My new article for September is up on The Cultural Gutter. The Sci-Fi Life is my “getting to know you” piece, discussing why I think “gutter culture” matters and how […]
It must have been daunting to assume the mantle of keeper of the James Bond novels, something Amis eventually did under the pen name Robert Markham — somewhat pointlessly. Everyone knew he was the author, and his name often appeared on the covers alongside the Robert Markham pseudonym.
If Bond films were the epitome of cool, then The Silencers were their leering lounge lizard cousin. Everything is cheaper and cruder. Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in Dr. No became an iconic image of sophisticated sex appeal. The Silencers is like a high schooler drawing pictures of naked ladies on the bathroom wall.
It’s possible that Martin could have handled a more serious script. He’d recently proven himself quite capable of a powerful dramatic turn, both as the drunken deputy in Rio Lobo and again alongside Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift in The Young Lions. But everyone, including Dean himself, figured no one wanted to see a dark and violent turn from the popular entertainer.
“I was taking a martini across the room…” If that line, the first sentence in the first Matt Helm novel by Donald Hamilton, had been the only sentence in the book, then there would have been very little stylistic conflict between the Matt Helm of the books and the incarnation of the character that eventually fond its way onto movie screens.
When the only country in the world that has had atomic bombs dropped on it puts a mushroom cloud in a movies, it tends to have more resonance than when, say, the Italians do it. When the Italians set off an atomic bomb, it heralds the arrival of post-apocalyptic, dune buggy-driving leather aficionados. When Japan does it, however, it is something heavier.
Another frolic afield! This time I’m over on Alcohol Professor again, writing about the history of Brooklyn Brewery and the New York Distilling Company, two Brooklyn-local efforts sharing a common founder. Will whiskey be sampled after the tours? Sadly, not yet. But beer and gin? They’ve got that covered.
When I was high on Ongaku Otaku and Hijokaidan and CCCC, I decided to record my own experimental noise album. I had no real musical equipment, talent, or skill, but what I did have was a clunky 386 computer with some of DOS-based recording software, a bunch of old electronics, and a lot of VHS tapes.
Another Frolic Afield! I’m back on Alcohol Professor, discussing the cocktails at the recently opened East Village bar Boulton and Watt.
DC offers plenty for the curious young man or woman who has had their temporary fill of the buildings lining the National Mall. Below are four of my favorite slightly more niche museums. I would not call them off-the-beaten path — the International Spy Museum, in particular, is a heavily trafficked destination. But they are four museums that offer up a slightly different experience.