Category Archives: Kultcha

Groundhog Day Appreciation

Groundhog Day Is Worth Revisiting, Wouldn’t You Say? is Chris Lough’s appreciation of the 1993 movie.

Groundhog Day is one of the very few movies I’ve willingly seen more than once, and this essay captures why. I think it’s the only thing I ever liked Bill Murray in (I liked Ghostbusters, but didn’t like him in it; haven’t seen Lost in Translation yet) so I commend the review (and the movie) to you.

Posted in Kultcha | 4 Comments

YouTube Has Regional Controls

Someone I met recently recommended I listen to the Scissor Sisters so I went to YouTube to get some sense of what their music was like.

I was very surprised to find that I could not play the video for a song called Laura. All I got was a message saying

The uploader has not made this video available in your country.
Sorry about that.

Try playing it yourself, and you you get content, please let me know where you are, what platform you are using, and how the song is.

YouTube/Google is not only within its rights to do this, it may even be a legal requirement in some cases, but I see it as a further harbinger of the socially costly fragmentation of the Internet.

Posted in Kultcha, Law: Copyright and DMCA | 3 Comments

“The Elements of Style” Rap

Dog-on-its-hind-legs rap on writing guide:

The Elements of Style from Jake Heller.

Apologies for the misogyny in the original Johnson quote.

Posted in Kultcha | 3 Comments

Grimmelmann Strikes Again

If you have read Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, and you you have also read some Leo Strauss and/or had to deal with Straussians (and, by the way, it seems they’re everywhere in the academy), then it is very likely that you will get a kick out of James Grimmelmann’s A Straussian Reading of The Magicians.

If you haven’t met both conditions, though, don’t bother. Unless of course you wish to read it as a parable of what law schools would be like on the Segal model…

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How Authors from Different Countries Write Novels About Unhappy People

The English write tales of quiet desperation.

The French write about frantic, desperate love affairs.

The Norwegians write about drinking in the long dark.

The Japanese write about suicide.

The Americans write about shopping.

Please add to the list (and lets hope Patrick Nielsen Hayden still visits here).

Posted in Completely Different, Kultcha | 4 Comments

What I’m Doing Right Now

I’m at the Brian Ferry concert. Row B — right near the front.

(This is assuming all went as it should; I queued this post up before I left home.)

Creative Commons image by Galaxy fm. Some rights reserved.

Posted in Kultcha | 3 Comments

A Behanding in Spokane

Dennis Creaghan gives a real performance in Martin McDonagh's confection of a noire play, A Behanding in Spokane. (Yes, “Behanding”.) When Creaghan is on stage, he dominates it. And why shouldn't he — his Carmichael has the gun, he has the lines, he has the presence, even if he doesn't have a hand.

Normally I'd tell you a bit about the story and how this disparate crew happened to end up in a seedy hotel room, but I think that would spoil the experience.

And you might want to have the experience: The GablesStage does this slightly underweight script proud. Set designer Lyle Baskin's hotel room is straight out of the pulps, and perfect for the story. The three other characters mostly exist to play off Creaghan's Irish-American Ahab, and they do it well. Mervyn the bellhop (Erik Fabregat) gets a soliloquy and some nice to-and-fro with the other characters, until the script lets him down a bit at the end. The poor actors who have to play the young couple who ensnare themselves in Carmichael's one-handed madness pretty much do the best they can with what they're given, but Marckenson Charles, who plays Toby, seemed to fade in and out of his misfortunate character while Jackie Rivera's Marilyn was a little one-noteish. It doesn't matter.

Is this the greatest play of the year? No. It's not in the same class as some of GableStage's recent plays, such as Speed-the-Plow, the play that convinced us to become subscribers. But A Behanding in Spokane is a fun 90-minute-without-intermission romp, and even if the ending is a little too pat for my taste, it's worth seeing if you like the theater.

Adult tickets run from $35-$42 depending on what night and whether you qualify for a senior citizen discount. The Friday I attended there were plenty of empty seats in the small theater, and it looked as if most attendees had gotten that discount. That's a shame. The GablesStage is a local treasure, and director Joseph Adler has good, if sometimes slightly strange, taste and guts.

Student tickets are only $15, people, and the theater, located in the Biltmore, is just up the street. Go for it. (Note: the show ends this weekend; I wrote this review just after seeing the play a couple of weeks ago, then emailed the theater asking for a still to illustrate the review. They never replied. Oh well.)

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