Hilarious Halloween: The 10 Year Anniversary of Parks and Recreations’ “Greg Pikitis”

Hilarious Halloween: The 10 Year Anniversary of Parks and Recreations’ “Greg Pikitis”

You can keep your slasher flicks and monster movies. When it's Halloween, all I want to watch are the seasonal episodes of network sitcoms. From Three Hole Punch Jim and Sexy Abraham Lincoln to the Slutty Pumpkin and Werewolf Tracy Jordan, Halloween TV has created some of the most memorable characters of the season—seriously, I [...]

The Fall of Summer Gods: Third Eye Blind’s Screamer and Jimmy Eat World’s Surviving

The Fall of Summer Gods: Third Eye Blind’s Screamer and Jimmy Eat World’s Surviving

The parking lot was filled with tailgaters and not a face in sight was younger than my suddenly youthful 32. This was the scene that greeted my wife and I as we pulled into Freedom Hill on a late June day, drawn to the site by the Summer Gods Tour, a nostalgic goldmine of an [...]

Steady, Alice

Steady, Alice

Under anesthesia, I told him over and over again: This body's yours to keep. And though he promised me, he said he'd do as I pleased, I stand before you on these same selfish feet. Envy on the Coast, "The Gift of Paralysis" Later, they’d tell me that I had been in shock, that I didn't know [...]

The Fall and Fellowship

The Fall and Fellowship

The final chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Breaking of the Fellowship," is broken into two parts: The first ends with Boromir falling to the temptation of the Ring while the second ends with Frodo and Sam heading out to Mordor as chaos rages behind them. These two passages lay out [...]

A Single Song from The Lord of the Rings Is Destroying Me

A Single Song from The Lord of the Rings Is Destroying Me

J.R.R. Tolkien was an academic with a vibrant interest in storytelling traditions and, because it was a lot easier for 13th century bards to remember rhyming stanzas than one long string of prose text, most of those traditions involve stories written in verse or performed as songs outright. Not content to merely translate and rewrite those existing verse [...]

On the Death of the Album Review

On the Death of the Album Review

For reasons that can best be described as “inexplicable,” my parents subscribed to both Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly while I was in high school. Neither periodical was a particularly good fit for my already-well-developed anti-establishmentarian artistic tastes and yet this was a time (for me, at least) before easy internet access and so, with few exceptions, I read [...]

Something That Was Mine

Something That Was Mine

Reading is an inherently independent activity so if there's anything unusual about my reading The Lord of the Rings every year, it's limited to the fact that I read The Lord of the Rings every year and not that I do so alone. Most years, after I finish that reading, I watch Peter Jackson's trilogy [...]