I was more than a little annoyed by the ending of David Ives’s Venus in Fur when I saw it last year at Southern Rep. It seemed like a gimmicky, deus-ex-machina cop-out. So when Roman Polanski’s film version showed up in my Netflix queue, I wasn’t inclined to watch. However, the film got very high […]

Most of the time, I get annoyed with people who treat education as a business venture. Schools do not exist to turn a profit, and there is a huge societal benefit to having thoughtful, knowledgable citizens that can not be measured in quarterly sales figures. It’s similar to medicine, where an ounce of prevention is […]

I came across this photograph recently, which got me to thinking. The photo is a reminder of the bad old days of telephony. There is one wire between each house and the central switchboard, and for a town of any sizes, that means a metric buttload of wires. The interesting thing is, it’s very clear […]

This cartoon was in the New Yorker recently, and it skewers food faddism in a delightfully succinct way. Because of the suffering of a few people who actually have celiac disease, gluten has shot up there with trans fats and high fructose corn syrup as a Very Bad Thing in the minds of many. Marketers, […]

One of my professors in a writing workshop once complained that I had started a story with “an explosion of comma splices.” While I appreciated the clever new collective noun, I wasn’t entirely sure what to do about it. He advocated switching to a period (aka full stop), but I initially rebelled. I was trying to […]

You don’t have to be a lawyer to realize that the Supreme Court’s decision today in the Hobby Lobby (HL) case was a bad one.  Here are five reasons, I’m sure there are more. 5) Hobby Lobby’s claims were scientifically invalid. HL objected to providing insurance coverage for certain contraceptives (IUDs and “morning after” pills) on […]

I just threw (figuratively anyway) a script across the room. I’d been reading a newly published play, and was happily pulled in to the story, until in the final pages, a twist was revealed that changed everything that had gone before. I wanted to scream at the author, “Why? Why did you destroy the lovely […]


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