Category Archives: Uncategorized

Indra’s Net: The Photography of Uncle Boonmee

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s latest film, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, opens with a still portrait: a long mid-shot of a water buffalo tied to a tree somewhere in the Thai countryside. Shot in twilight, the dark greens of … Continue reading

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The Blog Wags the Dog

Once in a while a writer hits an idea so squarely on the head that society unconditionally embraces it. Such is the case with Orwell’s concept of “Newspeak” in 1984. A language autocratically contrived to limit imagination and willpower, Newspeak … Continue reading

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Fathers on Wax: On Syl Johnson

On a Friday night in December, I joined a sold-out crowd at Southpaw in Brooklyn to see the soul musician Syl Johnson. Johnson had recently released a comprehensive box set which was panned by music writer Douglas Wolk in his … Continue reading

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The Glorious Painted Life of New York

New York City may be, as Tony Judt writes, a city in decline. Its artistic and industrial regency has steadily weakened while “the intellectual gangs of New York have folded their knives and gone home to the suburbs,” and though … Continue reading

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Question Authority: Who Rewrote the Bible?

Last year, I chanted the story of Judah and Tamar; my partner Sarah chanted the preceding chapter. The Tamar story interrupts the larger Joseph narrative, splitting the brothers’ betrayal from Joseph’s experience in Egypt. Though the narratives are independent – … Continue reading

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The Ungrateful Heart

I. I hesitate to write about current events for this blog unless I feel that those events are somehow paradigmatic. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with the beatings of leftist protestors by Tea Party activists in the last … Continue reading

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How to Wait for the Bus (and Why)

1. Public spaces are the bulwark of every city’s identity. Parks, buses, and sidewalks are home to the quintessential interactions of city life. Anyone from tourists to mayors contending how friendly or dirty or vibrant a city is will most … Continue reading

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