Archives: November 2010

This is the archive page for [November 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's event was a cold, rainy success! | November 30, 2010
We had eight hours of freezing rain in Chicago yesterday, which kept a lot of people home from CCLaP's "Evening with Nathan Rabin" event, but I and the intimate audience who made it out had a blast, and of course got a great recording to share with you via podcast next week. Click through for lots and lots of photos! | Read entire entry

CCLaP's big event is tonight! Broke artists...er, volunteers still needed! | November 29, 2010
Tonight finally sees CCLaP's newest live event, my live-audience talk with AV Club head writer Nathan Rabin, plus a special opening performance by Ben Tanzer! I'm still in need of a couple of broke artists who'd like to volunteer and earn free tickets and cocktails! Click through for all the details! | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 29 November 2010 | November 29, 2010
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: David Masciotra's academic essay series on the political vision of Bruce Springsteen, "Working on a Dream;" Josh Karlen's haunting memoir of an almost-big '80s punk band that never quite made it, "Lost Lustre;" and Tim Brown's Pratchettesque time-travel sociological comedy, "Second Acts." | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Watching," by Ricardo Wang | November 29, 2010
Today's photo: "Watching," by Portland photographer and musician Ricardo Wang. | Read entire entry

One week until my talk with Nathan Rabin! Volunteers needed! | November 23, 2010
Just one week to go until CCLaP's next live event, my talk with "AV Club" head writer Nathan Rabin! I'm still in need of a few more volunteers, so click through to learn how you too can earn yourself a free ticket and a cocktail after the show; plus, links and quotes from Rabin's latest book, the hilarious look at bad movies known as "My Year of Flops." | Read entire entry

Book review: "The Autobiography of Mark Twain," edited by Harriet Elinor Smith | November 23, 2010
Today's book: The unexpectedly hot "Autobiography of Mark Twain," which the famed Victorian humorist demanded not be published in full until a century after his death, less surprise-filled than the media would have you believe but still a fascinating, funny, illuminating read. | Read entire entry

Personal essay: CCLaP's "wikicloud" project is back on. | November 22, 2010
Good news -- almost two years since first mentioning it, I'm back at work on CCLaP's "Wikicloud Guide to the Victorian Age," in which I present nearly a thousand Wikipedia entries on the subject in a visual, non-linear map. Click through for lots of thoughts on the subject, as well as text and screenshots from the map's "creation journal." | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 19 November 2010 | November 19, 2010
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: Jeremy Shipp's excellent new alt-horror story collection "Fungus of the Heart," Richard Perez's gonzo erotica tale "Permanent Obscurity," and John Noel Hampton's "urban" Christmas story "The Wrong Bus," so stereotype-filled as to be borderline offensive. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Matthew Kanbergs | November 19, 2010
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Brooklyn photographer Matthew Kanbergs. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009) | November 18, 2010
Today's movie: The 2009 Swedish version of "The Girl Who Played with Fire," the disappointing sequel to Stieg Larsson's huge hit "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," still as visually gorgeous as the first film but this time with a much stupider story. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Origins of Cubism: Flattening Black," by Jean Hirsch | November 18, 2010
Today's photo: Origins of Cubism: Flattening Black," by Chicago photographer Jean Hirsch. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Persepolis | November 17, 2010
Today's movie: The Oscar-nominated coming-of-age tale of a feisty feminist punk-rocker during the Iranian Islamic Revolution, "Persepolis," revelatory if you're not familiar with the story already, but bound to be a little disappointing to existing fans of the more expansive graphic novel. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "rollei bw 770," by Anton Singurov | November 17, 2010
Today's photo: "rollei bw 770," by mysterious Flickr member Anton Singurov. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 15 November 2010 | November 15, 2010
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: The hyper-niche-audience golf-course character drama "Opur's Blade" by James Ross, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl cautionary tale "Below Sunlight" by Ryan Adam Smith, and the flash-fiction collection "Quite a Few Extremely Short Stories" by Mick MacO. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "after hours.," by Karrah Kobus | November 15, 2010
Today's photo: "after hours.," by Minneapolis photographer Karrah Kobus. | Read entire entry

Contract: signed! Frightening amount of money: paid! | November 12, 2010
It's official -- the rental contract at Stage 773 has been signed, which means that CCLaP's next live event is a go, my coming long-form interview and Q&A session with Nathan Rabin, head writer of the AV Club. Click through for more, plus photos of the space I took while over there the other day. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Moon | November 12, 2010
Today's movie: The fantastically smart homage to '70s sci-fi films, Duncan Jones' 2009 "Moon," whose complete rejection by Hollywood even as a low-risk B-pic marks a profound sign of just how out of touch film executives are anymore with the concept of realistically moderate hits. | Read entire entry

Naughty Netflix: The Brown Bunny | November 11, 2010
Today in CCLaP's "Naughty Netflix" essay series on mainstream movies featuring unsimulated sex: It's the flawed but also misunderstood 2003 "The Brown Bunny," Vincent Gallo's homage to the slow-paced character dramas of the '70s, otherwise known as "that film where Chloe Sevigny gives an on-screen blowj_b." | Read entire entry

Book reviews: "Less Than Zero" and "Imperial Bedrooms," by Bret Easton Ellis | November 10, 2010
Today, a special double-review: The 1985 late-Postmodernist anthem "Less Than Zero" by Bret Easton Ellis, and its brand-new creepy noir sequel, 2010's "Imperial Bedrooms." | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 64: October Music Special | November 9, 2010
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's the October edition of the center's monthly music special, in which I share my favorites of the free legal online music I myself have been downloading in the last thirty days. Today's special features 16 musicians and lasts just over an hour. | Read entire entry

Announcing CCLaP's newest event: An Evening with Nathan Rabin | November 8, 2010
Happy day! It's time to announce CCLaP's newest live event -- a long "Charlie Rose" style interview I'll be doing on November 29th with Nathan Rabin, bestselling author and head writer of the cultishly popular AV Club, with an opening performance by local author Ben Tanzer. $6 tickets! At an actual theatre! Audience Q&A! Click through for all the details! | Read entire entry

The CCLaP 100: "Kim," by Rudyard Kipling | November 8, 2010
Today in the "CCLaP 100" essay series on supposed literary classics: It's the British Empire apologist Rudyard Kipling's 1901 adventure tale "Kim," using the Indian subcontinent of the "Raj" years as a wide canvas to comment on class, race, religion, destiny and a lot more. Classic or not? Click through for my opinion! | Read entire entry

Tales from the Completist: "The Anatomy Lesson," by Philip Roth | November 5, 2010
Today's book: Philip Roth's 1983 autobiographical "The Anatomy Lesson," a funny, sometimes tragic look at middle-age that also serves as volume three of the nine-book "Zuckerman" series, charting the history of Postmodernism from the 1960s to the 2000s. | Read entire entry

Your micro-review roundup: 4 November 2010 | November 4, 2010
Today, short reviews of three recently read books: The pedestrian right-wing political thriller "Rude Awakenings" by Keith Donaldson, the interesting but overlong bio "Henry Clay: The Essential American" by David and Jeanne Heidler, and the infuriatingly awful "The Four Fingers of Death," the latest by postmodernist poster-child Rick Moody. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "241/365," by Ari Scott | November 4, 2010
Today's photo: "241/365," by New York photographer, actor and musician Ari Scott. | Read entire entry

Justify My Netflix: Until the Light Takes Us | November 3, 2010
Today's movie: The excellent 2009 documentary "Until the Light Takes Us," charting the ins and outs of the 1980s Norwegian "black metal" music scene, which eventually caused the infamous burning of hundreds of historic wooden churches and even half a dozen murders. | Read entire entry

Photography mini-feature: Patrick Carpentier | November 3, 2010
Today, a special mini-profile of Belgian photographer and filmmaker Patrick Carpentier. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 63b: Author Achy Obejas, part 2 | November 2, 2010
Today on the CCLaP Podcast: It's part 2 of my recent two-hour interview with Chicago author, Cuban-American activist, lesbian-fiction pioneer, Pulitzer-winning journalist and award-winning translator Achy Obejas. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Ania | November 2, 2010
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Polish Flickr member Ania. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Untitled," by Ania | November 2, 2010
Today's photo: "Untitled," by Polish Flickr member Ania. | Read entire entry

CCLaP Podcast 63a: Author Achy Obejas, part 1 | November 1, 2010
Today on the CCLaP Podcast, it's part 1 of my recent two-hour interview with Chicago author, Cuban-American activist, lesbian-fiction pioneer, Pulitzer-winning journalist, and award-winning translator Achy Obejas. | Read entire entry

Photo of the day: "Under the Lusbian Sky," by Andre Easter | November 1, 2010
Today's photo: "Under the Lusbian Sky," by Maryland photographer Andre Easter. | Read entire entry