False is the new true: Fake news clickbait, “Blood Feud” and why the truth stopped mattering

I’ve complained about clickbait of the Buzzfeed and Upworthy variety an awful lot in the last couple of years, and I know I’m not alone. It’s silly, manipulative, least-common-denominator, and it lowers the discourse considerably. I’ve long felt that when this particular era of Internet culture passes, we’ll all be the better for it. But more »


“They aren’t people”: Why Anthony Cumia got exactly what he deserved

I wrote a big piece last year for Philadelphia Magazine, about the “Knockout Game,” that moral panic that briefly seized America last November and December, when local news stations and newspaper websites convinced white Americans that random black people could and would punch them at any moment. This “epidemic” happened, for some reason, for only more »


Gary Oldman, Playboy and “political correctness”: Some scattered thoughts

Gary Oldman gave an interview with Playboy, published this morning, that’s led to quite a bit of controversy. Before diving into the think pieces, I decided to dive right in to the interview itself instead. A few observations: – Credit where credit is due: it’s rare for a celebrity interview to actually include substantive, memorable more »

When Gods Cry War: Alan Moore’s Miracleman in the age of the superhero

For nearly two decades, Miracleman has been a character relegated to the hushed reverence of only the most hardcore comic book fans. A working knowledge of Miracleman as both a character and a title became a sort of secret handshake in the community of superhero nerds; if you knew about Miracleman or even better, had more »


Why I rarely go to the movies in the theater anymore

  My love affair with cinema truly began that night in 1989 when my father took my brother and I to the Senator Theater in Baltimore  to see David Lean’s, “Lawrence of Arabia.” What a spectacle it was to behold. With the beautiful restored 70mm print by Robert Harris and Jim Painten, Peter O’Toole’s brilliant more »

On Elliot Rodger: “The Hunger Games” didn’t kill those people. Neither did Judd Apatow

America’s latest mass murder- and it’s pretty damn tragic that that phrase gets tossed around so casually- happened over the weekend in California, as 22-year-old Elliot Rodger murdered six people, in addition to himself. He first stabbed his three male roommates, before opening fire on numerous female targets, likely killing considerably fewer people than he more »


What fatherhood has done to my Netflix queue 

Opening up my Netflix Instant page today for the first time in awhile, I was greeted with kind of a horrifying sight: Yes, as you may have gathered from that, I have small children, a two- and a four-year-old, and they have proceeded, slowly, to pretty much take over my Netflix account. Hence the multiple more »


Sorry everyone, but Michael Jackson is dead

Michael Jackson does not have a new album out. He also did not perform over the weekend at the Billboard Music Awards. That’s because Michael Jackson died, almost five years ago. Sure, some producers from some old vocal tracks, and it’s even sold well and gotten some surprisingly good reviews. And Sunday night, a hologram more »

On the ‘Game of Thrones’ rape scene and Howard Dean

HBO’s “Game of Thrones,’ the episode before last, broadcast one of the most shocking scenes in the history of a series that’s had way more than its share: Jaime Lannister and Cersei Lannister had a sex scene that looked an awful lot like rape- next to the corpse of their incestuously conceived, recently deceased son, more »


On Allen Iverson and Donald Sterling

A documentary about Allen Iverson debuted at the Tribeca ESPN Sports Film Festival on April 27, and it couldn’t be a more perfect time to take a look at the basketball star’s career, life, and legacy. Here’s the trailer:   It’s entirely likely that when the name Allen Iverson comes up, some people will think more »

The many could-have-been finales of ‘Parks & Recreation’

(Note: This story contains spoilers for all six seasons of ‘Parks & Recreation’)  Parks & Recreation last Thursday aired a season finale that felt very much like a series finale, even though it clearly isn’t one and the show is all-but-officially coming back for one more season. We had numerous cameos (including Michelle Obama!) the more »

In defense of “Field of Dreams,” at 25

The year 1989 really gave us some memorable movies, and it seems like every week we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of one of them. We already marked a quarter century of “Say Anything…” and “Heathers,” and I can’t wait for the thinkpieces this June which will mark 25 years of “Do The Right Thing,” and more »