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BRAD STORMS OUT: ANGIE TAKES THE KIDS September 28, 2009

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The world is a complex and multidimensional place. “Large and varied enough to support vastly different ideas about what is going on behind the literal, visable surface of things,” Mr. Pitt told reporters yesterday, as he was returning home from a shoot on his latest film project (yet to be disclosed).

Elaborating on his statement, which was met with frowns and sour looks, Mr. Pitt stated that he was tired of trafficking in banality, but that he didn’t want to equate banality with entertainment, necessarily. (more…)

Unreal Estate August 5, 2009

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While it is important to recognize the distinction between the descriptive and the prescriptive—between the quantitative and the qualitative—we have to recognize that at some meta level the firewall between the two is porous or in some cases invented purely for the sake of mimicking the authority of the so-called hard sciences. Behind the presumed oppositional polarity lurks the quandary of the false dichotomy. (more…)

Security vs. Resiliency July 22, 2009

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Technocratic ideology does not sufficiently credence the existence of organic systems, including organic social systems, such as the arts, and therefore it tends to underplay the value of how those arts filter back into the larger society creating a nourishing substratum from which the larger ethical body of the population feeds. (more…)

Misappropriating the Misanthropic May 16, 2009

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Joseph O’Neill’s recent article on Flannery O’Connor “Touched by Evil” in the Atlantic this month gets Flannery and her work entirely wrong. O’Neill seems unable to grasp that O’Connor is a metaphysical writer whose “realism” is simply the way she lures the modern reader into her fables of faith gone wrong—or simply dumped by the roadside as trash. Instead, he looks at her tales for evidence of how she compensated for her life’s tragedy—basically, he thinks, by projecting her inner demons onto the people around her. He can’t allow himself to credence her view that we are living in a “distorted” world, completely thrown over to the seductions of materialism. For O’Neill, what is distorted is not the world. It is O’Connor herself. (more…)

Tricks Are For Kids April 9, 2009

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I’m fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood in Brooklyn that is rich with skateboarders. They tend to congregate in the evenings, either right before or right after they’ve downloaded the obligatory meals served to them by their parental units. What’s striking about them is their easygoing, even sanguine acceptance of the brutally repetitive task that stands before them. (more…)

Feeling Brad’s Pain April 8, 2009

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Let’s stop and think for a moment about celebrity. The word itself means, of course, a celebrated person. Widely known, often referred to, etc, etc. As we all know perfectly well you don’t necessarily have to do anything particularly cool or awesome to become celebrated, to become . . . you know, the F-word. The way things work these days you can become famous just like miss you-know-who—famous just for being famous.

Recently I was at a dinner party where a highly respected and well-known film editor made the assertion that what we all—i.e., everybody who ever was, and everyone who ever will be—secretly wants to be famous. “It’s the foremost desire,” he said.  He smiled. “Well. . . True, isn’t it?”  There were surprisingly few challenges, none serious. Essentially, we all agreed. So why do we all want to become famous, then? Narcissism? Ego? Programming? Extended high-level mating privileges?       (more…)

Do You Wanna Dance? April 8, 2009

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Fortunately or not, I can still remember hippies moving around in big smoky rooms doing something I was told was dancing. If I remember correctly, what I saw was sort of this free-form, hips-and-shoulder roll-thing that was great for two reasons:  it seemed to require very little skill. And it was sexy.

I was intrigued.

(more…)

All Consuming March 27, 2009

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For at least the past thirty years the media, as well as participatory entities on Wall Street and Hollywood, have rarely referred to the American people as citizens. We were consumers, or as some would term it, rational purchasing agents. But isn’t there something strange, and something perhaps a little unhealthy for the collective psyche, about the population of the world’s oldest democracy—citizens—being cast so actively into a role that means (according to Webster’s):

 1. to do away with completely: DESTROY 2a: to spend wastefully: SQUANDER; b USE UP 3. to eat or drink esp. in great quantity. 4. to engage fully: engross vi 1. to waste or burn away: PERISH (more…)

TV Timelessness March 27, 2009

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Participation in representations of human reality are a very poor substitute for participation in actual human reality and it seems, now that we’ve had TV around long enough to study its effects socially and psychologically, that it produces distortions and deficits in personality that weren’t around in pre-TV generations. (more…)

Universalism Matters March 27, 2009

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Multiculturalists assume that the outward physical and cultural differences between peoples amount to unbridgeable differences of bias and understanding rooted deep in ethnic origins and local culture and that the only way to exist in the world is to tolerate essential difference and appreciate that difference by way of mutual respect. (more…)