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Blog Profile / Literary Kicks


URL :http://www.litkicks.com/
Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:1069
Posts / Week:3.2
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Philosophy Weekend: Occam's Razor

A few days ago, an African-American teenager was killed by a policeman for no apparent reason in a town called Ferguson on the outer edge of St. Louis, Missouri. As outraged citizens began protesting in the streets, the police made a...Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Nixon and Watergate and Vietnam and Our Capacity For Shared Delusion

"It was a lust for political power" - Bob Woodward "There is no simple answer" - John Dean President Richard Nixon, caught in a big lie, resigned in disgrace forty years ago. As we commemorate our shared memories of this astounding political...Show More Summary

Boyhood: Richard Linklater's Natural Cinema

In 2002, filmmaker Richard Linklater selected a six-year-old actor named Ellar Coltrane to be the star of his new movie Boyhood, which was expected to take twelve years to film. Linklater also cast seasoned actors Patricia Arquette and...Show More Summary

Transformation: The Strange 1925 Wizard of Oz Movie

"Wizard of Oz is on again", I noticed recently while flipping through my favorite classic movie channels. Then I spotted the year on the movie listing: 1925. Here it was, the early version I'd always been curious to see! This silent-era...Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: The New Schedule

If there's any part of Literary Kicks that I'm sure is going well as the site celebrates its celebrates its 20th birthday, it's Philosophy Weekend. These weekend essays consistently get the most enthusiastic feedback, the most comments, and the most Facebook/Twitter shares of all my blog posts. Show More Summary

Growing Up With Literary Kicks

(Literary Kicks is twenty years old today. This fact has left me speechless, so I asked Jamelah Earle to send some retrospective thoughts. -- Levi) When I was 16, I was on my high school forensics team. This was not in any way related to anything you might see on an episode of CSI, but instead was competitive speech and dramatic performance. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Because War is a Form of Language

It's because words are such effective tools of communication that we sometimes fairl to realize how often we communicate without them. A conversation is sometimes a physical exchange. These conversations carry meaning that can only exist in the physical realm. We signify to each other with words, with gestures, with emotional expressions. Show More Summary

Melanie and the Nickel Song

Sometimes shuffle mode on my iPhone really comes through for me. I was having a pretty bad day yesterday, and it found a song that cheered me up. I was having a bad day for a few different reasons. The biggest is something that's been going on for a while now. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Is Religious War a Fraud?

I observed a strange reaction among my friends -- especially my fellow liberals -- when a new insurgent group calling itself "The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" began capturing towns and small cities in war-torn Iraq. There's really...Show More Summary

Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon and The Touch

Sure, every other obituary of 86-year-old Brooklyn novelist Daniel Keyes is going to talk about Flowers for Algernon. And, yeah, that was his best book. But I'm going to talk about The Touch, simply because I remember this novel well, and because nobody else is going to mention it. As a lonely middle school kid, I was so desperate for good books that...

Philosophy Weekend: Disturbances in the Field

I’m still taking a break from the lengthy weekend posts. Maybe you don't mind that I'm taking a break. What I’ve got for you today is three enigmatic quotes. ”An ant can look up at you, too, and even threaten you with its arms. Of course, my dog does not know I am human, he sees me as dog, though I do not leap up at a fence. Show More Summary

Blasts from the Past: Jean Merrill and Sydney Taylor

Two children's books I loved as a kid (and still love as an adult) have been republished in attractive new editions. Whether you've read these two books before or not, they are awesome and well worth checking out. Funny thing, a trollish...Show More Summary

The Transcendent Drupal Community

I used to go to BookExpo in New York City every Spring. It was a grand event, a joyous social swirl of writers and publishers and editors and bloggers and critics. But, regretfully, I stopped going to BookExpo a couple of years ago. Some friends tell me the event has shrunk and that I'm not missing much. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Thinking Like Wittgenstein

I recently listed Ludwig Wittgenstein as one of three essential philosophers who can add surprising clarity and vital new perspective to frustrating debates about ethics, political ideology and the practical problems of our planet. What’s most essential about Wittgenstein is not the conclusions he has drawn about ethics and politics. Show More Summary

Furthur Will Ride Again

Furthur, Further... that literary device on wheels, that great American rolling metaphor. Fifty years after novelist Ken Kesey gathered his friends into a painted bus and drove a jagged route from California to New York City, the novelist's...Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: The Cure For Our Condition

"The philosopher's treatment of a question is like the treatment of an illness." -- Ludwig Wittgenstein Last weekend I proposed that three well-known modern philosophers hold a key to great discoveries that can help cure a horrific disease that currently plagues our planet. Show More Summary

Colson Whitehead's Gloomy Game

I was nothing but psyched when I heard that postmodern novelist Colson Whitehead was writing a book about poker. Sure sounded like a great idea to me. Whitehead is a clever, acidic satirist with a gift for inventive situations and touching emotional connections. Can he write? Absolutely -- novels like The Intuitionist and Apex Hides the Hurt...

Philosophy Weekend: A Bedrock Philosophy for Pacifists

I sometimes wonder if pacifism needs the kind of bedrock philosophy that more popular ideologies like conservativism and communism have. A firm rooting in philosophy helps an ideology stand its ground firmly. I've noticed that American conservatives are very quick to cite John Locke or David Hume, along with (variously) Aristotle, St. Show More Summary

The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour

In one remarkable moment in The Last Illusion, a new novel by Porochista Khakpour, a shy and vulnerable young man who was raised as a bird in a cage meets an impetuous young woman who seems to understand him. He then meets her sister, who is so enormously fat that she lives her life in bed, occasionally dressing up in a tiara and gown and high-heeled...

Philosophy Weekend: Rebuilding

When I write about the damages caused by rampant militarism, I'm afraid some readers think I'm just making noise, just enjoying the sound of my own voice. I wish to assure everybody who reads my blog that I would never bother writing...Show More Summary

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