Ash Consults the Necronomicon

Ash Consults the Necronomicon

What dark secrets does your future hold?

Ashley Wells, the movie critic behind The Boomstick Film Club, looks deep into her evil book in search of your new favorite movie.

Write the names of the last 3 movies you loved in the comments section, and Ash will consult her necronomicon and give you a personalized recommendation for what to watch next.

Klaatu barada nikto!


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America This is Quite Serious: “Fear” by Marilynne Robinson

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The massacre of 49 people in Orlando this weekend has, once again, raised enormous questions about the current state of American life.

Photograph by Paolo Pellegrin.

This incident, more than most others perhaps, stirs discussion. Not just because it is an election year, but also because of the many existing debates into which it painfully intrudes. Rather than the usual exasperations about the great need or the totaly futility of gun control, we are also debating the shooter’s supposed faith and affiliations with ISIS; his attack on the LGBT community when he himself might have also been gay; and how we should react in our politics, our policy, or for our own protection.

Almost all of these come back to one thing: Fear. The shooter’s, and our own.

In 2015, Marilynne Robinson wrote about this fear. As usual, she speaks from the perspective of a Christian. But — also as usual — you don’t need to share her faith to make sense of what she believes. She also speaks as an American, someone who loves her country and is a student of our long and complex history.

I have read this article at least five times since it was first published. Sadly, I often have reason to pull it up after hearing about another senseless mass murder with a firearm. I am sorry to say that I found it useful again this week.

America, this is quite serious, which is why “Fear” by Marilynne Robinson is worth a read.

Read more from our election year series “America This is Quite Serious.”

-Michael Moats

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Knowledge Porn

The Last Samurai

Over at The Millions, our very own Brian Hurley writes about Helen DeWitt’s The Last Samurai and novels that “perpetuate a seductive fantasy about the nature of intelligence.”

Read that thing.

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Non-Fiction by Non-Men: Lily Brooks-Dalton

Lily Brooks-Dalton

Lily Brooks-Dalton is the author of Motorcycles I’ve Loved: A Memoir (Riverhead Books, 2015), which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. In addition to her memoir, Brooks-Dalton has written for The Toast, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. Her debut novel, Good Morning, Midnight, will be published by Random House on August 9, 2016.

E.B. Bartels: How did you begin writing nonfiction?

Lily Brooks-Dalton: I’m not sure it was a conscious choice for me. I’ve always thought of myself as a fiction writer, but when I started riding motorcycles and then thinking about my mother’s motorcycle stories, I felt suddenly inspired to write about those things. My experiences with riding motorcycles and studying physics and just generally dealing with my family started clicking into place for me as a writer. The ideas were sliding together in this way that demanded my attention. Continue reading

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Did You Hear? Under Pressure

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New music! Sometimes old music. Music that we love!

As part of our series “America This is Quite Serious,” a song with some good things to remember in days like these:

…Why can’t we give love that one more chance?
Why can’t we give love give love give love give love
Give love give love give love give love give love
‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the (People on streets) edge of the night
And loves (People on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves…

Plus, just a really goddam great song.

-Michael Moats

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America This is Quite Serious

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Politics sucks.

This is the most casually stated and deeply tragic declaration of our time. It is, ironically, the one thing we all agree on, aside from the charms of Chewbacca Mom.

I realize that “politics sucks” is a strange thing to say less than 48 hours after politics brought us our first female candidate for the presidency. Regardless of your thoughts about who should win this thing, that’s history and it’s inspiring. But by now it’s a dying ember in the cold and dark. Look at how quickly politics started to suck again: Donald Trump apparently made a pee-pee joke the night Clinton declared victory. Thomas Frank is already snarling about the cynicism of anyone who’s happy Hillary won. Bernie’s deeply passionate supporters barely had time — seriously, like half an hour — to deal with the finality of a heartbreaking loss before Politico started rubbing salt in the wounds. The Facebook flame wars are all back up and running on my timeline. How about yours?  Continue reading

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