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Can These Sox Be Trusted?
Published on May 15, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about the Red Sox's surprising success, and recent slump.

Click here to read it.


Memorials That Hit Home
Published on May 15, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about my old friend Jeremy Charron, and how I feel in general about memorials.

Here's an excerpt:

I traveled to my sister’s place last weekend to celebrate my niece’s first birthday, taking my usual route through southern Vermont and New Hampshire. This is a lovely drive, highlighted by winding, rural highways that run alongside rivers and lakes and over rolling hills and small yet impressive mountains.

One of the things I enjoy most about this particular trip are the old haunts it takes me through, such as the small New Hampshire town of Hillsboro, where I lived until I was 14. Driving through Hillsboro always makes me nostalgic, and although sometimes I stop to visit old friends, I often pass through as quickly as possible, on my way to other places.

My sister and her husband live about an hour northeast of Hillsboro. Every time I go there, I pass through a traffic circle in the town of Epsom that I’ve been driving through since I was a child heading to Maine on vacation. On one of my more recent trips, I noticed that the traffic circle had been renamed for two fallen police officers: Jeremy Charron and Michael Briggs. A portion of the highway that runs through Epsom is also named for Jeremy Charron.

I didn’t know Michael Briggs, who was originally from Epsom and was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2006.

But I did know Jeremy Charron.

Click here to read the whole thing.


Five Songs
Published on May 9, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I list five songs I'm totally into at the moment.

Click here to find out what they are.


Recent Viewing: Films
Published on May 8, 2013 by Sara Foss

Notes on Marie Menken (2006) ***

The Place Beyond the Pines (2013) ***1/2

Mysterious Object at Noon (2001) **

Monsters (2010) ***

The Boy Friend (1971) ***

Date Night (2010) ***


Moose on the Move
Published on May 8, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, my colleague Margaret Hartley writes about moose in her column Greenpoint.

Here's an excerpt:

"The phone rang on a Monday evening. The 12-year-old boy down the road was calling to tell our 12-year-old boy that there was a moose in his yard.

Half an hour later, our daughter called from New York City to tell us we had a moose in our neighborhood. Apparently her buddy, who lives next door to the 12-year-old down the road, had texted her when the moose strolled over to his yard.

News travels fast. So do moose.

The next day, several people in the next town over had reports and photos of the moose — it was seen walking down the sidewalk toward the high school, swimming in Lake Luzerne, strolling by the music camp on the other side of the lake. If it was the same moose as the one in our neighborhood, it probably had taken another swim, across the northern tip of the Great Sacandaga Lake, on its way to town. Or maybe it took the South Shore route and crossed nearer to where the Sacandaga meets the Hudson."

Click here to read the whole thing.


Revisiting "The Wild Bunch"
Published on May 8, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I revisit the classic Sam Peckinpah western "The Wild Bunch."

Here's an excerpt:

"I’m a big fan of the classic 1969 Sam Peckinpah western 'The Wild Bunch.' I watched it several times in college and wrote a paper on it for the western unit of my American cinema course. However, college was a long time ago. I’ve been wanting to revisit the film, and so on Monday I headed out to Proctors for a special screening of 'The Wild Bunch.' Is the film as good as I remembered?

Well, yes. 'The Wild Bunch' remains a pretty bracing revisionist western — cynical, dark and uncompromising in its depiction of a band of outlaws and their ill-fated last stand. It is possible, at times, to sympathize with the aging gang, because they live by a code that stresses loyalty and toughness, and are fond of doomed, romantic gestures, such as giving stolen gold to a kindly prostitute before heading out to die. But Peckinpah never pretends his outlaws are good men, or that they really care about anyone other than themselves. We see them mercilessly gun down civilians, use women as human shields and initiate shoot-outs in public squares crowded with children. Of course, this being a Peckinpah film, the children are intrigued by the violence, rather than repelled by it; after the Wild Bunch tears through one village, children are seen running through town, pretending to fire guns. They aren’t scared of the outlaws. They admire them."

Click here to read the whole thing.


"Hemlock Grove": A Destination For the Dull
Published on May 6, 2013 by guest author: J.K. Eisen

After viewing the first episode of Netflix’s “House of Cards,” I found myself facing a dilemma. As I looked at the 12 remaining episodes, I had to decide if I would give in to instant gratification and do some binge viewing or take things at a slower pace and savor the episodes.

 

Ultimately, I took the middle ground, sometimes watching a single episode and other times jumping into another episode when I absolutely had to find out the fate of Congressman Frank Underwood, the deliciously devious character portrayed by Kevin Spacey.

 

This is part of the experience of watching a Netflix original series. Unlike traditional television, they serve up an entire season’s worth of episodes at once – a viewing experience closer to watching the entire season of a series on DVD.

 

When Netflix released its latest series, “Hemlock Grove,” though, I found myself facing a different dilemma. After watching the first episode, I was left wondering how many more episodes I should watch before calling it quits.

   

The answer is two episodes.


 (More)


Experimental Films at EMPAC
Published on May 6, 2013 by Sara Foss

I don't know a lot about experimental film, but I manage to touch upon Laurie Anderson, Marie Menken, Ken Jacobs and others in a recent DG post about Anderson's recent EMPAC presentation.

Click here to read it.


Spare Me the Sympathy
Published on May 6, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about the younger terrorist brother, and how people are wrong to feel sorry for him.

Here's an excerpt:

"Not long after Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended, I heard someone express sympathy for him.

'I feel sorry for him,' this person said. 'If it wasn’t for his older brother, he wouldn’t be in this mess.'

I thought this was an isolated sentiment, but no: I keep running into people who feel sorry for Dzhokhar, though they’re always quick to add that there’s no excuse for what he allegedly did, and that he should suffer the consequences.

I didn’t know what to make of these comments, which I completely disagreed with.

I don’t feel at all sorry for Dzhokhar, and I don’t understand why anyone would. Nor do I buy the dominant narrative, that Dzhokhar was a guileless bystander until his mean older brother led him astray. But even if I did accept this, I doubt I would sympathize with Dzhokhar. In fact, I might find him even more repugnant than I already do.

To me, there’s nothing sympathetic about someone who lacks strength of character and a functioning moral compass. If your mean old brother can convince you to plant bombs at a marathon, you probably weren’t a very good person to begin with."

Click here to read the whole thing.


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