Posted inNews & Politics

Bad Analogy

To the editor: Your reviewer Noah Berlatsky [“Wishful History,” February 18] offers a comparison of abolitionists and pro-lifers as if this were a fresh insight on his part and not a tired cliche (a Google search of “abolition” and “abortion” will get you just under 100,000 hits). As banal as the analogy is, it doesn’t […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Germaine Acogny

Dancer Germaine Acogny takes her time in Sophiatou Kossoko’s hour-long solo Tchourai, the piece she’s performing to open the AfroContempo Festival. But the movement isn’t slow in the way that Eiko & Koma’s butoh-influenced works are. Instead of moving glacially, almost imperceptibly, Acogny often just sits, perhaps smoking a pipe, or lies curled, then explodes […]

Posted inNews & Politics

News of the Weird

Lead Story According to a January article in the Bangkok newspaper the Nation, handlers at a tourist park in Chiang Mai, Thailand, have toilet-trained two of the seven elephants living there. Accompanying photos showed a five-year-old male elephant sitting on a giant white concrete toilet, then flushing. Our Animal Friends, Continued A nongovernmental program in […]

Posted inArts & Culture


Oscar Wilde’s 1893 drama about the stepdaughter of Herod and her fatal attraction to John the Baptist (called “Jokanaan” in the play) may not be the best thing Wilde ever wrote, but it is the most unfettered: the master of English drawing-room comedies created his most idiosyncratic play in Salome, its perfumed poetry teeming with […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Paths of Glory

The 1957 film that established Stanley Kubrick’s reputation, adapted by Kubrick, Calder Willingham, and Jim Thompson from Humphrey Cobb’s novel about French soldiers being tried for cowardice during World War I. Corrosively antiwar in its treatment of the corruption and incompetence of military commanders, it’s far from pacifist in spirit, and Kirk Douglas’s strong and […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

One of my best friends was recently diagnosed with HIV. Since college he’s been on an unending sex conquest, hooking up with countless guys he meets online to engage in risky activities. My concern is that he doesn’t seem fazed by his HIV diagnosis and says he has no intention of giving up his online […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Birdpeople

Like most well-made documentaries, this 2004 film presents its subject from a variety of angles: birders in New York’s Central Park together with telephoto close-ups of their quarry, stuffed birds seen alone and in museum dioramas, a search for the presumedly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, an affecting text about a woodpecker’s nearly successful attempt at pecking […]