Wednesday, October 6 2010
With the current economic climate -- increasing rates of foreclosure, evictions, unemployment, poverty and misery -- this classic story dangerously impinges upon the present to reveal the specter of Tom Joad emerging from the darkness, once again.
Thursday, September 9 2010
In the beginning, Mark Zuckerberg was a socially-awkward teenager, a computer science major at Harvard University, who arrived toting an eight-foot-long whiteboard as a brainstorming tool...
Tuesday, September 7 2010
What exactly are Marx, Hegel, Aristotle and Socrates doing after Confucius blows the ref’s whistle? They’re not just thinking about soccer. They’re playing... sort of.
Tuesday, August 31 2010
When I saw Eclipse, a gaggle of teenage girls behind me giggled, gasped and squealed their way through most of the film. Each time their hysteria erupted, it happened during a romantic scene.
Thursday, August 26 2010
With energy and a candor reflecting a veteran journalist unworried whether she'll eat lunch in that town again or not, author Nicole LaPorte reveals the parallels between the DreamWorks story and that of any dream's road to either reality or perdition.
Tuesday, August 3 2010
Call me a romantic, but after watching so much of that wet and messy business, I crave a less-is-more, simpler, sexier rendition of food porn. Instead, of grotesque, I prefer burlesque and have found that the good stuff isn’t on reality TV.
Wednesday, July 28 2010
The speed of technological change is unprecedented. Author Anna Jane Grossman finds that it has imbued her "with a kind of odd nostalgia for right now.”
Tuesday, July 20 2010
Kerouac and Ginsberg are cosmic twins borne from Whitman’s Universal skull, bonded as comrades, cerebrally-joined as poets -- but it will sour for Kerouac when Ginsberg uses his poetic voice as a political trump card.
Wednesday, July 14 2010
Reading narratives of the seemingly intractable Arab-Israeli conflict is like trying to follow the plot of a novel that has had every other page ripped out. Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness has fewer missing pages than most.
Tuesday, July 13 2010
Skepticism has been fueling pop culture for decades. Just ask John Lennon or Pete Townshend. Lately it’s just been fooling pop culture about science.
Sunday, July 11 2010
To cope with the heat wave, advisories suggest visiting 'cooling centers' or public pools. To achieve a truly chilled-out state of mind, however, why not open the door to your mind and let the iceman cometh inside?
Sunday, June 27 2010
Hitchens often remarks here on his being a late bloomer, and so it is that some will see the core of Hitch-22 as the story of the author’s inner journey in adulthood from firebrand '60s campus radical to geezery Tory of the Anglo-American variety.
Thursday, June 10 2010
Marion Meade's new book begs the question: Are literary biographies necessary? Somewhere in the afterlife, Nathanael West is having a good chuckle.
Sunday, June 6 2010
"... I have crawled most of the way through life. I have crawled downward into holes without a bottom, and upward, wedged into crevices where the wind and the birds scream at you until the sound of a falling pebble is enough to make the sick heart lurch."
Thursday, May 27 2010
It's an American pop music creation myth: that blues and folk music developed along two distinct tracks, with their own distinct traditions, divided along racial lines. The truth is, of course, far more slippery and complicated.
Tuesday, May 11 2010
The "monstrous steel molochs" of industrialized civilization are fueled by petroleum and not literally by the "fat of the natives", though for the Achuar people, the subject of this classic narrative, that might be a distinction without a difference.
Monday, May 3 2010
In Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait and Switch, she experiences an exclusive corporate culture in America that is disturbingly similar to India's privileged genetic intelligentsia; also know as the caste system.
Sunday, May 2 2010
Judging from the worried silence that met Stephen Colbert’s satirical comments about the current president, it seems he stepped over the line from his trademark truthiness that entertains to plain-old truth (or perhaps taboo) that his audience did not want to hear. As comedy routines go, this one died fast.
Sunday, April 25 2010
The author's 'heaven' is a concrete and unexpected place with"lumbering women throwing shot put and javelin"; whereas the filmmaker's interpretation changes 'heaven' to something like a garish, 3-D Hallmark card.
Thursday, April 22 2010
The cutting-edge of literary studies uses brain scans and evolutionary psychology to fashion a science of reading, but these techniques have already been at work crafting the latest and most invasive phase of capitalism.