Praise for a Conservative Manifesto : THE FRONT PAGE ONLINE

Are pigs flying? Has the sky fallen? Is this a sign of the apocalypse? It must be, because this week's column is all about...


film review: inglourious basterds

I'm sorry, but Quentin Tarantino isn't wearing any clothes.

Entertainment: * (out of two, and mostly for Christoph Waltz' performance)
Craft: * (out of two)

Note: In anticipation of the Oscars, the following is a review of a best picture nominee missed during its original theatrical run.


secret hospital - part 7

The Ladder – An experimental web-only fiction series that spans multiple story lines and characters…Tune in on Wednesdays for a new installment.


Eyes only. Handle via CATA-9 channels only.

Wonderland – Red Cell 1
Dr. Harriman Seldon Poole
Patient code-named Red Queen
07/17/09 9:33 am

Dr. P: Tell me about school.

RQ: School?

Dr. P: Yes, when you were, say, a teen. I understand you went to a high school in New York?

RQ: Yes...( 3 second delay)

Dr. P: Something wrong?

RQ: Dr. Forrester never asked me about school.

Dr. P: Didn't he? What did he ask about?

RQ: He wanted to know about my childhood.

Dr. P: Do you want to talk about that?

RQ: No!

Dr. P: Then why don't you tell me about school?

RQ: I don't know.

Dr. P: Did you get along with the other children?

RQ: (4 second delay) I guess.

Dr. P:I think you had a hard time adjusting. A Palestinian girl. (2 second delay) The Jewish kids didn't like you, did they?

RQ: You went to school to get insight like that?

Dr. P: You're not giving me much to work with. But you're right, I'm not exerting myself. But I think there's more to it. Your teachers were kind to you, yes? Students, well, children can be the cruelest of all. One reason why my wife and I have a dog instead of children. In any case, I would be surprised if nothing happened.

RQ: Nothing happened.

Dr. P: No?

RQ: No.

Dr. P: When I was in school, I always buried my head in a book. Naturally, I got picked on. Then I found a place to hide during recess, which didn't help me get out of my shell. My parents, of course, were worried that I'd become some stunted fellow with no social skills. But by the end of my first year in college, I'd gotten over it. There was nothing really, to my childhood. But you see, I wasn't...

RQ: Special? That's a word Dr. Forrester used. He used it a lot. I hate that word. Special.

Dr. P: I was going to say I wasn't looking to stand out. But it's interesting you brought up the word special. You don't think you're special? Do you remember what I told earlier?

RQ: I...( 5 second delay)

Dr. P: There was an incident at school.

RQ: Don't want to talk about it.

Dr. P: According to the reports

RQ: Don't want to talk about it!

Dr. P :A young boy by the name of Timothy Palin called you a...

RQ: Shut up! Shut up!

Dr. P: A filthy arab.

RQ: No...

Dr. P: A filthy arab, it said in the report.

RQ: Shut up...

Dr. P: And you pushed him.

RQ: Please, I don't want to...

Dr. P: You do know why you're in here, right?

RQ: What?

Dr. P: Why you're in here? These walls, I'm told, are the only things capable of keeping you in.

RQ: I...(2 second delay) What?

Dr. P: I don't think that's true. But back to Timothy. You pushed him. A small tap, really.

RQ: No, please.

Dr. P: You broke his collarbone.

RQ: No. Yes.

Dr. P: It was just a tap.

RQ: Just a tap. I didn't mean to.

Dr. P: They believe these walls can keep you in. In fact, that's what they want you to believe.

RQ: Want me to...believe?

Dr. P: That's right. What can I do to earn your trust? Are you ready to fall into my arms? That little trust-building exercise?

RQ: I...I'm confused.

Dr. P: I know. I'm sorry. But sometimes one has to cut the skin to reach the heart. You broke Timothy's collarbone, and then the kids really hated you. The hate that comes from fear.

RQ: I don't want to talk anymore. Go away. Go away!

Dr. P: All right. We'll take a break. Can I bring you anything when I return? Sweets, perhaps?

RQ: No.

Dr. P: As you like.

RQ: Wait...

Dr. P: Yes?

RQ: Gummi bears.

Dr. P: Gummi bears?

RQ: I like gummi bears.


film review: valentine’s day

Entertainment: * (out of two)
Craft: * (out of two)


the ladder - episode index

The Ladder – An experimental web-only fiction series that spans multiple story lines and characters. New episodes post every Wednesday, time permitting. The following is an episode index

Secret Hospital
In a secret psychiatric hospital beneath a legendary military facility, the patient code-named Red Queen lies haunted and broken. But why is she locked up in the nation's most heavily secured cell? What

Vlad and Eriq have set themselves an impossible task - create a Superman better than Superman. The reward - a deal with a major comics publisher - could make their reputation. If they can pull it off, and that's far from certain as family tragedy hits and time runs out...

Synapse City
A heroic trio search a corrupted city for a missing scientist...what was Dr. Lumen working on and why are people willing to kill for it?

TFPO column: When Money Isn’t Honey: Lessons From Vegas : THE FRONT PAGE ONLINE

Apologies (again) for not being consistent with updates. With everything going on, this blog tends to get de-prioritized. But I'm working on being more timely with regular updates on Monday (TFPO column) and Friday (film reviews) as well as regular installments of The Ladder on Wednesdays.

On to this week's column:


TFPO column: the fur may now be faux, but so is johnny weir’s conscience

This week's column at TFPO is all about figure skater Johnny Weir's outrageous love of real fur and a kerfuffle you may have read about.

Also, more commentary on the topic over at The Fashionoclast.


film review: the imaginarium of doctor parnassus

Terry Gilliam's latest has a lot going for it, notably a Pythonesque sense of humour. There is certainly more than the unfortunate Heath Ledger's death. Unfortunately, it doesn't quit gel as a story in which we can become fully invested in the characters' lives.

Entertainment: * (out of two)
Craft: ** (out of two)

And the review at TFPO:

A Mirror Wonderland