Monthly Archives: December 2013

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An Open Letter to LARB Supporters from William Giraldi

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IN AN INSPIRED ESSAY on Baudelaire, the great critic James Huneker made an assertion I’ve never succeeded in shaking free, even when I’ve felt most unworthy of its substance: when literature is done well, Huneker said, when it is executed with the torque and pitch of true art, “there is no mental toil comparable to […]

The China Blog restless

Another Dozen China Gift Book Ideas (This Time to Buy for Yourself)

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I recently joined with three other “China Blog” contributors to compile a list of 12 gift suggestions for readers seeking books to give China-savvy or China-curious friends and family members.  This is a sequel inspired in part by how tough I found it to limit myself to just the trio of titles we were each […]


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АИЛD ЛАNГ ЅYNЄ

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An evening, sometime in the near future… Simon Critchley KADASHEVSKAYA HOTEL 26 Kadashevskaya nab. 115035 Moscow January 1st, 2019 I guess we could all have seen it coming a few years back. Things really started to get worse around the end of 2013 and then dragged on into the long, cold winter months. That whole […]


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Dear Television, End of Year Favorites

Best Television GIFS of 2013

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Phil: Mad Men  I WON’T BELABOR this, because DearTV covered it at length in the spring, but this was a weird year for Mad Men. And I mean “weird” in both the colloquial and literal senses. Andy Greenwald — and, I’m sure, plenty of other people — have noted that one of the unsung defining […]


Uncategorized Cole and Lucky Gus

Ambassador of Love

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By Victoria Patterson My brother and I grew up in a family prone to tragic holidays, but now with families of our own and growing kids, we’re trying our best to change the course.  “No drama,” my brother said, in our pre-Christmas Day strategy phone conversation.  “No more drama in our lives,” I agreed, quoting […]


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Dear Television, End of Year Favorites lauradern

Year-End Free Skate: Best Endings, Worst Ending, Best Episode

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PHIL: Best Episode Ending (Also, Best Musical Cue, Best Shocking Violence) Game of Thrones S3.E3 Spoilers, okay? I DON’T KNOW if it’s because it’s one of the only shows I watched weekly with a group of friends this year, but, while it’s by no means the best show I saw in 2013 or even necessarily my […]

The China Blog Tourists taking pictures of a projected mermaid image in one of Macao’s luxury entertainment and consumption hubs.

Casino Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics

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By Tong Lam Macao has long been known as the “Las Vegas of the East” and the “Monte Carlo of the Orient,” but ironically its reputation as a center of capitalist excess only really took off after it was reintegrated into a still-nominally Communist China as a Special Administrative Region. This happened in 1999 and […]


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Dear Television, End of Year Favorites Poussey

The Year in Television: Favorite Performance

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Phil: KRISTEN SCHAAL as LOUISE in BOB’S BURGERS SO, HERE BEGINS our round-robin discussion of the year in television. Today we do favorite performances. I shall begin with a grandiose statement undercut with a qualification: This year was a phenomenally good year, I think the think-piece generators of the world have agreed, for women on TV. […]


20 Minutes into the Future BadRobot

Who would win in a fight between Bad Robot and Mutant Enemy?

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THERE IS NO QUESTION that two of the dominant forces in genre television right now are J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon. Abrams’s Bad Robot company logo lies behind many of the science fiction programs currently on the air, including Revolution, Person of Interest, and Almost Human. Abrams himself is associated with the celebrated series Lost […]

The China Blog 00_d_cover_yearbook1

Our Favorite Things

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Before becoming part of the LARB’s “China Blog” team (indeed, before that publication even began), several of the people who have been writing for it were deeply involved in “The China Beat,” a digital publication based at UC Irvine that ran from 2008 to 2012 and was edited first by Kate Merkel-Hess and then by […]