Lord of the Rings

In the opening of JRR TOLKIEN ’1892-1973′ – A Study Of The Maker Of Middle-earth, Tolkien’s son, Christopher, says that the attraction of Middle Earth and its stories can be found in his dad’s “…extraordinary power of compelling literary belief in an unreal world or what he called a secondary world.” You can say that [...]

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Bye Bye, Berger

Art critic, novelist, painter and poet John Berger died on Monday. Berger celebrated his 90th birthday last year and a BBC special and a very good documentary film marked the occasion. Here’s some of my Burnaway review for The Seasons In Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger. It’s followed by a YouTube playlist I made [...]

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Jack’s Tracts

Jack Chick hated Catholics, Jews, Freemasons, Dungeons & Dragons, Mormons, Harry Potter, and the Devil. He also published a series of comic book bible tract zines for just over a decade during the 1970′s and 1980′s that helped to kickstart the Satanic Panic. The comics also won Chick an ironic status among comic fans and [...]

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Banned in Russia

Growing up during the second half of the Cold War, when I was a child the Soviet Union was notable for two reasons: nuclear weapons and censorship. That’s about all I really knew: the Russians and citizens of their satellites can’t read or watch or print what they want. Also they have enough warheads to [...]

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Stealing Art

Today we celebrate the birthday of American artist Robert Longo who was born on January 7, 1953. Longo draws with graphite, but his sculptural approach to the medium often finds him mistaken for a painter. The artist’s breakthrough came from his Men in the Cities series which saw him rising to prominence in the 1980′s [...]

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Dream Machine

Recorded the 95th episode of the Coincidence Control Network podcast today. This week it was just me and Lil’ Ray, and I had some technical difficulties on my end, but I think we had a pretty good chat. I lifted some stories to talk about on the show from my Flipboard project. The last thing [...]

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Snakes, Meat, Sex

Unforgivable is the title of a new book that looks back on the life and works of pioneering performance artist Carolee Schneeman. I found out about the book from an article I flipped into our Flipboard magazine the other night. Here’s a bit from The Guardian… Don’t bring your underaged children or grandchildren. Don’t bring [...]

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Rothko Conspiracy

I’ve been reading a new book on abstract expressionism that I’m planning to review in an upcoming post. That and a second viewing of a television program episode about Mark Rothko’s last paintings has me thinking a lot about that great painter and his suicide. In 1983 the PBS series American Playhouse dramatized Rothko’s bloody [...]

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Sci-Fi Vice

Last Thursday night, if you were in Nashville watching election returns you had plenty to laugh about. Suffice to say that an offensive, elitist mayoral candidate was used as a mop by our new mayor. The loser’s concession speech was a shambolic display of the same kind of ineptitude and lack of will that had [...]

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Instant Instance

Yesterday night I went to an exhibition of instant photography at Third Man Records here in Nashville. The show was a collaboration between the label, The Impossible Project and three of Third Man’s shutterbug allies to show-off The Impossible Project’s new Third-Man-inspired, limited edition black-and-yellow instant film. The Impossible Project is the only company in [...]

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