I’ve a new article up at Playtime, in which I muse upon Glen Beck’s Independence Park and its relation to utopianism. Check it out. Also, many thanks to my editor, Tracy, who didn’t so much finesse the piece that I originally submitted so much as raise it from a lamb, nurse it to full bloom, personally butcher it, weave its fleece into a snowy white placemat, and serve upon that in a hand-carved bowl an aromatic and bracingly delectable lamb stew. If you don’t like the taste, it’s probably because she left the seasoning to me. ☕
Category Archives: Playtime
Speculative poetry is the work of the present. It imagines what most of us will get wrong, a future more complicated and snaking, slow or quick, and wholly terrifying than what we will dream. Maybe this poem is about bees and maybe it isn’t; I won’t know until it’s too late for it to be anything else. – Tracy McCusker
In her latest Playtime post (seriously, the woman is a dynamo!), Tracy delivers a rejoinder to Alan DeNiro’s manifesto, Notes on Speculative Poetry. Appropriately, it is in the form of a prose poem. I had to read it twice: once for comprehension, again for pleasure. A few more times, I expect, for the accrual of wisdom. If I had the energy or wit, I’d compare Tracy’s thoughts to Ursula K. LeGuin’s as laid out in Language of the Night, which strikes me as a potentially fruitful exercise. Instead, I’ll just throw that comparison out there and let you lot work it out, if it so pleases you. I really enjoyed “Towards Speculative Poetry,” though. It’s a great piece. Let me know what you all think. ☕
After a long (loooong) hiatus, Playtime is back in action with a new look, a new address, and two new articles. First, our designer, editor, and all around awesomeness generator, Tracy McCusker, has composed some new poems that are part of a cycle she’s calling Poems in Space. They’re lovely, so please read them. Next, my compadre, Alex, and I discuss the relative merits of The Dark Knight Rises. I’m a fan, he’s not. We dig into aesthetics, politics, Frank Miller, and whatnot. If the idea of reading two passionate, intelligent guys go at it over a Batman movie, you definitely need to check it out. Personally, I’m incredibly grateful to Alex for his thoughtful, provocative responses; it made for a stimulating and rewarding conversation, and I couldn’t ask for a better sparring partner. Many thanks again to Alex, for doing the roundtable, and to Tracy, for editing it together so handsomely. Later on, we hope to do another roundtable — this one on Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit adaptation. There are other ideas in the pipeline, too. Stay tuned. ☕
My review of The Last Exorcism has been posted at Playtime. This is the fourth in a series of articles I’ve written on what I call the “docu-horror” subgenre that can be traced most directly back to 1999’s The Blair Witch Project, although I suppose there are precedents even earlier in cinema with which I’m unfamiliar. I’ve never seen Cannibal Holocaust or any of Mondo’s Faces of Death films; nor have they intrigued me enough (from what little information I have gathered) to do further reading. I’d be interested to learn more if anyone has knowledge related to this subgenre they’d like to share. Continue reading
My review of the Coens brothers’ True Grit is up at Playtime. I wrote the first draft in early January, and by sheer coincidence, Glenn Kenny put up a post earlier today about Raising Arizona, which spurred some commenters to make observations about the Coens’ approach to their characters that are eerily similar to those that I make in my review. I immodestly and recklessly submit this as irrefutable evidence that my opinions on the Coens have been validated in full. Happy birthday to me!
For my first post on this blog, I thought it would be prudent to create a set of links to articles I’ve already written for Playtime on topics relating in some way to religion. Sort of a house cleaning thing. I’ve touched on religious topics over there already, and I expect I will again in the future. Not all of these are even explicitly relevant to Christianity, but they provide some illumination of my continuing evolution as a critical writer, providing some context for what is to come. Be forewarned: some of these articles make liberal use of salty language.
Hey — nobody’s perfect. And I ain’t nobody.