My Review of the Charlottesville Tryout of “A Few Good Men” 30 Years Ago

A librarian at the University of Virginia kindly scanned and emailed the review I wrote, as an undergraduate student journalist, of the pre-Broadway tryout of A Few Good Men, in September 1989. I was prepared to cringe, but I was actually kind of proud of the lead, which applies equally to the professional production now playing at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. The courtroom drama now playing at the Culbreth Theatre…

Scarecrow, Tin Man, Dorothy, and the Cowardly Lion approach Emerald City in this still from The Wizard of Oz

The Hidden Subversive Messages of [MGM’s Screen Adaptation of] The Wizard of Oz

When I tried teaching The Wizard of Oz in a literature class, I was a little frustrated with myself that I couldn’t bring the class discussion much farther than “how this book is different from the movie” and lists of one-to-one symbolism (“the yellow brick road represents the gold standard,” or  ‘the scarecrow represents agriculture, the tin man represents industry, and the cowardly lion represents the military”).  Part of my…

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In September 1999 I was blogging about

In September 1999, I was blogging about What makes a play worth seeing twice, according to Tom Stoppard The then-unrealistic expectations of voice-recognition software A critique of the “information wants to be free” mantra A Microsoft exec who predicted that digital publication would eclipse print publication within a decade How marketers are pushing your buttons with the help of technology and semiotic theory The storytelling genius and embedded racism of…

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Yellow Journalism Did Not Cause the Spanish-American War (Role of Sensationalized Headlines Often Exaggerated)

When a correspondent sent to Cuba to cover a possible war telegraphed that there would be no war and he wanted to come home, Newspaper mogul Willam Randolph Hearst is said to have replied, “Please remain. You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.”   It’s a story I remember learning in middle school.   But there’s no contemporary evidence of this exchange, which would never have been permitted by…