Archives: August 2010

This is the archive page for [August 2010]; below you should see headlines and summaries of all entries posted here that month. Click the appropriate link at each to read the entire entry.

CCLaP Podcast 59: Author Ben Tanzer | August 30, 2010
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's a 45-minute talk with local author Ben Tanzer, his third appearance on the podcast over the years, here this time to tell us everything we ever wanted to know about his latest book for the center, the running/writing essay collection "99 Problems." | Read entire entry

"99 Problems:" Now surprisingly successful at Amazon | August 30, 2010
It's week three of CCLaP's newest original book, the running/writing essay collection "99 Problems" by Ben Tanzer, and we received some surprising news recently regarding it: The Kindle version cracked the top 20,000 bestsellers at Amazon this weekend, and unbelievably made the national top 10 of all sports collections being sold there. Click through for all the details! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "work to death," by Darragh Hehir | August 30, 2010
Today's photo: "work to death," by Irish-in-Italy photographer Darragh Hehir. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Urbis Morpheos," by Stephen Palmer | August 27, 2010
Today's book: The densely challenging far-future tale "Urbis Morpheos" by Stephen Palmer, the latest idiosyncratic "New Weird" title by the great PS Publishing. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "oneAndAHalf," by Myshak | August 27, 2010
Today's photo: "oneAndAHalf," by Slovakian Flickr member Myshak. | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "All Quiet on the Western Front," by Erich Maria Remarque | August 26, 2010
Today in the "CCLaP 100" essay series on literary classics: It's Erich Maria Remarque's 1929 World War One classic "All Quiet on the Western Front," which single-handedly established a dozen of the most well-known cliches now seen in almost every modern story about war. Classic or not? Click through for my opinion! | Read entire entry

Photography mini-feature: Giacomo Cosua | August 26, 2010
Today, a special mini-feature, showcasing the work of Italian photographer Giacomo Cosua. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Book of Eli | August 25, 2010
Today's movie: The surprisingly great post-apocalyptic gonzo thriller "The Book of Eli," done under a low profile by celebrated filmmakers The Hughes Brothers, using a smart script that explores a weighty philosophical issue to center what would otherwise be a zany Sam-Raimi-like 'Mad Max' actioner. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Old Pillars (Goa)," by Manpreet Singh Kohli | August 25, 2010
Today's photo: "Old Pillars (Goa)," by Indian photographer Manpreet Singh Kohli. | Read entire entry

"99 Problems:" You like it! You really like it! | August 23, 2010
CCLaP's newest original book, the essay collection "99 Problems" by Ben Tanzer, enters its second week of release! Hundreds of downloads! Hundreds of dollars in donations! Critical praise out the yazoo! Amazon Kindle version now available! Click through for all the details! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Warsaw - entrance to hell," by Konrad Olszewski | August 23, 2010
Today's photo: "Warsaw - entrance to hell," by Polish photographer Konrad Olszewski. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Kick-Ass | August 20, 2010
Today's movie: The much-loved 2010 "superheroes in the real world" comic-book adaptation "Kick-Ass," which I instead found to be a depressing, immature, offensive mess, that grown-ups should be ashamed of themselves for liking. Start your angry comments, Facebookers! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "maybe ducky," by Sasha Cooklin | August 20, 2010
Today's photo: "maybe ducky," by dog-loving Flickr member Sasha Cooklin. | Read entire entry

Book review: "Julian Comstock," by Robert Charles Wilson | August 19, 2010
Today's book review: Robert Charles Wilson's "Julian Comstock," the third of this year's Hugo nominees I've now gotten a chance to review, a nearly perfect combination of steampunk comedy and post-apocalyptic thriller that has plenty of metaphorical things to say about the Bush years. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "beyond the fence," by a n t j e | August 19, 2010
Today's photo: "beyond the fence," by German Flickr member a n t j e. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Badlands | August 18, 2010
Today's movie: 1973's supposed countercultural classic and violent crime drama "Badlands," an early hit not just for Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek but director Terrence Malick, which I myself disappointingly found only okay. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Lakefront morning," by Bill | August 18, 2010
Today's photo: "Lakefront morning," by Chicago Flickr member Bill. | Read entire entry

CCLaP's newest original book is finally here! | August 17, 2010
It's the release day of CCLaP's latest original book, the running/writing essay collection "99 Problems" by Ben Tanzer! Here, the official announcement, containing all kinds of information about the book itself, plus screenshots of it running on an iPhone and a Sony Reader. | Read entire entry

Check out the '99 Problems' story-map! | August 17, 2010
It's the release day of CCLaP's newest original book, the running/writing essay collection "99 Problems" by Ben Tanzer! Here, information on a cool promotional project we were able to put together for it -- namely, we plotted one of the essays on an actual customized Google map, complete with placemarkers and photos illustrating many of the specific locations Ben mentions in the story. | Read entire entry

Personal essay: Why I Signed '99 Problems' -- An Apologia. | August 17, 2010
It's the release day of CCLaP's newest original book, the running/writing essay collection "99 Problems" by Ben Tanzer! Here, a critical essay on why I signed the book in the first place, written in the style of an "apologia" (or deliberately all-positive critical piece). | Read entire entry

And by the way, have you read CCLaP's other books yet? | August 17, 2010
It's the release day of CCLaP's newest original book, the running/writing essay collection "99 Problems" by Ben Tanzer! In this entry, a fond adieu to the center's last book, Sally Weigel's "Too Young to Fall Asleep," which today leaves the site's front page for CCLaP's dreaded dusty archives. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 13 August 2010 | August 13, 2010
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: The awful "Horns" by Joe Hill; the awful "The Novel: An Alternative History" by Steven Moore; and the awful "Point Omega," by Don DeLillo. Ugh, these were all so...what's the word I'm looking for? | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Petromont Oil Refinery-13," by Sebastian T. | August 13, 2010
Today's photo: "Petromont Oil Refinery-13," by mysterious Flickr member Sebastian T. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Performance | August 12, 2010
Today's movie: The "lost" 1970 countercultural classic "Performance" (which doubles as Mick Jagger's acting debut), not so much the trippy sex romp of its reputation but more a remarkably solid psychological drama, regarding the complex relationship between a dark-hearted rock star and a straight-laced Cockney gangster. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Alexander Alekseenko | August 12, 2010
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Ukrainian photographer Alexander Alekseenko. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Chloe | August 11, 2010
Today's movie: The late-night-cable T&A thriller "Chloe," described as a smart guilty pleasure from the otherwise art-house darling Atom Egoyan, but as far as I could tell possessed not one smart thing about it at all. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "The mill from rape fields," by Mark Nelson | August 11, 2010
Today's photo: "The mill from rape fields," by British photographer Mark Nelson. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Precious | August 10, 2010
Today's movie: The Oscar-winning urban drama "Precious," based on the phenomenal 1996 novel by slam poet "Sapphire," an adaptation which of course can't exactly mirror the almost science-fictiony inner-voice literary complexities of the book, but does a fine job trying. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Rock Love.," by Jim Downie | August 10, 2010
Today's photo: "Rock Love.," by Scottish photographer Jim Downie. | Read entire entry

Field report: Fifth House Ensemble at High Concept Laboratories | August 9, 2010
I had a chance earlier tonight to visit for the first time the new, absolutely astounding Chicago performance space High Concept Laboratories, where I watched the first concert of their new artists-in-residence, the avant-garde chamber-music group Fifth House Ensemble. Click through for details, links, and photos! | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Riverworld (2010) | August 9, 2010
Today's movie: The Former Sci-Fi Channel's dismal 2010 adaptation of the intensely loved Philip Jose Farmer novel "Riverworld," which is even worse than the dismal 2003 Sci-Fi Channel adaptation that this version is supposed to make us forget. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Unnatural Beauty," by Nathaniel Smith | August 9, 2010
Today's photo: "Unnatural Beauty," by Los Angeles photographer Nathaniel Smith. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 5 August 2010 | August 5, 2010
Today, short reviews of three books recently read: Xiaoda Xiao's excellent Chinese drama "The Cave Man;" Rachel Cusk's nice but slow-moving character study "The Bradshaw Variations;" and the disappointing Dan Simmons horror "classic," 1989's "Carrion Comfort" (recently re-issued for its 20th anniversary). | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "iPhoneography: Passage III," by Dirk Dallas | August 5, 2010
Today's photo: "iPhoneography: Passage III," by California photographer Dirk Dallas. | Read entire entry

Metapost: Commenting is moving permanently to Facebook | August 4, 2010
Big news from the CCLaP website today: I'm permanently shutting down the blog's own spam-vulnerable commenting system, in favor of people continuing the discussion at the center's Facebook page, where real names discourage trolls and flame wars, and I have much better moderation powers. Click through for all the details! | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "Lord of the Flies," by William Golding | August 4, 2010
Today in the CCLaP 100 essay series on literary classics: It's William Golding's 1954 "Lord of the Flies," the story of British schoolboys going feral on a shipwrecked island, and by now a staple in high-school lit classes worldwide. Classic or not? Click through for my opinion! | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Børge Svingen | August 4, 2010
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Norwegian photographer Børge Svingen. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: A Hole in My Heart | August 3, 2010
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" essay series concerning mainstream films with graphic content: It's Lukas Moodysson's 2004 look at the gonzo online hate-porn industry, "A Hole in My Heart," an ugly and pointless exercise in human cruelty that pretty much ruined this promising indie filmmaker's career. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Edinburgh, Scotland," by Shailendra Dhanoa | August 3, 2010
Today's photo: "Edinburgh, Scotland," by Scottish photographer Shailendra Dhanoa. | Read entire entry