James Allen

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

Murder, Inc.

In Season One’s “Ransom for a Dead Man” Columbo tells a story about his cousin Ralph. He’s flying in Leslie Williams’ plane and she’s been talking about her husband, whom she’s murdered. By the story he tells after they’ve landed, he enters the murderer’s mind — with a significant stopping point: “I have this cousin, Ralph,

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Take Up Do

In my mid-20s — half an age (mine) and still nearly nil on maturity ago — I noticed a thing that at the time was massive but in retrospect, as such immensities often are after the time, obviously is something millions of others have noticed through all their times. At least one hopes. I noticed

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On (Not) Using Words

Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words. Quick now — who said that? Me. Just now. Weren’t you paying attention? The saying is sometimes attributed to Francis of Assisi, most likely erroneously, as many are gleefully wont to revel in and reveal, should someone dare voice the view. To which the only

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