Retroview
When the Monsters Come Due

Sixty years later, the most portentous episode of The Twilight Zone resonates for its chilling study of paranoia and mob psychology.

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Last Dance
Odysseus on the Basketball Court

ESPN’s stylish new Michael Jordan series is more than a basketball documentary—and it leaves its cinematic competition in the dust.

Dustjacket image via Erik Ayen on Twitter
A Literary Centennial
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Paradise Lost

In 1920, a young Fitzgerald wrote the definitive novel about the Big Man on Campus, one that both romanticized and satirized university life—and set him on the path to greatness.

(Wikimedia Commons)
Lessons from Literature
The Pandemic Within, the Pandemic Without

Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year vividly records how human nature can devolve amid a pandemic—and challenges us all to grow in a time of crisis.

All That Jazz
Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew and the Lost Art of Risk

Miles Davis’s classic jazz-rock hybrid, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, still has the capacity to astound—and to remind us what real artistic risk-taking looks like.

Courtesy of Netflix
Crime and Punishment
The Double Life of Aaron Hernandez

Netflix’s Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez is a cautionary tale about self-deception and moral passivity.

National Museum of American History (Smithsonian Institution)
Do You Hear What I Hear?
The Jazz Magi of Carnegie Hall

There’s no better Christmas listen than “From Spirituals to Swing”—two jazzy Yuletide concerts from the late 1930s, brought to you by John Hammond and the wise men and women of rhythm.

Photo by Thomas James Caldwell via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Trick or Treat
Ghosting Time

A radio program from 70 years ago provides a timely lesson in what we lose with our obsession with “next, next, next” at the sake of “was,” “is,” and “will be.”

Herman Melville, Portrait by Joseph O. Eaton (Wikimedia Commons)
Herman Melville at 200
Bartleby, the Safe-Spacer

Melville’s classic story is a blast of truth from 1853 on behalf of coddled lives in 2019.

RKO Pictures
Vegetative Vampires
Howard Hawks’s The Thing and Our Echo Chamber Age

In the 1951 classic, an otherworldly being feeds on all-too-human fears—and shows how bonds can fragment in a climate of paranoia and distrust.

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