Buffy Is, After All, the Slayer of Vampires

Like any true, pure fan of something — a fan who has lived through the lens of the object of their fandom, to a point that no one else could possibly understand — I get really stressed out when I think about all the other fans.

How Oprah, TED, and 7UP Are Ruining the World

To the extent that anything can really ruin the world, liberalism is ruining the world.

On Not Doing Rome

To suggest that a city or site can be “done,” like dishes, the laundry, or homework, reduces said city to the limits of the do-er’s consciousness or experience. And to suggest that reality ends with your experience is to be narrow-minded, or ignorant.

Marx’s Credit Card

In Germany, history follows different rules: Even the losers are allowed to write their names in the book.

When Time Becomes Space

I am never sure what it is exactly that makes Chekhov’s former Moscow apartment so entrancing. Maybe the answer is not in the aura, but in the stuff itself: the pens and blankets and desks and hardwood floors.

Revising a Novel

Revising a novel is like having bugs in your apartment.

All Smoke, No Fire

A list of charges against PROMETHEUS, a film that I had high expectations for; a film that broke my heart.

A Commencement Address From the Slapstick President

Where President Obama balances between will and inevitability, we find Buster Keaton, on commencement day, not charging ahead to shape a future, but pausing, vacillating, everywhere at once. Bumbling, stumbling, crashing forward.

Picking Poppies

Death remains in the poppy fields, away from the homes to which we inevitably return, impossible to assimilate in our minds.

Red Bull Total Zero

A word, when repeated ad infinitum, tends to lose meaning. Total Zero, when repeated, only grows stronger.