Category: Crit

Examination, analysis, appreciation.

Words to Bring Back: “Meme”

– Definition: n. an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. – Used in a sentence: Charles MacKay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is perhaps the Western World’s first serious…

My reason for writing stories is to give myself the satisfaction of visualising more clearly and detailedly and stably the vague, elusive, fragmentary impressions of wonder, beauty, and adventurous expectancy which are conveyed to me by certain sights (scenic, architectural, atmospheric, etc.), ideas, occurrences, and images encountered in art and literature.
— H.P. Lovecraft, “Notes on Writing Weird Fiction”

BEING A NERD ISN’T ABOUT the things you love — it’s about the way you love them.”
— Wil Wheaton

Fixing a Hole

RECENTLY, I RECEIVED SOME SPAM from Chosen People Ministries (one flavor of the Jews-for-Jesus-ers). When their website’s response-form asked why I wanted to unsubscribe from future mailings, I wrote, “Exodus 20:3; 1 Kings 18:21. Go play with someone else.” They…

The Torah Guides’ Torah Guides

THE TORAH CAN BE A great read — inspiring, comforting, uplifting, provocative — but without the explanatory input of generations of commentators, it can also be a bit daunting. Fortunately, Jewish tradition has portioned this essential text into weekly bites…

Disposathon!

SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE: IT IS easier to get rid of everything in one big purge than a few things in a bunch of smaller ones. The time: June 1985. Hopped-up on Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and The Dharma Bums,…

Fandom as Cargo Cult

IF WE BUILD IT, THEY will come — again. First, you need to know what a “cargo cult” is: a folk religion among some groups of Melanesian Islanders who believed that they could attract cargo-carrying airplanes by engaging in sympathetic…