Anybody who supposes himself wise is already demonstrating the reverse. Therefore the cleverest, most beneficial advice must always come disguised as something else. Because who can ever really believe that he knows better? I didn't even recognize the best advice I ever got for what it was until many years after it was given to me, and I don't flatter myself that I get it, even yet.
In the mists of antiquity I embarked on what would prove to be a mortifyingly checkered academic career at St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was a very idealistic, very deluded kid. Ambitious, too. There was no such thing [...]
Maria Bustillos: I'm trying to parse all these Metacritic reviews of The Master. Mainly they seem to be saying, "I hate it, but I think I'm supposed to. A masterpiece."
David Roth: David Thomson, in the New Republic, had a great first line. Which was "Well, at least it's pretentious."
MB: Yay? I'll say this, whoever reconstructed M. Phoenix's shoulders deserves a special Oscar. His bod is all Cubist, suddenly.
DR: It seems to me like this: a fine director made a mostly perfect-looking film, with an interesting musical score and fine performances. Except that it is also totally inert, with no real characters one can or could [...]
Part of a series for the new Awl Music app.
For me it was "Bitter Heart" by Seona Dancing, feat. a slender, Bowiefied Ricky Gervais singing the lead vocal ca. 1984. Such a shock he was really quite lovely in that dandified way boys had about them in those long-ago days. I, then a callow goth, was partial to this exact varietal, and should certainly have been setting my turban at M. Gervais had the opportunity presented itself. At the Batcave in London or at the Camden Palace I accidentally went in the men's room once to find the most ravishing sight, some fifteen boys crowded along a [...]
Elmo Keep: So, THE BAT?
Maria Bustillos: Yes.
EK: I celebrated my 103rd birthday somewhere in the middle of this film.
MB: You look so young for your age!
EK: Thank you. It is the remarkably smog-free air we enjoy.
MB: This movie was very interesting to me as a political document.
EK: Because it was about Occupy?
MB: Yeah? But really, beyond that.
Having gabbed at some length regarding Hollywood's abject betrayal of our cultural hunger for narrative, Elmo Keep and Maria Bustillos repaired to the movies to remedy the defects in their Summer Blockbuster education this weekend. Keep took in The Amazing Spider-Man, and Bustillos, Prometheus.
EK: I quite enjoyed the Spider-Movie!
MB: NO, Elmo.
EK: Tell me why this new one fails. It is pretty audacious I guess. You could not call something "The Amazing Prometheus."
MB: They're trying to be retro. And FAILING to be retro. O the terrible heart-clutching betrayal of this new Spider-Man.
MB: Here's the thing. The myth of Spider-Man is that he's an [...]
Here is a tweet that Gawker writer Max Read retweeted a few days ago.
RT @DavidWinkies: @max_read actually if you call a lawyer and say you're white a dude and str8, they say you have no case #truestory
— max read (@max_read) May 23, 2012
So, sort of a backstory, to begin. Last week brought us two Internet rumpuses regarding and/or demonstrating an especially privileged kind of blindness/obliviousness/ridiculousness. One was TED curator Chris Anderson's flabbergasting decision to withdraw a TED speech about wealth inequality on the grounds that it was "too political." The other, John Scalzi's head-patting essays on Kotaku, comparing [...]
"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."—Oscar Wilde, "The Critic as Artist"
An old friend once told me a story about her son Edison and this other kid he grew up with, Brendan. It seems that when they were really little, like six or so, the boys were on a soccer team, they were playing soccer and Edison fell and was hurt. And everybody clustered round and was all ooh, ahh, to make sure he was okay. Straightaway, Brendan totally faked an injury of his own, thumped to earth and started wailing, so that [...]