Sydney Smith

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

True Romance

Mentioned last week the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, a term used in film to refer to a female — not a woman, mark you, but a girl or perhaps female, depending on the level of [im]maturity — who exists in a story not for herself, more deeply not as a Self, but only for the

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People of Costco

We got some of our Christmas presents at Costco and I’m not sorry. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of volume discounting, for it is the confidence of 30 rolls of absorbent toilet paper and the power of barrels of mayonnaise unto certain kinds of satiation, and two items not unrelated in the

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Plough Lines

“For sale: baby shoes” is a classified ad. “For sale: baby shoes; never worn” is a story. It’s Hemingway’s, in fact. * “The king is dead” is a news bulletin. “The king died, and the queen died of grief” is a story. Better yet, “The king died, and the queen and her lover died in

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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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