Monday, January 3rd, 2011
1

The Blackboard, Slated to be Wiped Clean

The day I learned that the Earth would be cracked open by a comet, that the seas would turn suddenly to steam and the wind from every direction would catch fire, that the sky would be covered over with heavy tarps of black burning dust and every one of us would end up stenciled like letters into the fossil record, I went to the movies. But then Richard Gere burst out into "Razzle Dazzle," and my heart went nuts and my head went light and my skin went damp and it went cold and the only thought I could manage was this: "The world is going to end and [...]

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8

Their Genius: "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein"

Bride of Frankenstein was the very, very best of the Universal horror movies, because its director, James Whale, was as perverse as any mad scientist and as gentle as his monster. After the bride’s black hair is stood up on end and shot through with white, and after she screamingly rejects the monster’s plaintive pleas for friendship, and after he detonates the laboratory with both of them inside it, I turned off the big-box TV—this was years ago, when I was an emptier person living in an empty apartment in an empty city—and I lay there feeling lonesome and ugly instead of skittish and jumpy. I've never seen it since, [...]

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