James Baldwin

Recent

What I Recalled Watching Netflix

[Television is educational.]   One Saying the same stuff over and over looks like you have different things to say. Two If you’re ever in a below-average film or streaming series, and you beat the tar out of a guy, in a house, and you gaze down in both some shock as also a certain

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Seeking the King

A line everywhere misattributed to Chesterton reads thus: The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God. This line is not from the great [several senses of the word] man who recently celebrated his 150th birthday, but the mid-century most unmodern novelist Bruce Marshall. The words — which do

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He’s the Guy

Those social media posts of ‘this moment in this famous film was totally unscripted!!!’ as if that by itself makes it better miss the point. Moat unscripted material, like most ideas, inventions, ideas, notions, &c … fails — such is the nature of creativity: the best stuff, it is devoutly to be wished, sticks around;

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‘Round Here

Imagine someone, potentially anyone, even you, perhaps, but let us, in any case, say. Yes, you. You pull into the diner – Earl’s, Norm’s, Dinah’s, something like that. A sort-of Googie architecture … but maybe not quite, as if it’d been a little late for the Space Age, and late is the one thing you

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Random

Size 46 Walmart

There was a time when my weight goal was to fit into size 46/30 khakis from Walmart, and that time was last Thursday, when I bought them. I weigh some 334 pounds. I am 42 years old, heading to 43. I am officially diabetic, per my doctor’s adjudication of some recent unfortunate blood tests.* The

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Cursing With God

More battle scenes please Once teaching a high school American Literature class — and let me tell you, once is enough —a student he says, “I don’t understand The Red Badge of Courage.  It’s a war book, but there are hardly any battle scenes.  I don’t get it.” So we did a little Socratic dialogue, and

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Events Full

Five weeks ago I gave six-weeks notice at the business journal. It came about five weeks in on the largest weekly increases in initial unemployment claims since the real estate recession. To date we’re just shy of 39 million in nine weeks, with, for me, one week to go. As at least one other person

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It’s Not Gonna Be Me

First thing I noticed anew this year watching It’s a Wonderful Life was how happy George Bailey was to be going to jail. He celebrates it, as he bursts through his front door to be greeted by a bank examiner, a journalist, and the sheriff. If those three “walked into a bar” it might not be

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