Clifton Fadiman

Recent

Trick Shot

Sometimes successful films — ones that aren’t expected to be, by many excellent people — spawn copycats, a fact as well-known as well-attested. The followers aren’t as awesome as the originals but they’re not always so awful, and the makers, if they care a little, will throw some new stuff in, or at least get people

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No Prizes for Subtlety

It was the sort of place you wouldn’t be found dead in; the guy on the floor didn’t agree. Didn’t seem to like the floor — but it was in better shape than his face. Then someone had gone duck hunting on his chest. And either another guy was standing in front of me, or

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Can We Tawk?

Comedienne Joan Rivers’ catchphrase was, ‘Can we talk?’ with all that that entails — its rhetorical nature, the Jewish thing, an implication that at least one of the parties will be better off for having done so … Like God. T’other day a priest spoke of ontological remembrance, the immediate and ongoing memory of past-present-future

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Hide and See

Something lost, Dallas Willard said once, might yet be very valuable. One’s car keys for instance. He was speaking somewhat in the context of salvation, if I recall … the general point was calling something lost doesn’t mean it’s not wanted — quite the opposite. Yet it remains … until finding its way out or being found

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Random

The Adult Test

If you have thought — This is dirty This is broken This is wrong And decided to help — Scrub it Repair it Right it You may be an adult.

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Finding Level

Relationship finds its own level. Generally it looks like we [and others] choose — a boy’s entreatment rejected, an attorney makes partner, 158 million of us vote — but there is a finality to much that we ostensibly do. This is how such absurdities as determinism gain purchase, how authors can talk and be misunderstood

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Plague Dog

During the lockdown read The Plague, turned page next to The Book of the Dun Cow. Not an immediately clear connection not least because Dun Cow is far lesser known. Both chronicle communities within a larger one within a larger world. First, of course, is the full circle vicious and virtual, during a pandemic; latter

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Talks With A Duck

Obscured in the kerfuffle over Mr. Robertson’s coarser comments on the Fairer Sex is a simple fact that any five-year-old can tell us: Adults say the darnedest things. This has since been confirmed by the comments of many other adults, critiquing the original notes on the female form offered by the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch — responses

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