February 19, 2013 |
Is the ecstasy and agony of Mike Daisey finally over? It's been nearly a year since the monologuist was first feted, then pilloried, for his solo play "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. " This mix of tech-geek autobiography and labor exposé was running at New York's Public Theater in January 2012 when the popular public-radio show "This American Life" aired a scalding excerpt in which Daisey described brutal working conditions he said he witnessed at Foxconn, a Chinese plant that manufactures Apple products.
August 9, 2012 |
LONDON -- Only the Guardian can make the Olympic men's weightlifting event look more interesting -- Lego-style, brick by-brick -- than the actual competition itself. Welcome to the contest for the strongest man in the world. As they say, slightly tongue in cheek ... "prepare to be amazed": "This is the final weight division of what has been a riveting men's competition and like so many sports of these games, it has drawn a crowd mixed with aficionados and those who never in a million years would have thought they'd be sitting here, watching this.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2012 |
Talk about a bad trip. It started when Daniel Chong, a 23-year-old UC San Diego student, spent a night with friends to mark April 20, which some pot afficionados consider something of a holiday. It ended with an ordeal behind bars. The Drug Enforcement Administration apologized Wednesday to Chong, who was accidentally left in a holding cell for five days and reportedly drank his own urine to survive. San Diego attorney Gene Iredale said his client was "still recovering" from the ordeal.
February 1, 2012
The only movie ever banned in Britain for blasphemy was finally approved for distribution Tuesday, 23 years after it was outlawed. The experimental 19-minute film "Visions of Ecstasy" features scenes of Jesus being seduced on the cross and became a free-speech cause célèbre after Britain's film censors refused to give it a rating in 1989, a requirement for legal distribution. Blasphemy was abolished as an offense in 2008 and on Tuesday the film board gave Nigel Wingrove's film an "18" rating, meaning it may be viewed by adults.
December 18, 2011 |
Of all the books I read this year, here - alphabetically by title - are my 10 favorites, those that most stuck with me, that reframed how I think about the world. "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami (Alfred A. Knopf: 926 pp., $30.50). Murakami's magnum opus more than lives up to its billing, immersing us in a slightly altered universe to tell what is, in the end, the most traditional of stories: Boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. "Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories" by Edith Pearlman (Lookout Books: 374 pp., $18.95 paper)
November 6, 2011 |
The Ecstasy of Influence Nonfictions, etc. Jonathan Lethem Doubleday: 438 pp., $27.95 Like Norman Mailer's "Advertisements for Myself," Jonathan Lethem's collection of essays and occasional pieces "The Ecstasy of Influence" resists our attempts to fence it in. I mention Mailer because Lethem does, early and often; "Influence is semiconscious," he writes, four pages in, "not something to delineate too extensively, except when we've...