Books Acquired Recently

Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 1968. New York: Del Rey, 2017. I have been wanting to read this book for a while. The only Dick I’ve read previously is The Man in the High Castle, which I love, so I’ve been meaning to explore more of his work. Today while IContinue reading “Books Acquired Recently”

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Books Acquired Recently

Adler, Renata. Speedboat. 1976. New York: New York Review, 2013. Fox, Paula. Desperate Characters. 1970. New York: Norton, 1999. I was recently reading The David Foster Wallace Reader, which includes a few syllabi from Wallace’s creative writing and literature courses. The syllabi are the best written, most thought-provoking ones I have ever encountered, and itContinue reading “Books Acquired Recently”

Thoughts on Bill Hader Leaving Saturday Night Live and Endings in General

Bill Hader announced this week that he is leaving Saturday Night Live at the end of this season. While I got into SNL at the tail end of the Will Ferrell/Chris Parnell/Tracy Morgan-into-the-Tina Fey/Amy Poehler/Maya Rudolph days, Hader’s generation (Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig, Kenan Thompson, with Jason Sudeikis and Fred Armisen having been there aContinue reading “Thoughts on Bill Hader Leaving Saturday Night Live and Endings in General”

The Great Gatsby

I saw The Great Gatsby this evening–the first film I’ve seen on its opening night since The Return of the King, which shows how eager I was for it–and I was quite satisfied with it, 7.5/10. It is mostly true to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterful novel (much more so than many film adaptations of books),Continue reading “The Great Gatsby”

Thinking About Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry

I am hoping to visit New York City sometime this summer, and go to a Mets game. Last night I dreamt that I bought tickets to this game, and that Dwight Gooden would be pitching. I thought to myself, “How impressive that Gooden pitched the first game I ever attended, and he’ll be pitching thisContinue reading “Thinking About Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry”

Zadie Smith on Music and Obsession

Zadie Smith has an article in the 17 December 2012 issue of the New Yorker about her journey to appreciating Joni Mitchell’s work in which she also offers some thoughts on being a connoisseur of various art forms. Smith writes that she distrusts those who claim to be true connoisseurs of more than one form, noting that theContinue reading “Zadie Smith on Music and Obsession”

Alfred Slote’s Jake

There’s a new short film on grantland.com by Jonathan Hock about Alfred Slote’s children’s novel Jake, with a great introduction by Bill Simmons here. Like Simmons, I read Jake and one of Slote’s other novels, Hang Tough, Paul Mather, over and over as a boy. They were perfect because they used baseball, something which IContinue reading “Alfred Slote’s Jake”

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master

I saw Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film The Master last night, and while I’m still processing it, here are a few initial observations and reactions: It is not as good as Boogie Nights, which has the memorable characters of The Master while also having a more engaging plot, but there is more nudity. It mightContinue reading “Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master”

UHF and the Loss of Cultural Memory

Last night for some reason I was thinking about Weird Al Yankovic’s 1989 film UHF (the film’s imdb.com page is here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098546/). It occurred to me that this film would completely baffle my students because they would have no idea what a UHF dial is, having grown up solely with remote-control televisions and cable (myContinue reading “UHF and the Loss of Cultural Memory”