I Like Sports?

I Like Sports

I'm a Bears fan, born and raised. I don't have a choice in the matter. When I was a kid, my family had season tickets that were about as high up in Soldier Field as you could go, and I like to think I still follow the sport. But then again, I'm not much into […]

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Say You Want a Revolution

Say You Want a Revolution

A little rebellion now and then can be good for one's constitution. Maybe one day you'll find yourself mad about something or other, and you'll want to take your fight to the Man. Before you do, remember that other people have tried it before, and there are plenty of lessons to learn. Thomas Paine and the […]

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Building a Mystery, Part II: Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan 3

The question that concerns many of the faithful and skeptics alike is, who was Jesus, really? Reza Aslan attempts to answer that question in Zealot. Tellingly, the subtitle is "The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth." This is because we have so little outside of the gospels to go on for Jesus' life. Part of […]

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Literary Criticism is Not Boring!

Literary Criticism is Not Boring

Okay, so literary criticism is boring. If you're not into classic, historic or highfalutin literature, you really don't care what makes something classic, historic or highfalutin. But give it a chance . . . When you find a critic who can actually write, you stumble across a whole new landscape of writers and their words. […]

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That Guy Knows Everything

That Guy Knows Everything

Did you ever wonder what it's like to know everything? Or at least to know enough to fake it? There are a few books out there which give you a glimpse of the world of ultimate knowledge. In The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking has apparently grown so smart he can claim on the first page […]

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The Private Lives of Pundits

The Private Lives of Pundits

What is it like to live your life convincing people that your petty opinions are worth something? Luckily for us, it's easy to find out, because pundits love talking about themselves. There are a bunch of memoirs out there about what they do and how they think. One fun exercise is to read Bill O'Reilly's […]

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Modern Art

Modern Art

I don't get art. I'm not even sure that I know what I like, which is all the more reason for me to mess around with art books and see if I can learn something. The Success and Failure of Picasso had a bit of controversy when it came out, probably because it suggested that the […]

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It’s Electric

Electric

If you're bothering to read this, you're reading it on a computer, and if you're using a computer, you probably take electricity for granted. Unless you've come across some faulty wiring or jammed a fork into a live toaster, you probably need to be reminded how terrifying electricity can be. For centuries, it has been […]

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What’s Wrong With Us?

What's Wrong With Us?

It used to be that the mass of men led lives of quiet desperation. Now we can't shut up about it. Every op-ed columnist has another idea as to what's wrong with us and a million suggestions about how to fix it. Naturally, there are plenty of books on the subject. Alone Together is in the grand tradition […]

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They Shall Know Us By Our Movies

They Shall Know Us By Our Movies

What do your movie preferences say about you? Or your era? Or your politics? Or whatever? There are plenty of critics with answers to those questions, and they've written countless books transforming movies into symbols for their respective times and cultures. Pictures at A Revolution focuses on the five Best Picture contenders of 1967: The Graduate, Guess […]

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