The Dark Knight: apologia for Dictatorship or Insanity, take your pick

Repost of Dark Knight Review (originally published July 2008) If you haven’t yet seen the film, Dark Knight, please do that first before reading this post, because you will definitely spoil the “tension” of the plot, assuming there is any. For some reason this film is a runaway hit, with critics pissing all over themselves […]

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In defense of Privacy

Recently I heard a pernicious argument, namely that privacy does not exist and the notion of it should be abolished. The person who said this argued that hundreds of thousands of people are dying every year because of a false notion of privacy. To him, this conclusion is based on privacy concerns related to medical […]

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Bob Dobbs was right… Wage Slaves must slack

Reading Jennifer Szalai’s article on Dwight MacDonald’s Masscult and Midcult in this week’s Nation, gave me pause to reflect on that seemingly outmoded way of characterizing the tension between high culture (the art of museums and mid-town cinematheques) and the kibble for the rest of us low-lifes, otherwise known as kitsch. When I first encountered MacDonald’s […]

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TO THE POLICE OF AMERICA

Do not be like this.  Spraying chemical agents into the faces of harmless people is the act of a sociopath.  That way lies madness! Police Officers:  all of you walking the beat in American cities from Galveston to Toledo, from Miami to Portland, I believe that the vast majority of you are working to protect […]

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OccupyMeme

As Occupy Wall Street has grown from a demonstration to a social movement, it is inspiring to see many good things emerging.  Perhaps the most basic triumph of the Occupy movement has been to wrench the agenda away from the preposterous “all terror all the time” and “infinite war” protocols that have infested the public […]

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Readercon 22 – Goodspeak From the Jewel Hinged Jaw

Yet another great time at Readercon this year!   The panel topics had their usual sweep of the field, from Mark Twain, to Mark Clifton, and most places interstitial…yet the mood of the conference was clearly influenced by the passing of two major figures in SF’s new wave:  Joanna Russ and Tom Disch.   In […]

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Synchronicity of misremembered skulls

The fascinating novel Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald captured my interest at the outset when he described the journey of Thomas Browne’s skull.   The intrepid adventures of Browne’s skull, included an interlude beneath a glass bell jar at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Museum, as well as two burials.  This gives Sebald ironic […]

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