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BUNKER: what happens after Trump goes nuclear

October 16, 2017, 11:16 am

Longtime readers know that I sometimes fill this space with ideas for film/video projects. This is just such a summary treatment for a film called BUNKER. BUNKER: A comedy about a White House reporter stuck in the President’s bunker after a nuclear Armaggeddon. At a White House press briefing, our heroine, a confident black woman named AVA, asks probing questions about the worsening North Korea situation. She gets platitudes, not answers, from the heavy-set white woman at the podium, who
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Hurricane Harvey-Harassment Exposes Right-Wing and Left-Wing Hypocrites

October 9, 2017, 11:19 am

I’ve heard the news about mogul Harvey Weinstein, and I’m outraged. At the hypocrisy on the right and the left. Despite my cute name in the title, “Hurricane Harvey-Harassment,” the facts of this case aren’t even a little funny. Sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, who paid settlement hush money to “at least eight women,” does not get one ounce of my sympathy. I’ll go further than many and say that if Harvey Weinstein was truly as sorry as he says he
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The Week That the Great Magazine Era Ended

October 3, 2017, 10:07 am

Newspapers are sometimes called “the first draft of history.” One might think of books as the third draft. Following the proposed sale of Rolling Stone and the deaths of Hugh Hefner, longtime publisher-auteur of Playboy, and S.I. Newhouse Jr., owner of Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ, and The New Yorker (among others), an astonishing week has brought down the curtain on a sixty-year period of magazine dominance in American culture. And so, for just one moment now, as the glory days
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That Time When I Failed to Stand for Our National Anthem

September 25, 2017, 7:44 pm

I remember it like it was yesterday. By the time I was 16, I rarely babysat, but gears shifted on the day I got my driver’s license. Like me, my neighbor’s kid loved roller-coasters; unlike me, my neighbor had no desire to drive all the way from Berkeley to Santa Clara. One nice summer day in the late 1980s, me and her 10-year-old kid and the kid’s friend woke up early, jumped in my neighbor’s mini-van, and drove an hour
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Emmys 2017: More Milestones Than You May Realize

September 19, 2017, 8:42 am

Now that Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’s The Late Show, has hosted the Emmys on CBS in the same calendar year that Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, hosted the Golden Globes on NBC and Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, hosted the Oscars on ABC, it’s official: for the first time ever in a year, the late-night M.C. of each of America’s three broadcast networks hosted its major screen-content awards-show. At this point, this milestone registers
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The Terror-Totalitarianism Tango

September 11, 2017, 9:51 pm

  Today is the first September 11 under President Trump. Perhaps fittingly, it’s also the first time that the amount of years since that fateful day can be expressed as a discreet square of a square – because the number 16 is a square of 4, which is a square of 2. Why would that be fitting? Because a square of a square invokes a box in a box, and 9/11 is both a Pandora’s box that continues to expand
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A Century of Cinema About Labor, With One Film For Each Decade

September 4, 2017, 7:33 pm

“You used to write an awful lot about the workingman…He’s turning into something called organized labor. You’re not going to like that one little bit when you find out it means that your workingman expects something is his right, not as your gift! Charlie, when your precious underprivileged really get together, oh boy! That’s going to add up to something bigger than your privileges!” – Leland to Kane in Citizen Kane (1941) Perhaps 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution makes
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Donald Trump is the new Jack Nicholson

August 29, 2017, 7:40 am

If you’re like me, you’ve read way too many comparisons of our 45th President to our 37th; as evidenced by the ubiquity of the meme picture that crosses over their faces. And sure, it’s true that there are parallels, some of which have been known to cheer up Democrats, considering Richard Nixon’s eventual fate. Perhaps the clearest similarity regards the zeitgeist, or “spirit of the times.” When policemen were shot and killed at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas in
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Eclipse Photos to Go Here

August 21, 2017, 1:56 am

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Did We All Fiddle With Our Phones While the Republic Burned?

August 15, 2017, 8:16 am

You and I have both read a lot of post-mortems about the 2016 presidential election, a lot of thinkpieces about the unthinking and unthinkable Donald Trump. But here’s a question I haven’t seen anyone take seriously: did we Americans assume that digital culture would gradually lead to a more enlightened population, only to wake up on November 9th and realize that it has only enhanced our more regressive elements? Did we look up for a minute from our smartphones, see
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