Monthly Archives: November 2013

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Thanks for the Memories, Dhaka: Selected Notes From the Hay Festival, Bangladesh

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by C.P. Heiser A few weeks ago I found myself in Bangladesh for the Hay Festival.  I was visiting the capital Dhaka at the invitation of our friends at Bengal Lights, a literary journal and book publisher affiliated with the University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh. In the typical Western imagination, a literary festival is not […]


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Writing about China and Eponymous Adjectives

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By Paul French In the wake of new Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s “Third Plenum” — the first policy-focused general meeting he’s presided over since being anointed a year ago — the term “Orwellian” is once again getting a work-out.* It’s long been and remains a great favorite among China writers: the Great Firewall is Orwellian, […]


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Saturday Night Live’s Alumni Problem

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Dear TV, WE’RE TALKING SNL this week, and I’m … excited. Which isn’t a feeling I’ve gotten from SNL in quite awhile. I wasn’t even aware of how much my enthusiasm for the show had waned until I legitimately guffawed at Noël Wells’s Hannah Horvath and Kate McKinnon’s Jessa in the Girls sketch during Tina […]


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Good, Giving, and Game: Towards a Theory of SNL Hosting

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Dear Television, WHEN PHIL FIRST emailed to ask if we wanted to cover this week’s Saturday Night Live, he was not optimistic: “It’s a new one, but it’s with WhoGivesAShitJoshHutcherson.” (It was also with HAIM, whose employment of “bass face” merits a column unto itself.) But people do care about Josh Hutcherson — the Youngs […]

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Robot Revolutions: “Almost Human”

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THE LAST OF THIS YEAR’S new science fiction programs, Fox’s Almost Human, debuted this week, a co-creation of J.H. Wyman and J.J. Abrams, who seems to have his hand in most things science fictional these days. Wyman and Abrams first teamed up for Fringe, a reinvention of The X-Files with less government conspiracy theory and more of […]


Uncategorized West Park Asylum, Epsom, Surrey, United Kingdom. © Bradley Garrett

Life Hacks and the Undead: On Urban Exploration, “The Walking Dead” and “Revolution”

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By Brigette Brown A deserted prison sits in the middle of an open field, fenced in with gates several feet high, and topped with barbed wire for good measure. Padlocks keep possible trespassers from opening the gates but they don’t keep them from climbing the fences and dropping down on the other side. Infiltration is […]

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In Praise of Quitting

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Dear Television, I’VE QUIT ONE JOB, I’ve quit two sports, I quit one (very ill-advised) diet. I finish all my books and once I start an article, I can’t stop reading it. But I quit television shows all the time — and more to this week’s point, I quit Homeland before Season Three even started. […]


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Gene Luen Yang on Relying on Stories, Creating Boxers & Saints

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By Angilee Shah It’s not that the concept of Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints is complex: two volumes tell the story of the Boxer Rebellion from two perspectives. But within this simple structure, Yang’s graphic novels build a compelling story around a war of identity, set 100 years ago in China. It combines mysticism […]


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Trust Fumes: Staying With Homeland

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SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ALL SORTS OF STUFF… Dear Television, THIS WEEK, AHP and I will be talking about the virtues and drawbacks of sticking with series that go off the rails. Loosely, I’ll be advocating the position of The Stayer, while AHP will advocate that of The Ditcher tomorrow. But first, a memory: I will […]


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The UC System Is Failing Its Graduate Students

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By Maura Elizabeth Cunningham I have enjoyed the best experience one could possibly hope for while getting a PhD. I feel a little bit guilty for saying that, knowing that it’s a rarity for graduate school to go so well, but the past five and a half years have been relatively smooth ones for me. […]


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