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Blog Profile / Literary Kicks

Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:1084
Posts / Week:3.1
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Data Machines and Privacy Games (Confessions of an Email Snooper)

The story of Edward Snowden, Booz Allen/NSA/Prism whistleblower, is a rorschach test. Everybody sees something different in it. Me, I told you how I felt this weekend (though I wrote that blog post before the identity of Edward Snowden had been revealed). Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: If You Care About Privacy, Be A Pacifist

Big news leaked this week about a USA National Security Agency government program that collects massive telephone call and Internet activity data for purposes of homeland security. It'd be nice to report that intelligent public debate about privacy and governmental overreach followed, but it really didn't. Show More Summary

The Great Lost Jazz Memoir: Lady Sings the Blues by Billie Holiday

With all this acting experience behind me, Shelton thought I was ready for a crack at the movies. Not Hollywood, just Astoria, Long Island. He got me a part out there playing mob scenes in a picture with Paul Robeson. From that I got a real part in a short featuring Duke Ellington. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Ethics and the Concept of Evil

It's popular among some of our current philosophers to make a big thing of disbelieving in God. For Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and the late Christopher Hitchens, atheism is an urgent social cause. A widespread naive belief in religion, these philosophers argue, has been a source of great hatred and suffering. Show More Summary

The Crisis of Book Cover Design

(Here's Toro!, who runs a book cover design website and has designed covers or posters for Werner Herzog, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and John Kemmerly aka Grady Sedgwick, and shares here some of the lesser-known challenges and tribulations of his career. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Medea Benjamin Debates The President

The use of force must be seen as part of a larger discussion we need to have about a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy, because for all the focus on the use of force, force alone cannot make us safe. We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root. Show More Summary

Our Tech/Lit Spaces

As hard as this is to believe, this summer will mark the 19th birthday of Literary Kicks. I really have no idea why I've been doing it this long. I once had a reason; I forgot it. I guess I'm still having fun, though sometimes it's hard...Show More Summary

Ray Manzarek

I saw Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist for the Doors who died today, at a poetry show with Michael McClure at the Bottom Line nightclub in New York City a few years ago. I was awestruck by both legends on that stage: McClure for being a...Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Seasons

I can't write a Philosophy Weekend blog post this weekend. I've been working too hard on some tech changes to the site that will finally launch on Tuesday or Wednesday... and I'm also too broken up about the final show of the final season...Show More Summary

How Baz Lurhmann's 'Great Gatsby' Surprised Me

The odds didn't look good for the new film version of The Great Gatsby this weekend, I thought, as I donned my plastic 3-D glasses and entered the dark theater. I wasn't expecting to like the movie much at all. I don't love glitzy Hollywood spectacle, though I was willing to give the much-hyped new version of F. Show More Summary

Taylor Mead: A Bowery Glimpse

Droopy eyes under the hat. An old, creepy looking man leaning on the bar, crouching like a frail spider among a few smarmy-dressed women. The 50-ish ladies sneered at me when I wandered in off Bleecker and Houston streets on a Tuesday afternoon, but the spider just squiggled his mouth in a thoughtful glance toward me. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Kierkegaard's Either-Or

The great Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard never married, but he anguished for years over the existential personal puzzle of love and marriage, and transformed the question into a revolutionary book, Either-Or, published anonymously as Enten-Eller in 1943. This debut work immediately captivated readers, and would turn out to be not only his...

Fitzgerald's Lost Souls, or the Infernal Gatsby

If you're trying to analyze F. Scott Fitzgerald's jazz age novel The Great Gatsby and you're not thinking about Dante's Inferno, you're missing an obvious connection. The connection is easy to spot and hard to dispute, though it rarely comes up in discussion of the book. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Kierkegaard's Birthday

What do you buy a morose Danish philosopher who invented Existentialism for his 200th birthday? It doesn't really matter anymore, since Soren Aabye Kierkegaard is dead. He died at the young age of 42, already at this time a mostly broken man, an obsessive writer, a lonely bachelor, and a frequent subject of popular ridicule. Show More Summary

April 1993: CERN Opens the Web

All this spring and summer, we'll be hovering over the 20th anniversary of the World Wide Web's breakthrough into mass popularity. This week presents another possible "birthday" date for the WWW craze: it was on April 30, 1993 that CERN...Show More Summary

The Vortex: Beats and Rock and Punk

Two excellent new books remind me of the vortex of interests that's always coursed beneath the surface here at Litkicks -- a vortex, in fact, that is central to the literary/artistic sensibility that has fascinated and informed me through my whole life. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Derek Jarman's Ludwig Wittgenstein

I don't have much of a Philosophy Weekend post for you this weekend. I'm working on some technical improvements to the website, and I'm also pondering some big themes for the next few weekends. But all I've got to show you today is a...Show More Summary

Jackson and Bukowski: Drunken Literature

Recently, I’ve been thinking about drunks. Specifically, I've been thinking about literature written by drunks and/or about drinking. The positive reaction to a piece on this topic called Ten Best Books by Drunks that I posted on Legs...Show More Summary

Huxley, De Quincey, Baudelaire, Bowles, Ginsberg, Burroughs: Literature of Substance

In his essay The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley describes his experiences after taking a dose of mescaline. At the end of the book, he makes this observation: That humanity at large will ever be able to dispense with Artificial Paradises seems very unlikely. Show More Summary

E. L. Konigsburg's Mixed-Up Files

E. L. Konigsburg, author of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, has died at the age of 83. This book had the best concept of pretty much any children's novel I remember ever reading: two spirited tweens (12-year-old Claudia and 9-year-old Jamie) decide to run away from their boring posh suburban home and hide out in the Metropolitan...

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