Month: October 2017

On Photography and Filtering

A few weeks ago, I posted this picture on Instagram.  Immediately, my more smart-arsed friends began to chatter.  I used the hashtag #nofilter, meaning that I did not use an Instagram filter.  Not good enough for the commentariat, though.  They commented on the mental filters, frame filters, and so on as I framed the photo and so on.  They’re not wrong. (The photo, if you are wondering, is of a creek about a mile from my home in Western Massachusetts). Of course this photo was filtered, from the way the creek caught my eye as I walked the dogs,...

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Stars: There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light

Stars There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light (Last Gang Records, 2017) I seriously thought Stars were done after their last album, No One Is Lost (2014). It was the first time in their long career that they sounded out of ideas and, well, done. I was sad. I saw what had to have been one of their first gigs, in a loft in Chinatown, Montreal, some time around 2000. They opened for The Dears. I was hooked (on both bands). So I felt a proprietary interest. Stars wrote one of the best romantic songs in history, ‘Your Ex-Lover is...

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(Un)Reality TV: Trump, Kelly, and the Revolving Door of Whiteness

With a reality TV president in office, it should be no surprise to watch, once again, as the revolving door between reality and TV swings once more, and we are left unclear which side of it we are on. And yet I am stunned at the usefulness, not for the first time, of the show VEEP, in helping us to understand Trump in Washington. In Season 6, episode 8 of VEEP, we meet the father of Selina’s devoted assistant, Gary. Selina, for those who do not know the show, is an empty, ambitious woman who will do or say...

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First Person: For the Love of a Challenge

I’m a senior at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, triple majoring in History, Philosophy and Political Science. I have a 3.9 GPA and will be graduating with High Honors in May of 2018 . I hope, next, to attend a PhD program in history and eventually obtain a position as a history professor. Why?  It’s pretty simple.  I’m looking for something more rewarding than my last job. Before beginning my new life as a college student, I had a promising career as a drug addict. It was an uncomplicated job. I woke up, whenever work called—dope sick, if you...

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What Happened, a Review

Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened (Simon & Schuster) In years of teaching, I have often pointed to Hillary Rodham Clinton as a perfect example of how sexism and misogyny work in political and popular culture. Clinton has long been a target, but she first came onto my radar during Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992. I remember reporters and the general public trying to wrap their heads around a woman with a career whose husband was running for president; like it was impossible for a woman to do both. Not surprisingly, Clinton dismissed their puzzlement, telling a reporter that “I...

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