The Last Coin (Review)

James Blaylock’s The Last Coin is a bit of a divisive book, with opinions running the gamut from awful to fantastic to boring. One thing everyone seems to agree on: it’s unique. Jules Pennyman is an ambiguously evil, dapper ghoul of a person who is attempting to collect the 30 silver coins that were paid…

Jessica Jones (semi-review)

Jessica Jones is one of those shows that feels like it could and should have been a lot better than it is. I watched 9 episodes (of 13) before I couldn’t take it anymore. It’s got a lot going for it – an interesting premise, a charismatic lead, and David Tennant as the villain. But…

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Pass a Law

One thing that’s been circulating in the wake of yesterday’s shooting at a Congressional baseball game is Mo Brooks‘ excellent response to a reporter question about whether being shot at had changed his views on gun control. Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that…

The Defenestration of Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan has been "fired" (technically: not rehired) by CNN over a tweet calling President Trump a "piece of shit" for politicizing the recent islamist terror attacks in London before expressing sympathy for the victims. This piece of shit is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment…

Lord Edgeware Dies (Review)

Lots about Lord Edgeware Dies feels like a do-over for Peril at End House (reviewed here). While it’s not unusual for Christie to recycle ideas between books, the fact that these two are separated in publication by only a year and a half means the similarities must’ve been striking even to contemporary readers. Poirot and…

Equal Rights Means Everyone

Eugene Volokh, writing in the Wasington Post, makes most of the right points about the recent decision by the Charlotte Pride Parade to exclude a "Gays for Trump" float. He quotes the organizing committee noting that everyone who applies signs an acknowledgement that final say about whom to include rests with the committee and is…

Boring the Audience into a Frenzy

Whenever I watch a (political) lecture or read a (political) book by Noam Chomsky, I’m always struck by how out of place his rhetorical style seems. Normally you think of charismatic figures as having a really forceful speaking style; Chomsky’s is rambling and dull. The question is begged: do people respond to him because of…

STTNG – Violations (Review)

Whatever Violations was trying to achieve, it failed at it. I mean, I guess, since it’s sort of hard to know what the point was. But that doesn’t keep it from being interesting. Keiko O’Brien, in her only ever episode without Miles, is having her memory probed by some aliens on board who do that.…

Hell is Other People

"Hell is other people" – the most famous thing Jean-Paul Sartre "never said." That’s in shock quotes because one of his characters says it, and that character just happens to be most probably a bit of self-satire on Sartre’s part. So, did Sartre really never say it? I think what’s fair to say is that…

Two Minimalist Bones

Norbert Hornstein gives a very good overview of the perceived successes of the Minimalist Program here. (WARNING: this post won’t make a whole lot of sense unless you have a background in Generative Syntax.) One of the complaints you hear a lot about Minimalism – especially, for some reason, from the people who lament the…