Ocelopotamus

News, culture, and politics. Not necessarily in that order.

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Entries Tagged as 'Culture'

The Unbearable Lightness of the Kilogram, Universes Next Door, and the Occupy Movement

November 29th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Books, Chicago, Culture, Essays, Fringe, Journalism, News, Performance, Politics, Science, The Economy, Stupid, TV, Writing

Context: This essay was written for, and performed in, the November 19, 2011 edition of The Paper Machete, a weekly showcase for Chicago journalists, comedians, and other writers, hosted by Christopher Piatt. I’m just getting around to posting it now because, well, my own universe is fairly chaotic and other deadlines prevailed. You are encouraged […]

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Not Zero: The Fukushima Litotes

April 1st, 2011 · 2 Comments · Blogs, Chicago, Climate Change, Culture, Energy, Environment, Essays, Fringe, Journalism, Language, Media, News, Nuclear Power, Performance, Politics, Science, Writing

A little context: The following piece was written to be performed in the March 26, 2011 edition of The Paper Machete, a weekly showcase for Chicago journalists, comedians, and other writers, hosted by Christopher Piatt. The Paper Machete has posted the audio of the performance as a podcast. You can listen to it here: The […]

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Another Year

January 16th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Culture, Film

Saw Mike Leigh’s new film Another Year last night. Like his previous film Happy-Go-Lucky, it’s a movie that kind of … sneaks up behind you and then clubs you over the head with insight. For me, Mike Leigh’s best films become a kind of shorthand for key bits of understanding about the crazymaking challenges of […]

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The King’s Speech and The Writer’s Prayer

January 5th, 2011 · 4 Comments · Books, Culture, Film, Fringe, Journal, Neo-Futurists, Performance, Poetry, Theater, Writing

I saw The King’s Speech a few nights ago, and I think it’s the film most relevant to my own experience that I’ve seen in a very long time. The thing is, it’s not just a charming historical drama about royalty and speech therapy; it’s about people who allow their own anxieties and self-doubt to […]

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Music Break: The Bongos, “The Bulrushes”

March 4th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Culture, Music, New Wave, Video

I still love this song to death after all these years — Richard Barone and the Bongos are definitely one of the most underappreciated bands of their era. Such a great, distinctive sound. Play this song three times and it will be stuck in your head for weeks. Richard Barone on the video above: The […]

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I Entweet You

March 4th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Blogs, Comedy, Culture, Facebook, Internet, Journal, Meta, Social Media/Social Networking, Tech

By-the-by … I am on Twitter these days, if you want to come tweet with me there. I’m new enough to the Twitterverse that I’m still finding people I like to follow, but have been particularly enjoying Rainn Wilson and of course the current Grand Emperor of Tweetsylvania, Stephen Fry. Was also very excited to […]

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The Partly Dave Show: Please Mister Postman (at the Rhino Fest, Friday Feb. 20)

February 13th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Chicago, Culture, Fringe, Journal, Music, Neo-Futurists, Performance, The Partly Dave Show, Theater

So, here’s some of that “other news” I mentioned in my previous post: Partly Dave is back! Oh, yes, you read that right, Mabel. The Partly Dave Show has been unpacked from its wooden chest, mothballs brushed away, and is ready to flatter your figure again just like the old days — and it’s happening […]

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Um, Hello There (or: Oops, I Wrote a Book!)

February 7th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Books, Culture, Facebook, Facebook Me!, Journal, Meta, Tech

So, yeah. No beating around the bush. I kind of disappeared from this little corner of Lower East Blogistan for about four months. What happened is that I was writing a book. Yes, it’s a book about Facebook. A Facebookbook. See, for the last nine years I’ve been freelancing for Peachpit Press as a tech […]

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So If You Have a Mouth — And I Know You Do …

September 24th, 2008 · 3 Comments · Advertising, Culture, Video

Regardez, my favorite TV ad from the 80s. Despite being an inveterate commercial hater, I had this one memorized in high school and would break into an impression of it at parties, on the school bus, when things got slow in Latin class, anywhere. I’m not sure why I loved it so much except that […]

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McCain’s “Maverick” Image: Pining for the Fjords?

September 16th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Journalism, Media, News

Wow. This new Washington Post column by Richard Cohen is a scathing indictment from a journalist who admits he was previously “in the tank” for McCain. There seems to be a mass rebellion starting in the media among pundits and reporters who are realizing that McCain is no longer the principled maverick they’ve been worshiping […]

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Horsefeathers and Rattlesnakes

September 13th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Journalism, Media, News, Politics

It’s amazing, but suddenly the press seems to be showing distinct signs of calling out the McCain campaign on its recent and continuing orgy of horsefeathers and very bad judgment. Via this diary on Daily Kos, for starters we have yesterday’s scathing editorial in the NYT: As we watched Sarah Palin on TV the last […]

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Remedial Comedy-Writing for T-Shirt Companies

June 27th, 2008 · 11 Comments · Advertising, Comedy, Culture, Facebook, Science Fiction, TV

Methinks some people in the t-shirt business misunderstand the basic idea of funniness. For example, I just got a little ad on Facebook, which claims this is “the funniest Star Trek t-shirt ever … !” Well, um … no. That’s not especially funny. Sure, “Make it so” was Captain Picard’s catchphrase. But there’s nothing funny […]

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Guantanamo, False Imprisonment, and the Human Rights Toggle Switch

June 27th, 2008 · No Comments · Human Rights, Journalism, Media, News, Politics, Terrorism, TESK, Torture

This story is about a week old at this point, but it goes in the “things everyone should know” category. One of the most common talking points from right-wing pundits, especially on Fox News, is that whatever happens to the people in Guantanamo Bay is okay because all those prisoners are really bad guys — […]

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Roundup: Maracas and Purple Pants Edition

June 24th, 2008 · 5 Comments · Chicago, Comedy, Culture, Doctor Who, Fantasy, Grammar, LGBT, News, Politics, Science Fiction, Terrorism, TV

Just a few things that are on my radar at the moment … • First up, I just found this interview with Gore Vidal from May, in which he gives his current takes on Obama and McCain. Vidal says he’s a fan of Obama now, but it took him a while to get there (hey, […]

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