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August 23, 2017

Sports and Entertainment

La La Land Falls Short

There is a wide chasm between trying to be great and actually being great. Unfortunately, despite genuine ambition and no small amount of good intent, La La Land does not bridge this distance.   It starts off wrong right from the opening. A supposed bravura break into song number set on a L.A. freeway traffic

Broken Fences

I’ve always had tremendous respect for Denzel Washington. I can’t think of any actor since Paul Newman who has better combined acting talent with movie star charisma. He was gifted with more handsome, charm, and ability than any person has a right to ask for. One of the more underrated aspects of his career (much

Leonard Cohen Ascends Into The Tower Of Song

I discovered Leonard Cohen later than I should and in a somewhat haphazard way. On a weeknight in 1990, I attended a screening of the largely forgotten (but deeply underrated) Christian Slater film, Pump Up The Volume. Too often thought of (if remembered at all) as a teen comedy, Pump Up The Volume tapped into

Alright Cubs Fans, I Give

I do not come to this decision lightly. Despite my physical proximity to Chicago–and general love for the city, I have never been a Cubs fan. I’m from Kentucky, and if you are from there and love baseball, you are most likely a Reds fan. And so I am. The Reds have been in the

A Record Story (Paisley Park Is In My Heart)

In 1985 I walked into Nightwind’s Music & Video in Niles, Michigan. I was thumbing through the Prince divider when I discovered this surprising cut of wax between a Let’s Go Crazy and a When Doves Cry 12-inch-record (you’ll remember what those are if you’re a cool old person). It caught me off guard because

Oliver Stone and Edward Snowden

It’s been a long time since Oliver Stone has made a truly vital film. From 1986 to 1995, whether you liked him or not, every Stone film was a searing vision of historical, sociopolitical agita (some would argue agitprop) captured on film. Salvador, Platoon, Wall Street, Talk Radio, Born on the 4th of July, The

Hell, Highwater, and Where The Money Is

Shot in the crummiest, most desolate parts of modern-day Texas imaginable, this surface-level, pulpy heist thriller is much more than its basic description might lead you to believe. Two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) rob a series of local banks with motivations atypical of “because that’s where the money is” type of reasons. Hidden

My Day With Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali has died. This seems impossible. More than that. 2016 has been something like a serial killer. Bowie, Prince, Ali. I mention these three in particular because they are heroes of mine. The very personal kind that you may never have truly known, but somehow made your life much better anyway. I am running

Not Human, A Dove

I hated high school. Without reservation, I could not stand it. My mom started me in kindergarten when I was only four years old. She wanted me to get socialized with other kids as soon as possible. While the intentions were good and everything would eventually work out fine, being a full year younger than

Life On Earth Without David Bowie

Where do I even begin? I could name all the remarkable records he made, speak on those that were my favorite, make a list for you to peruse, talk about the three magnificent occasions I got to see him live, but it would all seem so superficial. There are no amount of words that can effectively detail

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