Region: Knoxville

What Are We Talking About?

I got the sense that this guy was accustomed to being the most knowledgeable (or at least the loudest) guy in the room, so I was content to let him talk until he ran out of steam, hoping all the while that Joanna would wander back in our direction or that a meteor would destroy the apartment complex across the street. Anything that would give us an excuse to change the subject.

Jul 5, 2005
Category: Film

Notes on “Sonny’s Blues”

Like a soloist, Baldwin introduces an idea, a phrase, then he explores it, explodes it, develops it until he finds something new, something more precise or melodic. Baldwin accomplishes in his story what Sonny accomplishes in that jazz club. And, really, isn’t this just the most beautiful “vanishing evocation” (as the narrator describes music) of what art is capable of doing?

Mar 17, 2005
Category: Words

Some Kind of Perspective

And then one of my Mexican students reminded us of the 1968 Olympics that were held in Mexico City, where only ten days before the games opened 267 students were gunned down and more than 1,000 were wounded during a protest at the Plaza of Three Cultures. And then two of my South Korean students told us of their government’s secret decision to send troops to Vietnam despite the public’s protest against such a move. And then one of my Chinese students, a remarkable young woman who exudes joy like no one I’ve ever known, said, “Yes. The same in China. During the Cultural Revolution.”

Nov 5, 2004
Category: Debris, Politics

Shut Up and Listen

So, imagine that Ira Kaplan invites you over to his apartment one night for some music and political debate.

Oct 7, 2004
Category: Music

Medium Rare

Jack Neely, everyone’s favorite chronicler of life in Knoxville, has a nice piece in this week’s issue of the Metro Pulse about his recent efforts to sell some old books. It’s a great glimpse into the lives of book lovers and the dealers who support their habits, with nary a mention of Borders or Barnes and Nobles in sight.

Jun 14, 2004
Category: Words

Talkin’ About Movies

Last night I delivered the following talk at the 2004 NEXUS Interdisciplinary Symposium: Reconstructing Theory and Value.

Apr 2, 2004
Category: Essays, Film

If You Build It

The Metro Pulse features a short article this week about the need for a new and much larger library in downtown Knoxville. The unfolding of this project should prove interesting, as it will essentially ask city and county taxpayers how much they “value” the library. The elected decision-makers are already eyeing the $60 million facility recently completed in Nashville, which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.

Mar 19, 2004
Category: Debris

A Note from Knoxville

Newsday posted a fun article yesterday about the University of Tennessee’s Anthropology Research Facility. Of course, the word “fun” is totally relative when you’re talking about a two-acre plot of land where donated bodies decompose under the close scrutiny of forensic anthropologists.

Nov 25, 2003
Category: Debris

Ghosts, Goblins, etc.

Halloween is the highest of the holy days in Long Pauses land. My wife spends months planning her costume — this year she was Galadriel, I was Harold (from Harold and Maude).

Nov 3, 2003
Category: Debris

Survival Saturday

College football is the only sport capable of raising my heart rate these days.

Nov 2, 2003
Category: Debris