Thos Paine

Recent

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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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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Random

Hey Babe, Wanna Increase My Downline?

This wouldn’t be the first time someone “posted” a “blog” on their “website” while having nothing to say. Well, not nothing exactly, but certainly not being sure exactly what he wants to say. But then that’s part of what a blog is, or was. Or maybe that’s just the bad kind; definitely it’s the old

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The Simple Art of Murder (Excerpt)

Raymond Chandler In everything that can be called art there is a quality of redemption. It may be pure tragedy, if it is high tragedy, and it may be pity and irony, and it may be the raucous laughter of the strong man. But down these mean streets a man must go who is not

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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

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Through the Mist

My daughter has for about 15 years known a stuffed purple rabbit, insouciantly named ‘Rabbito’. She’s quite a handful. The rabbit, I mean, tho come to mention it … Anyway. I provide the voice. Rabbito tends to suffix ‘-ito’ to words — I am Papito, for instance — an ‘l’ in most any location is

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