I'm Surprised at How Not Scary the New It Movie Is

I first discovered that some people are scared of clowns when I was about five or six years old. It was the mid 1980s, and I was in the basement with my two older sisters, and sitting in the corner, on the basement floor, sat a clown doll. It had very long arms and legs... Read more »

I Support Kids Protesting Against Adult Inaction on Gun Violence Laws

Across the country today thousands (millions?) of kids will walk out of school in protest of gun violence in the United States. Despite the narcissistic, delusional exhortations spewed by a certain “leader” of this country, these children are really the people who have a chance to make America great again. A month ago seventeen people... Read more »

Unsubscribing From E-mail Lists is So Much Fun

How long after someone invented e-mail did someone else invent junk e-mail? I bet there was like a five-minute lag time. I would have loved to have used e-mail during those glorious few minutes. It must have been so exciting, and non-frustrating. I’m sure it was like the universe in the immediate aftermath of the... Read more »
ChicagoNow Video

Watching Kids Learn to Play Music Humbles and Impresses Me

Around this time two years ago, my then-fifth grade son told us that he wanted to play an instrument in sixth grade. Few things he could have said at that moment would have surprised me more since he’d never expressed an interest in playing an instrument, nor did he seem to have much interest in... Read more »

PB&J and Other Things I'd Rather Not Do Without

Long-time readers of this blog will remember that a few years ago I decided that 2015 would be my Year of Doing Without. I planned to give up one thing per month, and then write about my experience of giving up that thing at the end of the month. One month I became a vegan.... Read more »

Film Review: The Post

There’s a scene early on in The Post where Katharine Graham, the publisher of the Washington Post, is hosting a dinner at her home with three or four other couples. One of the men at the table mentions hearing that Nixon might try to open a dialogue with China, and questions what that means for... Read more »

Film Review: I, Tonya

One of the reasons that I love watching movies is because there are no rules. I mean, I guess there probably are some rules, but since I don’t make movies I don’t know the rules. But I’ve watched enough movies to know that there’s not just one “right” way to make a good movie. And... Read more »

Film Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

If someone wanted to make a parable film that summarizes the essence that drove many people to vote for Donald Trump in the last election, they could do worse than the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The characters, almost without fail, are full of anger. All of them are looking for an outlet to... Read more »

Film Review: The Greatest Showman

There’s a moment in The Greatest Showman where P.T. Barnum’s daughter tells her father that she’s quitting ballet. She’s just had her first recital, and the other society girls her age have made it clear that she’s not welcome. But rather than admit how the other girls hurt her, and that she feels out of... Read more »

Film Review: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Few things about popular films annoy me more than when a film uses the title of a previous work, but invents a new story to go along with it. It seems like cheating to me. A familiar title provides some recognition, but the filmmaker can take the story in any direction they wish. 21 Jumpstreet... Read more »