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Anthology: Ten Years of TQ – Guy Zimmerman

At a time when progressives are afflicted with incrementalist ideas and a sense of retreat and resignation, I wrote these essays to promote the idea of radical transformation. By grounding this work in the personal, I wanted my own limitations, biases and presuppositions to be as clear as possible. What links these essays is the idea that the normal operations of the self are inadequate to the vivid complexity of experience, and entail suffering for all involved. Engaging with the work of artists, theatre-makers, film directors, writers, musicians and philosophers, I make the case that and that the social world urgently needs to be re-made. In my view, the artists and thinkers I write about — Marcel Duchamp, Samuel … [Read more...]

Of Fargo, Dopamine and the Image of Nectar

New Pathways in the Brain — Plum tuckered-out after completing a writing project based on money and tragic drama, I sunk back last month into a week of binge-watching Fargo and found there, after nearly twenty hours of viewing...money. I’m talking about the scene in the last episode of Season 2 (Palindrome, by Noah Hawley) in which Mike Milligan, the enforcer of the Kansas City mob (played by an excellent Bokeem Woodbine), is rewarded for his aptitude for murder and mayhem by his boss (Adam Arkin) with, essentially, an office cubicle. No more gun battles in motel parking lots. No more bloodletting with the edge of a knife after errant sexcapades with nubile gangster babes. “There's only one business left in the world” says Arkin’s … [Read more...]

In the Palm of the Hand

Cormac McCarthy’s Killing Machines — A friend tells me about the formatting - how with his script for The Counselor, the novelist Cormac McCarthy isn't even bothering with standard screenplay conventions anymore. Obtaining a copy I see that, sure enough, McCarthy has stripped away all the awkward visual notations that make screenplays so tedious to read. He opts instead for a minimalist layout, with a central column for dialogue, and block-like paragraphs for scene descriptions delivered with a minimum of camera notation. On the page the script looks almost like a Doric column - stark and Classical – which is appropriate given the tale’s astringent stoicism. The Counselor is also perhaps the first screenplay written about a new device … [Read more...]