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Monthly Archives: February 2014

A future without smartphones

February 28, 2014, 11:52 am

Can you imagine a future without smartphones? Don’t worry, every sci-fi author and filmmaker has already done it for you. The 20th century brought us many, many visions of the 21st century, from Metropolis to Blade Runner to Total Recall to 2046. But none of them, not a single one on book or film, predicted a ubiquitous palm-sized device that would connect everyone to everyone else in so many remarkable ways. Nowhere in any piece of 20th-century fiction did any […]


February 26, 2014, 12:04 pm

Dar has an IEP today. The purpose of this meeting is to tell us what the school district wants to do with Dar in September. We were once told that he had to go to “transitional kindergarten” (or TK) because he was born in October 2009. Because he’s experienced months of regression with each transition, his teacher told me that he’s going to recommend that instead of TK, Dar gets two straight years of kindergarten. Wifey and I aren’t convinced […]

Final Oscar Preview, Short and Sweet

February 24, 2014, 9:54 am

The Oscars are this Sunday, March 2nd. The first thing to recognize about Oscar Night is that it won’t feel like any Oscar Preview post. Bloggers and writers talk about who should and who would win, but somehow that guessing game takes up very little of your time while you’re actually watching the broadcast. So what will be taking up your time? Ellen DeGeneres wearing and saying something fun. Relentlessly red-and-gold-patterned décor, along with relentlessly tuxedoed men. Harmless jokes about […]

The Virtue Index

February 21, 2014, 9:30 am

Well, they’re at it again. The 1% have spoken about feeling persecuted, and in response the liberals are persecuting. One side says we’re punishing success, the other side says we’re increasing income inequality. I’m not sure this is getting us anywhere. Scratch that. I know it’s not.   Obama said, “There’s nothing wrong with America that can’t be solved by what’s right with America.” The populist way of saying that is: there’s nothing wrong with America that can’t be solved […]

Numero Dos

February 19, 2014, 7:48 am

I don’t know that it’s easy for any couple to decide to have a second child, especially while the first one is still screaming through half of the night. From the moment I knew that our first child was a boy, I wanted to try for a girl. Wifey wasn’t entirely convinced.   When we got DarMar’s cerebral palsy diagnosis, around his first birthday, we thought twice. When it took Dar until 17 months to walk, we thought twice again. […]

How Mt. Olympics Became Mt. Etna

February 16, 2014, 10:49 pm

I teach film to state-university students. Two weeks ago, I asked them to watch a bit of the Sochi Olympics, or perhaps just the opening ceremony. I planned to compare Leni Reifenstahl’s Olympia (1938) to current styles of representation. In the middle of last week, I asked for raised hands from anyone who’d seen anything from Sochi – about 7 of 30 people raised their hands. Remember, they were assigned to watch. Look at reddit’s front page. There’s no Olympics […]

Doug, Out

February 14, 2014, 11:19 am

According to a new poll, large majorities of Americans are ready for gay athletes in major sports. With Michael Sam coming out of the closet this week, it seems like we may be reaching a great turning point…and that this script idea I once had is looking more and more obsolete. As a populist celebration of our tolerant majority and as a salute to Sam, I thought I would publish it here today. Here’s a film we might have needed […]


February 12, 2014, 9:13 am

One of the wisest things I’ve read about parents of kids with autism is that we’re going through an extended mourning period. Yes. When my mother died, there was a finality to it, even if I did keep dreaming her alive and waking up feeling that I’d lost her again. But the DarMar situation goes on and on. Almost every day we face up to no surprises. And every day that happens, that’s grief.   The longer this blog goes […]

Blanchett Dubois, Woody, Dylan, and the kindness of strangers

February 10, 2014, 7:42 am

Woody Allen isn’t trusted by every woman in the world. Yet he may have just secured the sixth Oscar for an actress from one of his films after Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, Dianne Weist for Hannah and Her Sisters, Dianne Weist again for Bullets Over Broadway, Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite, and Penelope Cruz from Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Women can trust him to get them a golden boy; they just can’t trust him with their actual children. Too soon […]

Populism, not Orange, is the New Black

February 7, 2014, 6:36 am

I am really on(to) something with this populism blog. Paul Krugman regularly wraps himself in a populist mantle – in too many posts to link. But his ideological opposite at the New York Times, Ross Douthat, has been doing much the same of late. (If you are a right-winger and think Douthat is some kind of sellout, you might want to get over that; for one thing, he is reading way more of what you claim to love than you […]