Television Show Review: Girls: Season 4

Girls Season 4

Girls: Season 4 created by Lena Dunham (Apatow Productions) Starring Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet. *Spoiler Alert for Previous Seasons* Vocation When millennials think about work, the question of pay arises among a crowded group of factors. In many ways, the millennial generation grew up observing its parent’s generation reaping the rewards of capitalism. These baby boomers operated behind the Friedman philosophy of profit maximization. For many of the millennial generation, this philosophy rings hollow. In its place, we see the rise of social enterprise; we encounter philosophies around multiple bottom lines and stakeholder theory. There’s more to business than a dollar; there’s more to work than a paycheck. For most of the Girls storyline during its… Read More →

Television Show Review: Broad City: Season 2

Broad City Season 2

Broad City: Season 2 created by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (3 Arts Entertainment, Jax Media, Paper Kite Productions) Starring Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, John Gemberling, Hannibal Buress, and Arturo Castro. A Millennial Show Slowly but surely, the Millennials are taking over. Most television barely gives reference to this sub-section of America, but the showrunners of the future are Millennials now. The writers too, they are up and coming. To a certain extent, the old guard of television writes what they know. The characters are defined and labeled by their demographic. There’s the white main character, the African-American friend, the Asian American, the gay character. It all feels calculated. The writing around these characters feel forced too. The lives and… Read More →

Television Show Review: The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst directed by Andrew Jarecki (Home Box Office, Blumhouse Productions) Starring Robert Durst. Must-See TV In the age of ubiquitous Internet, there’s nothing much left that constitutes must-see television. The bigwigs of scripted television measure more than just standard Nielsen ratings. People, you see, have altered their viewing habits. Many have cut cords, focusing on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, et al. Others keep cable but stash shows on DVR so they can live their lives well. The only thing left that demands live viewing seems to be sports. Sure, you can DVR a game as well, but it seems as if sport has developed the tyranny of the now. Fans watch to… Read More →

Book Review: The Yellow Arrow

The Yellow Arrow by Victor Pelevin

The Yellow Arrow by Victor Pelevin; translated by Andrew Bromfield (New York: New Directions, 1996; originally published in 1993. 96 pp) Victor Pelevin is a Russian author best known for Omon Ra and Generation P. He has won the Russian Little Booker Prize and the Russian National Best Seller. He lives in Moscow. Andrew Bromfield was born in Yorkshire, England. He is a translator of Russian literature and an editor and co-founder of the literary journal, Glas. Metaphors for Life What’s your preferred metaphor for life? Are you in favor of “Life is like a box of chocolates; you’ll never know what you’re going to get.”? Perhaps you prefer, “Life is a game.” That one points toward the business-minded, the… Read More →

Television Show Review: Togetherness: Season 1

Togetherness: Season 1

Togetherness: Season 1 created by Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass, and Steve Zissis (Duplass Brothers Productions, Home Box Office) Starring Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey, Amanda Peet, and Steve Zissis. Searching for Identity Divorce, the unmentionable. Much like Fight Club, the one rule about divorce is that you never mention divorce. With so many families rendered asunder, it seems wise to never bring such a topic to the table in good times or in bad. Intuitively, such thoughts are self-fulfilling. One doesn’t mention divorce if he or she is happily married. Thus, the mere mention of it necessitates its action. Even though divorce represents a common occurrence in the American household, our idiot boxes don’t root for it. The narrative trends on… Read More →

Film Review: Whiplash

Whiplash

Whiplash written and directed by Damien Chazelle (Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions, Right of Way Films, R, 107 min) Starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, and Paul Reiser. LEAD What does it take to be an effective leader? Let’s get the obvious out of the way. You’ll need followers. If you’re leading thin air, I feel bad for you son. But supposing you are in a position of leadership, no matter how large or small, there’s an opportunity to mold the people underneath you, to encourage them and maximize their potential. Some leaders offer the quiet calm in a storm. Others are fiery and charismatic. Some micro-manage; others break the chains and let their people run free. Truthfully, much of your leadership… Read More →

Book Review: Zoli

Zoli by Colum McCan

Zoli: A Novel by Colum McCann (New York: Random House, 2006. 368 pp) Colum McCann was born in Ireland in 1965. He is the author of six novels and two collections of stories. He has been the recipient of many international honors, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. His work has been published in over 35 languages. He lives in New York with his wife, Allison, and their three children. He teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College. Exploring the Unknown One of the… Read More →

Television Show Review: Parks and Recreation: Season 7

Parks and Recreation Season 7

Parks and Recreation: Season 7 created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur (Deedle-Dee Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment, Universal Media Studios) Starring Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, Jim O’Heir, Retta, and Adam Scott. *Spoiler Alert for Previous Seasons* Job Satisfaction A recent Gallup poll exhibits the stark issues America faces in the workforce. Approximately 70% of the workforce hates their job. Even worse, around 40% of the workforce actively inhibits performance in the workplace due to poor job satisfaction. We are afflicted with unhappiness. We barely put up with the people around us for 40 hours a week. Given these trends, the pure joy and wish fulfillment at the core of Parks and Recreation represents an… Read More →

Book Review: American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

American Gods: Author’s Preferred Text by Neil Gaiman (New York: William Morrow, 2011; originally published in 2001. 560 pp) Neil Gaiman is a bestselling author of more than twenty books. He has received numerous awards including the Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the Locus Award. Nothing New Under the Sun A wise, ecclesiastical thinker once said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Such sentiments are particular true for the arts. Everything feels derivative. With music, the Western scale provides 12 notes. It’s no wonder an old musician sues a new musician every quarter or so for plagiarism. Painters have the same issue. Why else travel further through the Dadaist… Read More →