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TV

J.J.  Abrams’ Mystery Boxes

J.J.  Abrams’ Mystery Boxes With the debut of his latest TV series Fringe last week, J. J. Abrams—the writer/director/producer behind Lost, Felicity, and Alias—is back in the spotlight to talk about why he did the things he did with his new, much anticipated sci-fi show. Opening to mixed reviews, the X-Files-esque-medical-puzzle series promises to deliver… READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    fringe | j.j. abrams | lost | mystery

Movies

For This Documentary Tells Me So

For This Documentary Tells Me So The idea that documentaries are unbiased truth is well-established nonsense, of course, but some filmmakers are better at covering their ideological tracks than others (the good ones are, anyway). For the Bible Tells Me So tackles a tough, timely topic: the antagonism between Christian fundamentalists and practicing homosexuals. This complex… READ MORE >


Music

Not-So-Merry Prankster

Not-So-Merry Prankster He’s been a four-track folk singer, found-sound experimenter, hip-hop beatmaster, Dada-ist lyricist, postmodern collage artist, and mock funk-soul crooner. He mixes electronica and harmonica. He mixes dance beats and downbeat blues. Then he remixes. If consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds then shapeshifting singer-songwriter… READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    apocalypse | beck | fatalism

Movies

Gonzo Suicide

Gonzo Suicide Gonzo should have been subtitled “The Life and Work and Death of Hunter S. Thompson,” because the writer’s suicide three years ago was the flare-out of a fading star, a premeditated decision that shrouded his last moments in existential uncertainty. Did the Lion in Winter flip a final bird to established conventions, rebel… READ MORE >


Music

REM’s Comeback

REM’s Comeback "…for a supposed comeback attempt, R.E.M. doesn't seem desperate to be loved here. Much of Accelerate actually sounds fired-up and angry: ‘Living Well Is the Best Revenge’ is an aggressive opening salvo, the oblique narrative of ‘Mr. Richards’ finds Stipe at his most effectively political, and the gritty, double-speed ‘Horse to Water’ is the album's most self-critical song… If it isn't able to recapture the post-punk energy of Reckoning, the political fury of Life's Rich Pageant, or the epic scope of Automatic for the People, the album, at the very least, finds the band playing to its strengths rather than attempting to explore an increasingly thin artistic mythology. That alone justifies Accelerate's positive buzz, even if the album doesn't quite support the magnitude of it.” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    rem | rock

Books

Holy Man: What does the Dalai Lama actually stand for?

Holy Man: What does the Dalai Lama actually stand for? “’The more he gave himself to the world,’ Iyer writes, the more Tibetans have come to feel ‘like natural children bewildered by the fact that their father has adopted three others.’ …Avidly embracing the liberating ideas of the secular metropolis, the Dalai Lama resembles the two emblematic types who have shaped the modern age, for better and for worse—the provincial fleeing ossified custom and the refugee fleeing totalitarianism. Even so, his critics may have a point: the Dalai Lama’s citizenship in the global cosmopolis seems to come at a cost to his dispossessed people… It is hard to see the Dalai Lama bringing about mutual understanding in the world at large when he has failed to bring it about between China and Tibet.” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    buddhists | china | dalailama | exile | tibet

Books

Sleepy-Eyed Writer, Wandering Byzantium

Sleepy-Eyed Writer, Wandering Byzantium “About the Lower East Side today,’ Mr. Price said, ‘This place is like Byzantium. It’s tomorrow, yesterday — anyplace but today.’ ... ‘Lush Life’ took so long to finish, he said, in part because he spent so much time researching it — talking to people, riding around with the neighborhood police and sometimes just walking around. ‘I always like to hang out,’ he said, ‘because, one, it’s a way of avoiding really writing; and, two, sometimes God is a crackerjack novelist and you can plagiarize the hell out of him.’ He particularly liked hanging out with cops, he said, ‘because I’m so not a cop myself. Being with them gets me out of my own self-consciousness.’” READ MORE >


Movies

Rated G for Glorious

Rated G for Glorious “…In the Jungle of Nool something foreign lands on a piece of clover. It's not a spaceship but an entire alien world: the nearly infinitesimal planet of Who-ville. Horton the elephant, his large ears giving him the most acute hearing, detects cries from the clover speck. He can't see the little Whos, but he deduces, believes, knows that sentient creatures are in there; and his caring instinct tells him that they must be protected. He builds a rapport with the tiny planet's resident scientist, Dr. Hoovey, who is having just as much trouble convincing his villagers that there's a giant outside force, unseen but benevolent, that will determine their future." READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    dr. seuss

Books

Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana

Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana “Far from pushing boundaries, or the church's buttons, Rice's portrayal of Jesus as the son of God and the savior of humankind is theologically sound. At the same time, he's also very human, with needs and cares readers can relate to. ‘It's an attempt to get close to him and what he experienced, to make it historically exciting and historically correct,’ she said. Writing the books ‘has made me conscious of what (Jesus) suffered in the way of derision and dismissal … Just like today -- people go around making jokes about him. But he goes right on winning souls no matter what anybody does. We've come 2,000 years, and you can still sit at his feet and hear him speak and feel his hand, maybe, touch your shoulder. He survives it all.’" READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    anne rice | jesus

Movies

Board Game:  Gus Van Sant’s latest experiment works

Board Game:  Gus Van Sant’s latest experiment works “The book is linear and psychological and even invokes Dostoyevsky—Notes From the Underground… and, by implication, Crime and Punishment. Van Sant dumps Dostoyevsky and ruptures the story line; his narrator, Alex, apologizes for screwing up the order of events… Alienation, guilt—it’s all free-floating, as if Camus had reworked Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.”’ READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    gus van sant | teens

Books

The Last Triumph of Fatima

The Last Triumph of Fatima The centrality of Fatima to the second, ‘suffering servant’ stage of John Paul II's papacy, and his involvement with the two men who would become the Vatican's numbers one and two after his death, may help explain why Lucia's cause has been fast-tracked for beatification... In the book, Bertone seems relieved that all the Virgin's prophecies were now safely in the past tense, and could no longer be seen as portending the world's end: ‘It's all quite different from the massive carnage certain fevered brains like to imagine taking place,’ he writes… READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    fatima | prophecy | saints | sister lucia

Books

The Advantages of Closing a Few Doors

The Advantages of Closing a Few Doors …Dan Ariely’s new book, ‘Predictably Irrational,’ an entertaining look at human foibles like the penchant for keeping too many options open. “Closing a door on an option is experienced as a loss, and people are willing to pay a price to avoid the emotion of loss,” Dr. Ariely says… So what can be done? One answer, he says, is to develop more social checks on overbooking. He points to marriage as an example: ‘In marriage, we create a situation where we promise ourselves not to keep options open. We close doors and announce to others we’ve closed doors.’” READ MORE >

(0) COMMENTS  |  TOPICS:    choices | life | psychology

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