Samuel Butler

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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;

Read More »

‘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

Read More »

Random

Lipstick

Pig is revelation. Revealing is when what’s here is hidden then seen. It’s really many individual ones, though widely considered they’re the same, and all the individuals are related, perhaps only proximately at first, but also in ways they themselves don’t initially see. + Key is it’s here. Problem is we don’t see it. Action

Read More »

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

Read More »

Everyman’s Death

It’s legit unseemly. Our being ‘gutted’ and whatnot by the deaths of people we don’t know. Still, there is John Donne and there is continuity and there is in the end … us. Well, there ought to be but we usually skip not to the end — that bell tollling for we. + Also unseemly

Read More »

Columbo: Why It Matters

This is part two of a two-part post on why, some 45 years later, Columbo still matters. Part one is here. This essay is excerpted from The Columbo Case Files: Season One, found here. Thank you. * I now have the entire collection, all 35 years, nearly 70 episodes in all, and I’ve seen each

Read More »