2015


Fear the Walking Dead’s fourth episode, “Not Fade Away”, opens to the strains of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”. The allusion sets the mood: happy relaxation tinged with something more sinister beneath. Although Reed sings lazily of “sangria in the park”, that wistful feeling turns bitter as the song continues, especially in lines like “you made me forget myself / I thought I was someone else/ someone good.”

In the same way, life in L.A. seems relatively tranquil for Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis) and his family, at least in the episode’s early scenes. We find Travis out for his morning run; Nick (Frank Dillane) lounges by the pool; Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) films the surrounding landscape from the rooftop. In fact, these scenes play as though the show has gone back in time, to before the crisis began.

by Andrew Grossman

18 Sep 2015


At this moment, I am watching MSNBC, and across the screen flashes a banner: “Breaking News: Donald Trump Refuses to Correct Questioner Who Believes Obama is Muslim!” Though hardly startling news, Trump’s exchange with two supporters at a rally, replayed on MSNBC ad nauseam and soon appearing everywhere else, is a remarkable embarrassment in an election cycle predicated on ceremonial public humiliations. The exchange proceeded as follows:

by Sean Fennell

9 Sep 2015


And there you have it. The F Society team has finally, once and for all, sprung several dogs from captivation and saved the world. Oh yeah, and the hack that has been discussed since episode one? That has finally been executed too.

We’ve seen numerous hacks in season one, usually with Elliot (Rami Malek) walking us through the technicalities as he ruins this life or that one, all in the name of the overall good. The ironic part of Mr. Robot’s finale is that we do not, in fact, see this hack carried out. Instead, we catch up with Elliot two days after the hack, as its effects are starting to truly sink in worldwide. This doesn’t mean that Elliot is basking in the glory of his success. In fact, he is just as lost as we are, as he remembers just as much about the operation as the viewer.

by Andrew Grossman

8 Sep 2015


Once, at a dinner party, Simone de Beauvoir found herself seated next to a Jesuit priest in full regalia. His orthodoxy notwithstanding, the Jesuit had perused The Second Sex with considerable interest, professed an open mind about feminism, and greeted De Beauvoir in the spirit of honest discourse. “I look forward to sharing ideas with you this evening, Mdm. De Beauvoir,” he said. She turned to the Jesuit, scrutinized his vestments, and blankly replied, “What could I possibly have to talk about with you?” She then turned away, justified in the knowledge that, when existential principles confront absolutist dogma, dialectics become useless, and it is preferable to spare both parties the embarrassment of a futile, passive-aggressive exchange.

by Andrew Grossman

27 Aug 2015


American political life has reached an unenviable crossroads: we want government to be effective, but government has been ineffectual for so long that we can only fear what the shock of activity might bring. A line in G.K. Chesterton’s political treatise What’s Wrong with the World? aptly sums up this state of things: “We all agree that a lazy aristocracy is a bad thing, but we would not want an active aristocracy.”

Americans likewise face the interlaced problems of heartless inaction and imprudent action: we complain about partisan gridlock but forget the terrors wrought by eager consensus, from The Defense of Marriage Act, to the Patriot Act and the ceaseless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If solid bipartisanship can wreak irreparable harm, we might prefer despairing paralysis.

//Mixed media
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Supernatural: Season 11, Episode 22 - "We Happy Few"

// Channel Surfing

"The show serves up an Avengers-esque character round-up, but the plot is powerless.

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