Willa Cather

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

Jesus All The Way Down

The other day I wrote about having no hope. More specifically no hope in this world, more specifically because the hopes we had have been hammered against hardened sand and dirt and clay, that is, against the rocks. That may be the basic choice in life: Heart hardened … or Hopes hammered … And then

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The Fat Guy and Buttons

Buttons are the bane of the Fat Guy’s existence. Buttons leave gaps when the Fat Guy’s fat rolls jiggle around and peek through them. Buttons catch on drawer pulls, come undone at the belly, and are generally uncooperative. Buttons are generally on costlier clothing, which means the Fat Guy is spending too much money on

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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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Sadie! Sadie!

Hadda dream that Zadie Smith asked me to babysit two kittens. She and her husband, an older Jewish man, had somewhere to go. He was involved in classical music of some kind, possibly a conductor or composer; seemed like a nice guy. One cat was incontinent, one only inconvenient … Zadie and her mensch were

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