I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by Nathaniel Hoyt
May 24, 2016

Back when I was a recent transplant from the deep suburbs to Boston, I worked at a Trader Joe's. While working there I wore a stupid shirt, tried not to cut yuppies with the box-cutters, and generally despised everything about the place. However, I did become friends with some charming weirdos who, like me, got a job there thinking it'd be a bunch of misfit freaks like ourselves. We were partly right: there were a lot of freaks, but behind all the team cheer and tacky Hawaiian shirts stood a rigid corporate infrastructure (of course), managed by ex-military drill sergeants, and overlorded by a remote dynasty of German billionaires, whatever hope we harbored that this was different from any other for-profit business was steadily abandoned. Not that there was any great hope to begin with, merely a passing wish that maybe there existed a part-time job requiring no experience that wasn't indentured slavery to a run-of-the-mill evil corporation.

The disillusionment brought us together. I befriended a tall, Nordic-looking neurotic named Mike. One day Mike picked me up after our shifts were over, saying we were going to see this crazy band called Psychic TV. I'd never heard of them, and from Mike's description I was having a hard time understanding what it was I was going to see. That's the first time I'd heard the name Genesis P-Orridge – a name I still find hilarious, and place in the hallowed pantheon of great adopted punk names like Jello Biafra and Lux Interior. My interest was downright piqued...

Nathaniel Hoyt is an inconceivably complex system of sentient organic materials dedicated to eating poorly and playing video games frequently. He has a Tumblr account that he doesn't quite know how to use, which you can view at dedolence.tumblr.com, although admittedly there's probably better ways to waste company time. As a do-er of many things, feel free to seek Nathaniel out if you have any things that need doing, like bicycle fixing, coffee making, artwork drawing, or opinion giving. END COMMUNICATION.

by Thomas Michalski
May 22, 2016
Usually, when a movie is adapted from a piece of literature, it’s kind of a one way street; you have the inspiration and subsequently the thing it inspired. Readers can debate a film’s faithfulness to either the letter or spirit of its source material, but that’s because they have this concrete, unchanging thing to compare it to, the author’s original, unadulterated vision. In certain rare exceptions though, what ends up on the screen has an impact on what subsequently ends up (or doesn’t end up) on the page, as with 2001: A Space Odyssey, which developed as both a novel and a film more or less simultaneously, or Harlan Ellison’s Nebula Award-winning short story “A Boy and His Dog”which, before L.Q. Jones still-controversial 1976 film version, was meant to take on a very different, much larger form, one that has since been realized in pieces, but never completely...
Thomas Michalski is a writer and radio host from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can keep up with his comings and goings over at http://www.voodooinspector.com/

by Kristen Vagliardo
May 21, 2016
Being an anthropomorphizer to the nth degree, I firmly believe that animals talk to each other – not just about where one can find food or shelter, but things like, “How’s yer day?” “What’s up with Muffy’s fur?” “Dude, you got any more of that fermented grain?” etc. So of course I am enraptured with Tales of the Riverbank. In this gem of a children’s show, Saturday morning early-risers were allowed an exclusive look into the daily lives of Hammy Hamster, G.P. Guinea Pig, Roderick the Water Rat and the other woodland creatures. Kids laughed and sighed as they enjoyed the triumphs and endured the trials life on the riverbank. Our Riverbank friends fit firmly into the groundwork laid by Mr. Ed vis à vis talking animals, but this time the action is decidedly human-free. I can only imagine the herds of animal lovers who answered the riverbank’s call of the wild on Saturday mornings. Hammy taught several generations of children that small creatures had a lot to say and that perhaps we all have a lot to learn from those who see from a different vantage point...


Kristen Vagliardo is a Central Square girl who works at a museum and used to write lots of incredibly boring papers on obscure topics. She enjoys the Egyptian Revival, refusing to buy music from itunes (thus filling her apartment with needless CD detritus) and quoting from eighties movies that no one else recognizes. You can find her on Twitter at vagliard.

by Joe DeMartino
May 18, 2016


Breezy, released in 1973, is Eastwood’s third film as director. It’s a testament to his burgeoning skill in the medium that he’s able to take the story of a middle-aged real estate agent who falls in love with a woman much younger than himself and have it not seem all that creepy. It’s helped dramatically by a script that treats the two main characters with a certain amount of respect. Their situation is odd but their motivations aren’t, and Eastwood makes them feel like actual human beings. In an era where the term “exploitation” came to mean a genre rather than a crime, Breezy seems to be anything but exploitative.

Romantic movies are only ever as good as their paired leads. The original plan for Breezy was to have Eastwood as Frank Harmon, the main male character played as a wounded Casanova by William Holden. Eastwood has obvious chops as an actor, but I’m not sure that...


Joe DeMartino is a Connecticut-based writer who grew up wanting to be Ted Williams, but you would not BELIEVE how hard it is to hit a baseball, so he gave that up because he writes words OK. He talks about exploding suns, video games, karaoke, and other cool shit at his blog. He can be emailed at jddemartino@gmail.com and tweeted at @thetoycannon. He writes about sports elsewhere. The sports sells better.

by Kollin Holtz
May 18, 2016
Grace Jones is a Jamaican born (May 1948), New York raised (1962) model, actress and most notably, a Grammy nominated Disco pop star turned new wave/R&B artist at the peak of anti-disco sentiment. Her Androgynous style landed her on the covers of Elle, and Vogue magazine inspiring the aesthetic of many female pop stars to come. Her fashion sense and style is a rebellion against the status-quo regarding gender rolls, and what a woman’s “place” is. Through her music, clothing and attitude, she most certainly is the rebellious epitomic representation of the Pastor’s child that she claims to be...
Kollin Holtz is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker living in a closet under the stairs in San Francisco, CA. Check out his website,www.kollinholtz.com for updates on his shows, and his podcast “Closet Talk With Kollin Holtz.” You may also follow him on twitter @KollinHoltz if ya fancy.