They Live, John Carpenter's 1988 cult classic, is a fairly subversive piece of work. The film, which combines sci-fi, horror and satire -- and includes one of the iconic fight scenes in movie history -- is an allegorical treatise on the evils of capitalism, set in a Los Angeles populated by evil, conspiratorial and wealthy aliens. The film, despite a mixed original reception, has developed a rabid fan-boy following over the last few decades, and now Jonathan Lethem, the author of "Motherless Brooklyn," "The Fortress of Solitude" and, more recently, "Chronic City" has written "They Live," a meticulous, scene-by-scene analysis of its many, many layers.
posted by Joe Beese
on Nov 8, 2010 -
"Places like Picher are why Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980—better known as the Superfund bill
." - Wired Magazine on the most toxic town in America, Picher, OK
, and the people who still live there
posted by The Whelk
on Sep 5, 2010 -
"The Interview was not a happy invention.... In the first place, the interviewer is the reverse of an inspiration, because you are afraid of him.
" An epic rant
by Mark Twain, published for the first time this week. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee
on Jul 8, 2010 -
Postcards From Hell
— For the last half-decade, the Fund for Peace
, working with Foreign Policy, has been putting together the Failed States Index
(the 2010 version is out), using a battery of indicators to determine how stable—or unstable—a country is. But as the photos here demonstrate, sometimes the best test is the simplest one: You'll only know a failed state when you see it. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Jun 25, 2010 -
"I began bringing a camera along to work, photographing my surroundings. And as this project progressed and I slowly learned my craft, I became increasingly fascinated with other photographers who had been in a similar situation, those who had found themselves recording their own jobs: The Insiders
[A tiny bit NSFW] ."
posted by chunking express
on Nov 24, 2009 -
"To make off with hubby's fortune, yea, I think I heard of that happenin' once or twice around L.A. And… you want me to do what exactly?" He found the paper bag he'd brought his supper home in and got busy pretending to scribble notes on it, because straight-chick uniform, makeup supposed to look like no makeup or whatever, here came that old well-known hard-on Shasta was always good for sooner or later. Does it ever end, he wondered. Of course it does. It did. Thomas Pynchon
's next novel, the 416-page Inherent Vice
, is described by Penguin Press
as "part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog." While we wait for its August 4 publication, we can read an essay on the dystopian musical he co-wrote at Cornell
or watch a clip of that movie they made of Gravity's Rainbow
. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 6, 2009 -
The End Of The World As We Know It
. If you want to imagine the catastrophe - how you would cope, what would you do to save yourself and your family - where do you turn for advice?... The idea of dying together, all of us, in some ways seems less appalling than the thought of going alone.
posted by amyms
on Apr 1, 2008 -
Queen Street: Thematic Preview
- "Queen Street is one of Toronto's oldest, longest, and most varied routes. It began in 1793 as a line on a map, running dead straight for ten miles, in modern measure some 16 kilometres. It is the spine, the high street, the main street of many distinct, and quite different, neighbourhoods. The street's fine grain is a cavalcade of urban variety, where the grain is broken by parks, institutions, industry. Queen Street is a promenade of public life, one you can stroll for 16 kilometres. I have, all of it, often camera in hand: I wanted others to see it, to know something of its life. And its gifts — meant to be shared. Here I'll share with you some of what I have seen along, and just off, Queen Street."
posted by heatherann
on Aug 3, 2006 -
Auden and Christianity
"The notion that religious faith and serious thought are mutually exclusive categories always struck Auden as risible and unintelligible. But he would have bristled at an effort to separate out his religious beliefs and restate them as systematic propositions, or examine them independently or thematically, rather than see them as players in his rich and various inner symbolic drama."
posted by vronsky
on May 26, 2006 -