Category Archives: Uncategorized

film: star wars talk (spoilers)

“Can we talk about it first without spoilers?” “We can try. Okay, it is not the movie you thought you were going to see. It’s not a brand new chapter. It goes back to the first one and does it … Continue reading

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great western

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waldenesque

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to the stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; … Continue reading

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grammar day 2015

Discussions of standard English and its discontents usually start with decline and fall. Standards are declining, civilization is falling – or at least someone else says so, giving us something to argue against. The second annual Grammar Day at the British … Continue reading

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film: a most violent year

A Most Violent Year was mostly passed over for awards, yet it is a better film about business ethics than anything Martin Scorsese has done lately. Oscar Isaac plays Abel Morales, the self-made chief executive of a heating oil business, … Continue reading

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#fakeemilydickinson

I do not know just where it went, This thing I want to see. It vanished from the still pale frame Into my history.   I plied the keys, I sailed the wires Forever and a day. But Death had … Continue reading

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alternative view

Cory Doctorow, speaking at Assembly, gives another view of the last few years of British news, ca minute 47: We have rampant visible corruption in our governments. The United Kingdom where I live, for example, it was just revealed that … Continue reading

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art: goya: order and disorder

Before visiting the latest blockbuster MFA show I had little sense of Francisco Goya except a vague and incorrect association with Maja soap. I came away flattened by his reach and versatility: portraitist, cartoonist, war artist, realist, imaginer, storyteller; in … Continue reading

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film: interstellar

It has been said that all 20th century novels are about the historical progress of the 20th century; they refer, however subtly, to ideologies and great wars and seismic shifts in material and prosperity. Exceptions that seem “timeless,” like Donna … Continue reading

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theatre: an unmatched seam (rsc love’s labour’s lost and found)

The Royal Shakespeare Company have a genuine hit on their hands with Love’s Labour’s Lost. The acting is natural yet marvelous, with every scene-carrying performance balanced with a scene-stealing one. The musical interludes are delightful, with an unexpected edge of … Continue reading

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Tomorrow Never Retires

“We’re replacing you, Bond,” said M. “It’s nothing personal, but you’ve become a bit slow on the trigger. There is a performance plan that HR could do with you but -” “It would just delay the inevitable,” said Bond, never a … Continue reading

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castling

“If chess were being invented today, it would never get past the test stage,” my brother said at Christmas, in one of those comedy riffs of his that could be original or borrowed from the classics and I’ll never know. … Continue reading

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