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Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Real War on Politically Correct is Coming

January 29, 2016, 4:53 pm

Bill Maher: “I know you feel the same way I do, that Donald Trump is largely a result of a backlash to political correctness.” Seth MacFarlane: “Yeah…I think the rise of social media has something to do with it, I think the good part of social media is that it gives voice to the voiceless, I think somebody like Caitlin Jenner would not have been as accepted had it not been for social media, so I think that’s the good […]

In Praise of “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors”

January 27, 2016, 11:02 am

If you are reading this to get some sense of what families go through with a family member who is autistic, and you’d like a more cinematic representation of the same thing, you could do a lot worse than watch Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (I can only assume it was released in Britain under the title Mind the Gap). In brief, it’s about a 13-year-old autistic kid who runs away from home, spending at least 3 days foraging […]

Is This The Third Purge?

January 25, 2016, 12:20 pm

Prior to last week, in its century-long history, Hollywood has had two major, conspicuous talent overhauls, one in the late 1920s, and one in the late 1960s. Both historical “purges” were driven by severe, untypical economic and cultural anxieties, and the overhauls were accompanied by alterations to policies of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) that served as key drivers/reflectors of the winds of change blowing through the industry. Presuming that Friday’s announced change in Academy policies […]

Saluting “America the Unfair?” by Nicholas Kristof

January 22, 2016, 11:45 am

Last week I mentioned that America’s elites are still having trouble digesting America’s anti-elitism, and I gave you some examples, and then, wanting to end on a hopeful note, I quoted one pundit who DOES get it, Nicholas Kristof. Today I’m going to permit myself my first Andrew Sullivan moment: giving up my blog space to a Pulitzer-winning columnist who’s saying everything I’ve been saying, but better. In this case, that’s Nicholas Kristof, who, in his column for the New […]

Let’s Try On Hats

January 20, 2016, 1:29 am

Dar has been reminding me of one of the worst days of my life with him. It’s not his fault, but his behavior has brought me back to one of the first places we brought him post-diagnosis, pre-blog. Keep reading only if you can handle the darkness as well as the sunshine. Let’s back up a scootch. You know how, when an autistic kid goes missing, and the press reports on it, there’s inevitably a sentence that says that the […]

To Change Its History, Hollywood Must Accurately Reflect History

January 18, 2016, 2:41 pm

Happy Martin Luther King Day! How is your universe’s arc bending today? Well, if you want to know about mine… After this year’s Oscar nominations were revealed on Thursday, the press went through its second annual paroxysm of #oscarssowhite conversations. This very useful dialogue is missing a crucial element: namely, the fact that Hollywood’s period films are, as a general rule, missing the crucial element of persons of color. Because the film industry generally presents the past as “whiter” than […]

Elites Still Having Trouble Understanding Anti-Elitism

January 15, 2016, 11:27 am

To paraphrase the hoariest of movie clichés: they don’t get it, do they? They…just…don’t…get…it. If they got it, there would be articles diagnosing the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as symptomatic of the same disgust with the bipartisan elites who drove our honorable soldiers into a deadly quagmire in Iraq, then plunged our economy into a canyon, then redressed these wrongs to the benefit only of those who were already millionaires. If they got it, they would say, […]

“Bea,” “Bea,” “Bea,” “Bea”

January 13, 2016, 10:09 am

As I begin this week’s column about my son who has autism, I find myself thinking about an Oscar-caliber film about a marooned man who was forced find a way to survive, alone, for years. It helps that the man was played by perhaps our most popular 44-year-old actor, you know? (I’m 44.) No, not The Martian. I mean Cast Away. Nothing against Ridley Scott and Matt Damon’s latest, but I’ve always been fascinated by the man-volleyball relationship that the […]

“Why You Always Knew ________ Would/n’t Make It” 2016

January 12, 2016, 3:16 pm

Last year around this time, I published my Oscar-world version of Bill Simmons’ “Why You Eventually Regretted Taking the _____” columns (by the way, we are suffering without these during this, his prolonged absence). The point of the exercise is to summarize the reasons why you chose to bet one way – and then summarize the reasons why you chose to bet the other way. In Hollywood in December and January, the big question for every studio is if the […]

Don’t Let Me Hear You Say Life’s Taking You Nowhere, Angel: David Bowie 1947-2016

January 11, 2016, 11:31 am

“It feels like we lost something elemental, as if an entire color is gone.” – Carrie Brownstein “Bowie made the criticism of white masculinity seem not only necessary but cool and hip–you could dance to it.” – Curtis Marez “Simply that, you provided the sideways like us with such rare and out-there company…such fellowship. You pulled us in and left your arm dangling over our necks…and kept us warm – as you have for – isn’t it ? – centuries […]