Archive for the ‘Book, Film or Music Reviews’ Category

Are Sully’s views of masculine emotional intimacy outdated?

Clint Eastwood’s just-released Sully clearly admires its titular character, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, played by Tom Hanks. It presents Sully as an icon of competence, integrity, and calm under pressure. Like most such movies lionizing competent men, it relegates the wife, here played by the thrice-Oscar-nominated, Laura Linney to a background role. Yet, wittingly or not, […]

The Fantastic Mr. Fox and the allure of risk-taking masculinity

Practice family law with any degree of passion and intellectual curiosity and you will naturally turn into an amateur marriage counselor and sociologist.  One cannot understand one’s clients without understanding what makes marriages work or not work.  I continuously contemplate how our culture might be restructured to make humans happier and make the stabilizing institutions […]

Don Jon’s refreshingly mature take on male sexuality

SPOILER ALERTS Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, has been getting solid reviews for its portrayal of the maturation of a twenty-something, working-class Jersey guy.  Most of reviews focus on the film’s pronounced pornography aspect.  Levitt’s character, Don, and his bros are stuck at a maturity level in which women are debated and rated for […]

(Im)perfectly P!nk

I consider myself lucky to have seen P!nk for the second time last month in Charlotte, this time from the center of the VIP mosh pit.  Since P!nk is such a dynamic, acrobatic performer, as well as an incredible singer, being in the midst of her show was overwhelming.  But one reason I’ve been a […]

Review of “Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts”

No matter one’s opinion of the jurisprudence United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, his recent book,“Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts” (co-authored with Black’s Law Dictionary editor Bryan Garner) is remarkably useful for any attorney who drafts or interprets legal texts.  While I am not a big fan of Scalia, I found myself […]

Twisting our spines patting ourselves on the back

I attended both “The Help” and “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” this week and am surprised no culture writers have noted the important plot similarities between the two. On the surface these two movies have little in common. “The Help” is a “serious” drama contrasting the lives of female African-American domestic servants in […]

The men don’t know but the little girls understand[1] (or, I took my nine year old daughter to a rave and neither of us ended up regretting it)

A desire to participate in communal ecstatic experiences would appear to be an innate part of human existence.  Almost every culture in every time has had some version of this: generally involving music and dance–rhythm appears to be hardwired; often involving mass invocations of fealty to a deity or ideology; frequently involving a Dionysian use […]