Monthly Archives: June 2014

Glory (1989)

“If you are for me and my problems,” Malcolm X said in 1965, “then you have to be willing to do as old John Brown did.” Robert Gould Shaw, who was only 25 when he died in 1863, was the son of wealthy abolitionists Francis George and Sarah Blake. He attended Harvard University, traveled widely […]

Friend Zoned: Why I Nuked My Facebook Account

I supposed I just believed the hype. All through 2009 and 2010, cable TV and newspapers told me that the “social media” was behind the student uprising in Iran, then the Arab Spring, then the occupation of the Wisconsin state capitol building in Madison. After the eviction of Occupy Wall Street in November of 2011, […]

The Horse Soldiers (1959)

Grierson’s Raid, which ran from April 17 to May 2, 1863,  was the dry run for Sherman’s March to the Sea. In April of 1863, the United States Civil War was at a stalemate. Back in December, the Union Army had received a bloody repulse at the Battle of Fredericksburg. In the west, Ulysses Grant had […]

Pickpocket (1959)

Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket is a meditation on the idea of grace. Michel, a young man in his 20s, lives in a drab, rented room in Paris. He has no job, no real social contacts, no career path. Even though he looks like the young Montgomery Clift, he has no romantic life as far as we […]