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Inspector Magritte is on the Case

“Pipe Dreams: The Curious Case of Rene Magritte,” the latest in my ongoing series, “Self-Help for Surrealists,” is live at Thought Catalog. Teaser: The method Magritte used to solve his philosophical “problems,” as he called them, is a Surrealist’s idea of CSI, a combination of free association, semiotic codebreaking, and Hegelian dialectic. Bridging dream logic […]

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“Permission To Laugh: Isa Genzken’s Exceedingly Unsmiling Art”

So I was at MoMA, having just seen Magritte and, at the Morgan, Poe, when I stumbled on the Isa Genzken retrospective, a reeking midden of craptastic art-school self-indulgence. My thoughts turned to that quote from Poe’s contemporary, the critic James Russell Lowell, who called EAP “the most discriminating, philosophical, and fearless critic upon imaginative […]

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The Taxidermy of Memory: “Castle of the Living Dead”

A NEW essay, equal parts philosophical investigation (of memory, time, and museum vitrines) and memoir (mem-noir?): “Castle of the Living Dead: Time, Embalmed.” Keywords: Taxidermy, photography as taxidermy, Christopher Lee, the uncanniness of natural-history museum vitrines, the suburban horror of nature, the author’s fossilized childhood. Teaser: Why do passing encounters with the inconsequential lodge themselves […]

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ANGLOPHILIA MADE EASY: “ENGLAND, MY ENGLAND”

DOWNLOADABLE* NOW, at http://amzn.to/ZxSYPE, MY FIRST E-SINGLE, a longform essay called “England My England: Anglophilia Explained.” (It’s available at iBookstore, too, I’m told, and coming soon to B&N.) What do you get for your $2.99? Nearly 8,000 (!) words of brow-furrowing about why some native-born residents of our Shining City Upon a Hill, where All […]

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I SAW YOUR BOOB, LIVE AT T.E.D.

IT WAS WEARING ONE OF THOSE UHURU-ESQUE HEADSETS, TELLING A CROWD OF WHITE PEOPLE CLONED FROM ONE OF CHRIS ANDERSON’S STEM CELLS A WARM, WISE, AND WITTY PARABLE OF SUFFICIENTLY GLADWELLIAN COUNTERINTUITIVENESS. This just in: a flaming brick, neatly wrapped and tied with a pretty pink bow, just in time for International Women’s Day. When […]

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It’s Raining Links! Round Up of Bad Thoughts Reviews

Live, on the Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC, NPR affiliate, NYC). If I look a little tipsy, it’s because I’m drunk on the power of the elite liberal media, subliminally fondling the American unconscious with the long, sticky tendrils of my socialist thought. My latest, the essay collection I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays […]

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Mad Men

An essay on the unsettling Lilliputian diorama photography of Nicholas Cobb, at 21.C, reprinted from Photofile magazine: The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. PULLQUOTE: Like the yuppie apartment-tower dwellers in David Cronenberg’s Shivers, driven to acts of bacchanalian depravity by a sexually transmitted parasite, or the residents in J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise, whose class war escalates into […]

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