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Anthology: Ten Years of TQ – Rita Valencia

Writing an intro to a selection of your own essays is tough, so I'll deflect the problem by heaping praise on Nancy Cantwell for curating the Times Quotidian Journal. She's created a cultural playground of ideas and images that is unique and vibrant. I have never been a prose writer, so it was fun and challenging to talk about media. I had a couple of principles in creating these essays. The first was to write only about work to which I had a positive response and to report, muse, free associate. In that light, please know that the article about The Art of Killing, entitled Relax and Rolex, is mostly negative. However, in his follow-up film to The Art of Killing, The Look of Silence, Joshua Oppenheimer completely answered all the … [Read more...]

Homies on the Range

Revisiting the World of EASY RIDER –  I vividly remember paying not a shred of attention to Easy Rider in 1969. Whatever it was about, it wasn't Ours, but was pretending to be. The idea of re-presenting the present out from under Us was still too new. It was a given that Hollywood wouldn't, couldn't ever "get it", that the portrayals of sixties youth culture would always fall flat. People from the Hollywood establishment were untrustworthy observers: too old, too embedded in cliché and conventionalism for even the best of intentions to salvage them. This went for movie stars too, even "hip" ones like Dennis Hopper, who was, at  34, trying to play a 20-something in this film. Nobody with the wherewithal to mass market, on … [Read more...]