Blog Profile / Literary Kicks

Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:1099
Posts / Week:3
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Philosophy Weekend: Slavoj Zizek and the Dream of Yugoslavia

Last weekend I mentioned two keys to appreciating Slavoj Zizek, the popular but controversial Marxist philosopher. First, I said that his philosophical stance if one of defensive advocacy rather than constructive theorizing, that he is best understood as a self-appointed "lawyer for Marxism". Show More Summary

The Ballad of J. T. Laura

I never understood why anyone called Laura Albert a fake writer. When she invented J. T. LeRoy, she formed the basis of an enduring emotional and artistic chemistry with a wide variety of readers. Isn't this what a real writer is supposed to do? Some accused Laura of creating a fake persona, but J. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Slavoj Zizek, Marxism's Lovable Lawyer

The philosophy blogosphere (to the extent that such a thing exists) blew up this week after Noam Chomsky opened a can of whoop-butt on Slavoj Zizek, Jacques Lacan and Jacques Derrida. The American philosopher characterized the threeShow More Summary

The Great Lost Blues Memoir: When I Left Home by Buddy Guy

I used to buy records in a Chicago shop called the Jazz Record Mart on Grand Avenue. It was run by a guy named Bob Koester, a jazz and blues fanatic. He also had his own record company, Delmark Records, where he recorded a lot of blues artists who'd been passed over by Chess Records. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Tactile Philosophy, from Helen Keller to Jacques Lacan

Tactile philosophy. These words popped into my mind when I saw a beautiful, amazing photograph of a blissful 74-year-old Helen Keller enveloped by a troupe of Martha Graham's dancers, feeling the music and visual expression through vibration and touch, raising her arms and joining in the dance. Show More Summary

Sparta by Roxana Robinson

A Roxana Robinson novel will never waste your time with characters who are fashionably bored. Robinson's characters are always in trouble -- are nearly or literally in extremis. Her early novel This Is My Daughter is a piercing study of a second marriage besieged by child problems. Cost is a bitter tale of a young heroin addict and his family. The new Sparta...

Philosophy Weekend: Humbled at Gettysburg

This is the last of five blog posts inspired by the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. As I struggle to write this one today, I'm forced to admit two things that you'll very rarely ever hear me say. First, I feel humbled....Show More Summary

Gettysburg 150: Impressions of a Battlefield

The happy chaos of a large family vacation to a historical battlefield town doesn't leave much time for the kind of reflection I like to put into a Litkicks blog post. It does, however, lend itself to some pretty good jokes. When I arrived...Show More Summary

Gettysburg 150: Longstreet and Lee and the Quintessential Battle

What happens when an irresistible force meets an unmovable object? In Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 150 years ago, 51,000 people died. I'm in Gettysburg now, soaking in the historical moment with Civil War buffs, reenactors, curious locals, traveling families, bikers, historians, writers, artists, unidentifiable visitors from North and South. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: John Calhoun and Confederate Ethics

This seems to be a primal aspect of human nature: we always believe ourselves to be ethically correct. It would be very surprising to hear a person openly declare that he or she lives without moral principle, and it would be even more...Show More Summary

Gettysburg 150: The Book That Made Me a Civil War Geek

I've never been sure how to reconcile the fact that I'm a pacifist with the fact that I'm a major American Civil War geek. Though I'm a major geek, I'm not a Major -- that is, I don't participate in any Union or Confederate reenactment brigade. Show More Summary

Action Poetry: Summer 2013

The essence of Action Poetry is creativity, spontaneity and responsiveness to others in the room. Please write us a poem!

Philosophy Weekend: Nationalism and Alienation

Nationalism feels so natural to us -- to all of us, during this age on planet Earth -- that we barely question it. We could solve a few problems by questioning the basic concept of nationalism itself. Virulent public arguments over immigration...Show More Summary

Yak Ballz Does T. S. Eliot

it seems strange, like yellow smoke pushin' up against the window panes and ain't a damn thing changed i know, cause i been trying to find an antidote while women come and go alking of michelangelo What! These lyrics wafted past me this weekend during a family gathering, and stopped me in my tracks. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Why Michael Lind and Jonah Goldberg are Wrong About Communism

It's refreshing to see rival social, political or philosophical doctrines debated online with the kind of clear, brisk, brief writing that the best blogs feature. Last week, Michael Lind of Salon challenged the American libertarian/Paulist...Show More Summary

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

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