‘Mad Men’ yesterday, today, and tomorrow

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James P. Othmer spent two decades in the advertising business before his terrific first novel “The Futurist” was published in 2006. While we wait for novel number two — “Holy Water,” due next summer — Othmer offers us an insider’s guided tour to his former occupation in “Adland: Searching for the Meaning of Life on […] [Read More]
Categories: General

A ‘potentially true story’ about Tennessee Williams

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Daniel MacIvor’s play “His Greatness” was one of the hits of the recent NYC Fringe Festival. The playwright’s imagining of a few days in the life of Tennessee Williams — near the end — is a well-written and well-acted piece about the sources of artistic inspiration and what happens when the ideas stop coming. In […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Back to the grassy knoll

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Did you catch Moammar Qaddafi’s 90-minute speech at the U.N. yesterday? Noting that he was suffering from jet lag, the Libyan leader went off on a stream of consciousness rant that included a reference to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In the latest conspiracy theory, Qaddafi laid the blame for Kennedy’s death on […] [Read More]
Categories: General

What’s so funny about that?

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It’s hard to describe the shaggy dog appeal of the HBO program “Flight of the Conchords” to someone who has never seen this comic serial about the adventures of two New Zealand musicians in downtown Manhattan.  (The second season — 10 half-hour episodes which were shown on HBO last winter — just came out on […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘A Bubble in Time’: how quickly we forget

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Although it takes lots of time for history to sort itself out — who knows what the verdict on the Clinton Era will be 100 years from now? — William L. O’Neill’s new book “A Bubble in Time: America During the Interwar Years, 1989-2001” (Ivan R. Dee) gives a reader the chance to time travel […] [Read More]
Categories: General

In praise of Nathan Fillion (and ‘Castle’)

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I’ve been having fun watching an advance copy of the season one DVD of “Castle” that will be released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment tomorrow. A mid-season replacement show on ABC last season, the series is returning  for its second year tonight at 10 p.m. The New York-set mystery is very light in spirit, often […] [Read More]
Categories: General

‘Spin’: The latest boss-from-hell novel

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In this age of celebrity confidentiality agreements, it has become almost impossible for ex-staffers to write real memoirs about the horrors they faced working for a famous boss. You will almost never read a negative on-the-record quote from anyone employed by a movie star or a media mogul because that would be a violation of […] [Read More]
Categories: General

Smartasses for a good cause

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The most publicized documentaries these days seem to be as much about the filmmakers as the material they are covering. Last night I watched a press DVD of “The Yes Men Fix the World” — a movie opening in New York and Los Angeles next month — which follows two activist pranksters named Andy Bichlbaum […] [Read More]
Categories: General