Harry Potter Was Always Pedestrian & J.K. Rowling’s Views Match That

I never fucked with Harry Potter. At least not in the same incredibly overzealous way other people did for most of the 00s. I was a casual peruser after the first book (which didn’t hook me)–just to see what, exactly, all the fuss was about this cultural phenomenon that had managed to get so many otherwise illiterate Americans to read. Clearly, that illiteracy still applied … Continue reading Harry Potter Was Always Pedestrian & J.K. Rowling’s Views Match That

Henry Miller Is Laughing His Ass Off Right Now

As the U.S. churns and burns with its long barely dormant rage, agog at losing its self-righteous air of superiority to other countries with “less,” one can’t help but think of how completely amused Henry Miller would be by the nation caving in on itself and its so-called “principles.” Looking at America from a far away viewpoint, as has been the privilege of many a … Continue reading Henry Miller Is Laughing His Ass Off Right Now

Cops & the Pig That Built His House Out of Bricks

The fable known as “The Three Little Pigs” materialized in Western consciousness circa the 1840s (though the tale is believed to have been around for much longer), touting an underlying message about putting in the hard work necessary to build something lasting. And while the immediate association between a cop and a pig who builds his house out of bricks is that he is stubborn … Continue reading Cops & the Pig That Built His House Out of Bricks

Michel Houellebecq As-t-il Raison? Cette pandémie ne change rien? Enfin, probablement.

Waiting for the gradual process of “deconfinement” to occur, the polarizing French writer, Michel Houellebecq (a more hardcore enfant terrible of literature in terms of his unapologetic “white male” opinions than Bret Easton Ellis), at last decided to weigh in on the matter. The matter in particular being many people’s belief that as the world emerges slowly but surely after coronavirus, it will be an … Continue reading Michel Houellebecq As-t-il Raison? Cette pandémie ne change rien? Enfin, probablement.

The Sarah Palins Will Keep Coming: On the Banning of Certain Classic Literature in Alaska

Alaska, already markedly lacking in being acknowledged (so much so that people still seem to think that Texas is the largest state) despite its storied history of having among the highest suicide rates in the U.S. and being sold for the price of a song (7.2 million dollars) by the Russians in 1912, has managed to re-register on people’s radar after a recent and rather … Continue reading The Sarah Palins Will Keep Coming: On the Banning of Certain Classic Literature in Alaska

We Are All Gregor Samsa Now

Few knew better than Franz Kafka that life, if nothing else, is an inexplicably cruel joke. Seemingly orchestrated by an invisible sadist (sometimes called God). That the very term “Kafkaesque” is designed to connote a nightmarish tableau in which all signs of logic and reason have vanished in favor of convoluted blether is telling of his impact on our lives. Our lives in which dealing … Continue reading We Are All Gregor Samsa Now

The Time Machine Predicted the Post-Human Era

Just as J.G. Ballard and Ray Bradbury, the eerie foresight with which H.G. Wells told of a dystopian future feels increasingly palpable. Nay, is actually here, despite any rosy “we can make a change” attitudes to the contrary. And unlike, say, Philip K. Dick, Wells does not predict a future in which humans have evolved (some more reluctantly than others) with technology, but one in … Continue reading The Time Machine Predicted the Post-Human Era

Now That She’s Dead, The Thank Yous Come In For Elizabeth Wurtzel Paving a Certain Long and Whining Road for Many Subsequent Female Writers

Elizabeth Wurtzel was all too aware of the scandal and outrage she was about to wreak with the release of the then most “self-indulgent” (read: privileged white girl) novel–nay, memoir–of all-time (put out on the heels of other “whiny” Gen Xer fare, including Douglas Coupland’s 1991 book, Generation X, and Susanna Kaysen’s [though not a Gen Xer herself] 1993 Girl, Interrupted). And even if she … Continue reading Now That She’s Dead, The Thank Yous Come In For Elizabeth Wurtzel Paving a Certain Long and Whining Road for Many Subsequent Female Writers

In Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey, 2016 Was Always Doomed Before It Began

There is no “ideal” symbolism when it comes to the monkey as a portent. Sure, Chinese culture speculates that the monkey is a sign of good luck, but when it comes to their inherently mischievous nature, come to roost in 2016, the Year of the Monkey, it’s not something one wants around during an election year. This much is ruminated upon in Patti Smith’s latest … Continue reading In Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey, 2016 Was Always Doomed Before It Began

The Italian Prostitute Can’t Be Bought (By An American): The Girl on the Via Flaminia

For those who seem to have forgotten that anti-American sentiment didn’t merely arise when Donald Trump assumed the presidency, let us turn back time to the thick of the nationality’s sudden involvement in World War II, once the Japanese tapped the sleeping giant that was the U.S. on the shoulder with a friendly little bomb on Pearl Harbor. It was then, already two years into … Continue reading The Italian Prostitute Can’t Be Bought (By An American): The Girl on the Via Flaminia