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Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Lion, The Witch-Hunt, and The Web-Rage

July 31, 2015, 12:25 pm

Hashtags look like pitchforks. Maybe that’s the problem. Hashtags – or what we used to call the “pound sign” back in those innocent pre-Twitter days – somewhat resemble the business end of a pitchfork crossed with another such end. Ever since James Whale ended his brilliant film The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) with an unruly mob brandishing pitchforks against a designated monster – and Whale, who was gay and closeted, knew something about unseemly persecution – pitchforks have meant less
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From Eunice to Eunice

July 29, 2015, 11:39 am

Like you, on the phone I’m often asked to repeat or spell the name of the street I live on – giving directions or confirming my address. Since I get tired of repeating/spelling “Eunice” I sometimes say, “Have you heard of Eunice Shriver?” Having done that more than 100 times, I’m not sure anyone has ever said no. That’s a testament to something – maybe the Kennedys’ ongoing fame, maybe her daughter Maria Shriver’s marriage to Arnold Schwarzenegger – but
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The Summer that Rebooted the Reboot

July 27, 2015, 7:48 am

 Published at Sound on Sight. Does Hollywood try to remake/sequelize/franchise-extend every single one of its successful movies? Sometimes it feels that way, but there’s a little more nuance to studio practices than that. If you’re looking for meaning in this summer’s blockbuster season – not always easy – you could call it Dr. JurassicMax or How Hollywood Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Reboot. Rebooting franchises isn’t as common, well-received, or lucrative as you might think. Today let’s look
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Why We Care(d) About Major Assassinations

July 24, 2015, 11:08 am

Remember those pre-internet days when you could get away with any sort of folk wisdom more or less unchallenged? Razor blades in apples! Birds explode from wedding rice! My pre-internet favorite was the comparisons of the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy…generally presented in solemn, ominous tones, suiting the eerie-ness of all the coincidences. Actually, if you google those words right now, you’ll see several D-level websites and tumblrs still peddling Lincoln-Kennedy similarities as some kind of unharmonic
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I’ll See You On The Dark Side of the Moon

July 22, 2015, 11:30 am

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If Dar feels something and no one can understand him, do his emotions count? Supposedly, the tree-falling-in-forest question was first posed in 1710 by George Berkeley, the philosopher who was the inspiration for the name of Berkeley, California. I think this may amuse my friends who are from (or know) Berkeley – that our hometown’s foundation may well have been
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Save “The Cosby Show”

July 20, 2015, 9:13 am

Save The Cosby Show. Save Fat Albert, Uptown Saturday Night, and some of Cosby’s old Warner Bros. comedy albums. Bill Cosby is a sexual predator and a serial rapist. He should almost certainly go to jail for the rest of his life, and in a karmic sense I’d like each and every one of his victims to have her own 24-hour period to torture Cosby Guantanamo-style. He’s the scum that scum walks on. No argument there. But does that mean
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The ABCs of Privacy

July 17, 2015, 11:08 am

“What do you have to hide?” – many of the college students I teach, when discussing privacy American liberals are on a collision course, and many of them don’t realize it. Right now, they can support mandatory body-cameras on police (even the American Civil Liberties Union agrees) as one way to address police brutality, and at the same time support Edward Snowden and the idea that post-9/11 governmental agencies have gone way too far in invading their privacy. These two
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Taking the Plunge

July 15, 2015, 11:10 am

Before this summer, we had never enrolled Dar in formal swimming lessons. He loved pools, he loved treading water, and lessons hardly seemed necessary. His brother R, on the other hand, has exhibited acute aquaphobia since he was a baby. The beginneriest of beginner classes at the local YMCA in downtown Berkeley are targeted to kids who are around 3 or 4. R turned 3 in May, so we enrolled R in a summer class (the “Pike” group, for those
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“The Food Critic”: The 1000-word Treatment

July 13, 2015, 3:47 pm

Perhaps you’ve heard there aren’t enough movie roles for women. Melissa McCarthy notwithstanding, there are very few big-budget films where a lead woman gets to do more than romance a man or indulge in some kind of caper, and fewer non-melodrama/biopics where a lead can really display her acting chops. If Meryl Streep were 40 right now, what kind of film would she want to do?  I’m just going to leave this idea/treatment right here. Hollywood, you know where to
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The United States of GetOverIt Gets Over a Flag

July 10, 2015, 12:34 pm

More than 33 years since the show premiered on CBS-TV on Friday nights, Warner Bros. has issued a new and terribly insulting attack on the South, a region and a culture which Hollywood has trashed for decades. Some unnamed genius at the company feels that the flag is ‘offensive to some’ and therefore it has no business on a classic TV comedy about a bunch of good ol’ boys and girls in the Southern mountains. This is a new level
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