Shelter in Place, Pt. III: The Social Charm of Overcooked 2

Shelter in Place, Pt. III: The Social Charm of Overcooked 2

The kitchen was on fire. As a wheelchair-bound raccoon struggled to extinguish the flames, a teal shark chopped a potato, an eyepatch-wearing pirate furiously scrubbed dishes and a clumsy narwhal fell off a bridge to his (temporary) death, taking an order of fish and chips with him to an ironically watery grave. All told, a [...]

Shelter in Place, Pt. II: We Can Do Good

Shelter in Place, Pt. II: We Can Do Good

If last week's post got a little dark it's only because considering the inability of the sitting American president to adequately guide the American people through the COVID-19 pandemic—a failure to do his job resulting from the sheer force of his staggering incompetence and narcissism—is enough to send me into a depressive thought spiral that I, [...]

Shelter in Place, Pt. I: COVID-19 and the Failure of American Empathy

Shelter in Place, Pt. I: COVID-19 and the Failure of American Empathy

Post-apocalyptic fiction rarely focuses on the fall. There's the initial outbreak, the surprising interaction between man and beast or man and nature that introduces some mutagenic pathogen to first one individual and then, rapidly, countless others. Then comes the smash cut to a hollowed out world of ghost towns and ragged survivors, a bombed out [...]

The Interesting Question Raised (and Left Unanswered) by Dan Brown’s Inferno

The Interesting Question Raised (and Left Unanswered) by Dan Brown’s Inferno

The explosive success of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code made him unfathomably wealthy but it also indirectly made him a punching bag for a certain type of literary snob. Yes, that includes me. It's not interesting, especially in 2020, to note that Dan Brown's prose is stilted and awkward, that his descriptions of female [...]

Hallucinations is a Somber, Exciting Turn for PVRIS

Hallucinations is a Somber, Exciting Turn for PVRIS

One of the certainties of writing year-end retrospectives—or decade-end ones, if you happen to share my particular brand of lunacy—is that, as soon as you've published your hard-wrought work, you'll find several albums that warrant inclusion on your list but that, for one reason or another, you missed. Maybe you had meant to listen to [...]

The Perfect Simplicity of The Good Place

The Perfect Simplicity of The Good Place

Spoiler alert! As the title suggests, I'll be discussing the conclusion of Michael Schur's wonderful The Good Place below. Proceed with an appropriate level of caution. The iconic title card above, so simple and understated, gave way to one of television's most complex shows. The Good Place was a sitcom about moral philosophy, a phrase [...]

The Queue: Busted, Once Upon a Dead Man and Microwave

The Queue: Busted, Once Upon a Dead Man and Microwave

The Queue is a recurring feature in which I discuss some of the music that I’ve been listening to recently. This week I examine a couple of very different tracks featuring Charlie Simpson and Microwave's ability to turn simple structures into winning songs. "Nostalgia" – Busted Falling in love and breaking up have long been [...]