Gabe Sapolsky talks EVOLVE with Rolling Stone
The pop culture bible (as it were) continues its dalliance with wrestling in this quick-enough read; nothing really new for serious fans but that’s okay. #wrestling   ·

My Thumped review of The Magnificent Seven
Plus a few words on the atrocious gardening biopic Dare To Be Wild. #screen   ·

My Thumped review of The Girl with All the Gifts
A kitchen sink zombie drama that’s all about the relationships at its core. #screen   ·

My Thumped review of The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years
If you’re a hardcore fan, you already know the story, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching. #screen   ·

My Thumped review of Hell or High Water
A classic Robin Hood tale retold with modern complications. #screen   ·

My Thumped review of Don’t Breathe
Bit late posting this one, and a few more to come; Fede Álvarez makes up for his horrid Evil Dead remake with a film that has its own problems. #screen   ·

A podcast from NPR about going deep into news stories one might otherwise breeze over on a given site or in a given paper. Doesn’t look like there’s been anything new since June but hopefully it’s just been on a summer pause. #media   ·

Justice, finally: a Hillsborough survivor’s story
Another one from the summer backlog, here; an emotive story from someone who was in the thick of that nightmare. #aux   ·

Life Lessons from a Lifestyle Business
An interview with MetaFilter founder on the rise and fall (and rise?) of the multi-user blog and hive mind retreat. #aux   ·

Want to Know What Facebook Really Thinks of Journalists? Here’s What Happened When It Hired Some.
Ugh. It’s all I can say. #media   ·


My Thumped review of Captain Fantastic
A little bit Brady Bunch, a little bit Little Miss Sunshine; a lot of issues but also a lot that makes it worth a watch. #screen   ·

Facebook is wrong, text is deathless
Can’t add any more to what Tim Carmody says here. #words   ·

Don’t Trust Your CMS
It all boils down to this, from the final paragraph: “King’s editors had a responsibility to ensure that his accurate sourcing was reproduced when published, no matter the vagaries of their CMS. (King, too, should probably have been reading his articles once they were published.)” #media   ·

It’s broodin’ time! case file #59: Fantastic Four
I’m with Nathan Rabin, more or less; I said much of it myself at the time. #screen   ·

My Thumped review of Jim: The James Foley Story
I’ve seen some criticism of the technical aspects of this documentary, made by a childhood friend of the slain US combat journalist, but I had no issues with that side of things — perhaps because I’ve seen a lot worse. #screen   ·


My Thumped review of Lights Out
Problematic themes detract from this better-than-average modern horror #screen   ·


My Thumped review of Bobby Sands: 66 Days
Martyr — or artist? Brendan J Byrne’s documentary proves a convincing argument can be made for the latter. #screen   ·


How Japanese Wrestling Is Body Slamming the American Mainstream
Just in time for the G1 Climax tournament that’s five days old as I write (and has another three-plus weeks to go). Could have done with a more judicious edit (apart from the odd typo, there are quite a few factual errors a quick Google search would fix) but it’s still nice to see wrestling get attention from non-wrestling media, and especially attention of the ‘this is cool’ rather than ‘this is stupid’ kind. #wrestling   ·

The Rise of Victimhood Culture
I’m not sure using terms like ‘victimhood culture’ helps, as they seem as needlessly aggressive as the term ‘microaggression’ is itself. (It’s onomatopoeia, isn’t it? The word ‘aggression’ has an aggressive sound and mouth-feel to it.) But that’s a distraction from the purpose of this piece. While there is indeed a very real, subtly oppressive quality to the widespread use of terms historically used to diminish society’s minorities or quasi-minorities, it’s also been contorted into a weapon wielded in a kind of cultural gamesmanship. And that’s none more clear than the exchange this article uses as example, where the actual problem, if it exists at all, is lost in the rush to gain sympathy or kudos from peers, which quickly descends into childish sore-loser name-calling. I mean, the sheer irony of believing only one’s own intersectionality matters, and if one’s ‘enemy’ claims similar they’re acting in bad faith. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so depressing. #comment   ·


My Thumped review of Ghostbusters
It’s not a good movie, but that’s got nothing to do with the main cast being women. #screen   ·


Interview with John Mulvaney on Fractured
My friend John talks the process behind his ongoing video series on Irish underground music. #sound   ·

Confessions of a Curator: How one longtime music critic gets the job done
For whatever reason it’s easier for me to develop the kind of split mindset Justin Farrar describes when it comes to film, rather than music. Great food for thought here, anyway. #sound   ·


My Thumped preview of the 2016 GAZE film festival
Here’s what I spent Pride weekend writing up while my LGBT friends were partying it up, probably. Tickets on sale now. #screen   ·

Roe McDermott: He Said Nothing
“Men’s right to not discuss rape has taken precedence over women’s right not to be raped.” #comment   ·

How a global board games giant exploited Ireland’s Magdalene women
And I had more than one of these games in my childhood. We all did. And we didn’t know. Our parents didn’t even know. Because it was in the establishment’s interest that it was nothing for the people to be concerned with. #comment   ·


My Thumped reviews of Suburra and Elvis & Nixon
You’ll probably want to see a movie this weekend after all that happened today, but you don’t need to see the new Independence Day if you can help it. #screen   ·

I’m on the Kill List. This is what it feels like to be hunted by drones
This is Brazil come to reality, it really is. #comment   ·

Swallowing the Red Pill: a journey to the heart of modern misogyny
Don’t read this unless you’ve got a unicorn chaser at the ready, it’s depressing as all hell. #aux   ·


My Thumped review of Independence Day: Resurgence
Man, the critics round here really HATE this movie. I mean it’s not good, and it’s got serious issues, but it passes the time, and the 3D isn’t wasted for a change. #screen   ·


18 Quick Photoshop Tips for Beginners
All these years and I’m still a beginner at the aul’ PS. Filing this one under CPD. See also: Drawing Paths with the Pen tool in Photoshop (bit of a eureka moment, here). #aux   ·


My Thumped review of Gods of Egypt
Yep, it’s bad. But I’ve seen worse. #screen   ·

The dirty little secret that data journalists aren’t telling you
Like anything else in media, infoviz must be subject to scrutiny. And the more sophisticated, the more it needs a closer look, ‘cause everyone knows the trick about bar charts with a fudged x-axis, right? #media   ·

The dark side of Guardian comments
More infoviz here, this time graphing the prejudice against the Guardian’s female writers, besides the more controversial topics of ‘debate’, etc. #aux   ·

The Largest Ever Analysis of Film Dialogue by Gender: 2,000 scripts, 25,000 actors, 4 million lines
It confirms what was already known — that while males dominate Hollywood cinema — but the infographic breakdown makes tangible what’s too easy an abstract notion to ignore. #screen   ·


BLDGBLOG: Books Received
Haven’t been in the headspace for ideas this intersectional and transcendent for a long time, but this is worth linking for when I am. #words   ·

Night After Night to @midnight: An oral history of Comedy Central (Part 1)
Another great oral history from the AV Club, pretty much the only good thing they’ve got going lately (besides the wrestling commentary, but that’s only like a Raw review now and then). Still waiting for part 2 of this one, but I’m sure whenever it shows up (the writer’s working on it!) it’ll be a doozy. #aux   ·

Mark Duplass Tips to Handle the “This Is No Good” Voice and Get Your “Vomit Draft” Out
Good advice, here, for this perennial procrastinator. #words   ·


Which is the correct past tense of “spin”: “span” or “spun”?
Here’s one of those weird quirks of English that still get me. ‘Span’ sounds more natural to me than ‘spun’, and it’s funny that it was apparently the original form. #words   ·


My Thumped review of When Marnie Was There
It’s a Studio Ghibli film do I really don’t have to convince you, do I? (Apologies in advance for the mixed metaphors and other things I’d line-edit if I could. Writers: never sub your own stuff.) #screen   ·


The Panoply Academy 1996-2005
A short YouTube documentary on the avant Bloomington ensemble. #sound   ·

My Thumped review of Race
This Jesse Owens biopic picks up the pace towards the end, but stumbles at nearly every hurdle. #screen   ·


My Thumped review of Green Room
How did I forget to blog this? Top contender for movie of the year for me. #screen   ·


My Thumped review of X-Men: Apocalypse
Third-movie syndrome strikes the ‘First Class’ generation in a bumper-sized movie that’s all much ado about nothing. #screen   ·


My Thumped review of Knight of Cups
On Terrence Malick’s latest experimental drama. Plus a few words on Hank Williams biopic I Saw The Light. #screen   ·

My Thumped review of Friend Request
What an awful, awful film. It doesn’t even deserve the effort of an intro. #screen   ·


The Obama Doctrine
“For all of our warts, the United States has clearly been a force for good in the world. If you compare us to previous superpowers, we act less on the basis of naked self-interest, and have been interested in establishing norms that benefit everyone. If it is possible to do good at a bearable cost, to save lives, we will do it.” If only that were completely true, the ‘acting less on the basis of naked self-interest’ part: even a great power with great responsibility like the US never acts out of altruism; it always puts itself first. (Hence the alarmingly eager redirection towards drone-based interventionism.) But the quote demonstrates that Barack Obama is the most human president the US has had in years, and for all of his warts — and there are many — he is one of the most important. #comment   ·

Japan’s women wrestlers fight to win
High-brow re-acceptance of wrestling as an idiosyncratic art form takes its inevitable detour through the Japanese puroresu underground with this beautiful photo essay. #wrestling   ·

Don’t Teach Data Journalism Without Teaching Mobile-First Design
My old comrade Markham cuts to the chase: it’s not enough for infoviz/data journalism to be meaningful, it also has to be legible. #media   ·


The Reckoning: The Story of Claire Wilson
It’s desperately sad but revelatory, and refreshing to get this kind of deep-dive journalism from a casualty of tragedy, rather than the perpetrators often obsessed about. #aux   ·

Q Prime’s Burnstein And Mensch On Managing Metallica And Jimmy Page, Playing The Label Game, And Staying On Top For 33 Years
I’ll never get enough of these behind-the-music things. Also: so that’s who Louise Mench married. So why does she act such a blathering idiot on social media? #sound   ·

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