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Sunday, February 19, 2017, 6:03 a.m.


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Philip Martin

Stories by Philip

Critical Mass: Finding brilliance in Beavis and Butt-Head

posted: 02/19/2017 2:03 a.m. Discuss

About 30 years ago, an academic named Allan Bloom wandered out of Chicago's South Side muttering something about "the closing of the American mind." He wrote a book with that title that became an unlikely best-seller -- one of those books that a lot of us buy but few of us read -- that was met with polarized reviews. His premise was that American culture was contemptible; that the students he encountered every day as a professor were not only ignorant but -- through years of exposure to vulgar sensations, chief among them rock music -- had been desensitized to beauty.

OPINION: We have some questions

posted: 02/19/2017 1:52 a.m. Discuss

Stephen Miller's ominous-sounding imperative notwithstanding, I have some questions for this president.

Columnist: PHILIP MARTIN: Lincoln's better words

posted: 02/14/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 2

Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except Negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.

On Books: Emmett Till saga retold in book's painful details

posted: 02/12/2017 2 a.m. Discuss

'Twas down in Mississippi not so long ago,

Columnists: Checking in with the Dictator in Exile

posted: 02/12/2017 1:47 a.m. Comments 2

The Dictator in Exile wears no socks.

Commentary: PHILIP MARTIN: Who wants a dictator?

posted: 02/07/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 18

Come on, some of you do. Some of you, the ones who want the press (what you call "the media") to leave our president alone, who want Congress and the courts to get out of his way, to give him a chance, that's exactly what you want.

Critical Mass: Race for the Oscars

posted: 02/05/2017 2:15 a.m. Discuss

The Oscars are not so white this year.

There's so much we don't know about football

posted: 02/05/2017 1:50 a.m. Discuss

Like almost everyone else, I'll probably watch the Super Bowl today.

De Niro Delightful

posted: 02/03/2017 1:50 a.m. Discuss

There is reason to rejoice; Robert De Niro has a role worthy of his talents.

On Film: Kramer, the director Who Came to Dinner

posted: 02/03/2017 1:46 a.m. Discuss

On Feb. 7, the 50th anniversary Blu-ray edition of Stanley Kramer's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner will be released. Sony sent me an advance copy.

Columnists: PHILIP MARTIN: No time to shut up

posted: 01/31/2017 4:30 a.m. Comments 14

"The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while."

Critical Mass: Art reflects life, but who notices?

posted: 01/29/2017 2:09 a.m. Discuss

"You know what the public's really like; they're a cage full of guinea pigs. I could feed them dog food and they'll think it's steak. Good night, you stupid idiots."

Wondering what to do next

posted: 01/29/2017 2:06 a.m. Comments 2

If you are wondering what to do next, start with something blank: a clean white sheet of paper or a fresh browser window. Or a stretched canvas. Or the fraught still air of a quiet moment.

ON FILM: For critic, awards are lots of la, la, la

posted: 01/27/2017 4:30 a.m. Discuss

My favorite description of La La Land, which this week tied the all-time record for most Oscar nominations for a single film, comes from writer-director Mark Thiedeman, who called it "a film about how hard it is to not be famous yet."

Commentary: PHILIP MARTIN: Don't credit the king's fancies

posted: 01/24/2017 5:45 a.m. Comments 5

To believe in democracy, you must believe that, given enough accurate information, the majority of the people will in the long run do the right thing.






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