Peter Stone and the Short Con

Peter Stone was a great writer of Broadway musicals, movies and television.  He was also prickly, an un-diagnosed INTJ personality, and a good friend and mentor.  Peter always told me I was more than an assistant.  I was his associate.  That distinction with a difference meant a great deal to me.

When Peter was working on — The Will Rogers Follies — we had a lunch routine we never broke:  Tuna fish sandwiches on a roll with mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato and provolone and a Martinelli’s apple cider to wash it all down.  Our time to talk about life and art and living was in that break when we’d walk to and from the corner deli to pick up our lunch.

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The Revenge Bloggers

You’ve read their blogs.  You’ve felt their heat.  You know their terroristic hatred.  I’m talking about — The Revenge Bloggers — and I’m hoping today we can try to deaden their cold, and narrow, icepick impact in the public square by asking them to retire their poison fingers.

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Dexter and the Moral Dead End

The final episode of Dexter on Showtime was a brutal end to a murderous season.  Dexter, in case you don’t know, is a television series about a vigilante killer who works for the government solving murders while secretly killing murderers.  The show celebrates the thrill of the kill.  Dexter is a needlessly bloody show filled with few surprises, but the final episode was made more interesting by a rabbit punch killing.

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A Killer Sells Pizza: The Jokers on Dominos

“The Dark Knight” — the new Batman movie — make $155 million over the weekend.  One cannot help wondering what sort of message the movie reflects in us considering its vast amounts of spilled guts, buckets of blood and unmitigated gore.  How do we contend with the strange, inhuman, joy found in the shared popularity of public killings?

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When the Wretched Wreak Revenge

Tricia Walsh-Smith made a YouTube video accusing her husband, Phil, of a variety of awful things and watching her strange and discomforting “divorce” video renders down the likability of the entire human race a few notches.

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Violence as Commerce in the Urban Core

Based Violence for Profiton our conversation yesterday in the comments thread for my Red in Tooth and Claw: The Language of Killing article, I am curious to know your thoughts on the following matter.

Do you believe violence — as framed in the context of yesterday’s article — creates or serves as commerce in the urban core?

Is the infliction of physical suffering a necessary city commodity from which secular humanism rises?

Or does violence only eat itself by gnawing and clawing away at its inborn behavior until red is all that’s left?

Violence for Profit