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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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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

I Wasn’t Talking To You

There is a story from the Johnson Administration which has PBS journalist Bill Moyers, at the time LBJ’s communications director, praying before a meal. With many guests attending, Moyers was at one end of the table and the Leader of the Free World at the other. As Moyers said grace, President Johnson said, “I can’t

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Lapsed Pray-er

When I pray in the morning I often lapse into The Jesus Prayer. The link notes the Eastern Orthodox connection and its basic form — Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. — though it seems actually to come in different shapes and colors, some slightly longer and more formal,

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Being That Guy

Once after one of my MFA professors had said the work we were reading was neither good nor original, the student who’d produced the pages wailed, But … but this actually happened! So what? He said. * I think François Truffaut said everyone in fiction is crazy, and the problem is to render this craziness

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Ensamples

Among the worst things about The Slap is how it has fed self-righteousness in all but the two participants, and they already had it or it wldn’t have happened. But there is Solzhenitsyn, again, with the line between good and evil that cuts through every human heart, and there is Dostoevsky, always, reminding us via

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