Recent Columns
An Unmerciful Consideration of Anne Lamott’s Book on Mercy

The profession of teaching has taught me that Lamott’s view of merciful action is impractical and improper.

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Asta Nielsen and Fatma Girik’s Hamlets: Old Mysteries, New Problems

Wherein Hamlet is no longer a neurotic male in princely guise but a woman invested with an identity crisis.

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The Perfectly Suitable, Perfectly Silly Comedy of Harry Hill

Harry Hill pulls funny faces and he does stupid things. But these are things I like in a comedian (as opposed to, say, a US president).

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On Norman Mailer, Jack Henry Abbott, and the Legacy of Going Too Deep Into the Belly of the Beast

How Norman Mailer, while preparing 1979's The Executioner's Song, collaborated with Jack Henry Abbott and opened doors that should have remained shut.

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David Sedaris’ ‘Theft By Finding’, Truth or Elaboration, Matters Not

David Sedaris' decades-spanning collection of his diary entries reveals the growth of one of America's most beloved humorists.

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We Write Our Own Ends: Emergent Endings in Gaming

There’s no such thing as a premature ending for a video game. There’s only your ending.

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Adolescent Awakening: KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight”

In 1975, an aimless teenager goes to an obscure discothèque in Boston and discovers “Get Down Tonight” -- just the kind of funk he's looking for.

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Fans Killed the Magic of Mystery in Hollywood Films

The Force is no longer mysterious. We've demanded to know everything about Logan’s history at the expense of his mystery. Hollywood complies. The magic is dead.

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Contrary to Popular Belief, the Blues Were Not Born on the Mississippi Delta

Historians Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff debunk myths about the origins of blues music, locating them not in the Mississippi Delta but in southern black vaudeville.

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Power Play: Brian Williams, Leonard Cohen, and “First We Take Manhattan”

In "First We Take Manhattan", Leonard Cohen recognized the shared appeal of extremism in politics and art as the allure of power.

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More Recent Features

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Supernatural Sets the Stage for Season Finalé With “There's Something About Mary”

// Channel Surfing

"A busy episode in which at least one character dies, two become puppets, and three are trapped and left for dead in an unlikely place.

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