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On 'The Master': We Do Not Wish To Join Your Cult

I saw it for a second time last night and I found the homoerotic subtext a lot more in the forefront: the constant dispensing of "naughty boy" and "silly boy", the wrestling, Peggy's handjob warning, the inference of what might happen if Dodd had Quell on a slow boat to China. The film grew on me as well, structurally.

"Well, all the sex in this movie, which was constant and just bludgeoning, was horrifying."

Really? Aside from Peggy's power play, the only true sex scene in the movie was the final scene, and I found that explicitly *not* horrifying. It was almost as if he was "cured all right," or at the very least in his mockery of mastery found solace.

Posted on September 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm 0

On The Evil Economics Of Judging Teachers

Ack, I'm a first-generation American, not immigrant.

Posted on January 13, 2012 at 11:08 am 0

On The Evil Economics Of Judging Teachers

Nice piece, Maria.

As a first-generation immigrant whose parents depended highly on the direction and guidance of public schools, I often feel like I'm a victim of the misplaced teleology of the American public education system that you describe above. I still have to actively quell the achievement-for-the-sake-of-achievement-driven aspect of my mind that was instilled and sharpened by that system.

"They've spent their whole lives proving that they are not "ordinary"—which, if the rest of us had any sense at all, should utterly disqualify them from influencing policy for ordinary people."

I've just started reading The Power Broker, and this seems to sum up precisely what drove Robert Moses to make New York City into the 1%-driven city that it's now become. Bloomberg has achieved success mostly in improving upon Moses's foundations.

Posted on January 13, 2012 at 11:08 am 0

On David Foster Wallace's Self-Help Books Removed From Archive

@barnhouse Fair enough, it was indeed an irreversible screw-up. If they sent a takedown notice to The Awl, I'd feel icky, but instead they just pulled it from the archive, perhaps out of sensitivity to those living persons. For all we know they intend to restore them in the future. The Ransom Center can do what they wish with their documents, and if future participants think this is wrong they can send their archives elsewhere. But I suspect most writers will be pleased that personal commentary about their potentially living parents will be kept out of the public eye while those parents are living.

Posted on August 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm 0

On David Foster Wallace's Self-Help Books Removed From Archive

Those self-help books had intimate commentary on living persons. They should not have been publicly released until those persons were no longer living. I believe this was an oversight and they made the right call here. I don't fault Maria for writing the piece, but I think this outcome was predictable after its publication. (Although I'm surprised it took this long.)

Posted on August 30, 2011 at 5:09 pm 0

On What Makes A Great Critic?

Maria, sounds like you need to pull a meta-Truffaut and create what you are critiquing. I.e., write a book review and publish it on The Awl!

Posted on August 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

It's an ugly word.

Posted on April 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm 0

On Inside David Foster Wallace's Private Self-Help Library

Re: the list of words at the end. They are all words that precisely do not describe themselves.

Posted on April 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm 3