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Creative & How-To's Culture

Brand Plan

James Bond just underwent a redemptive reckoning onscreen. The latest iteration of Superman is, as the New York Times reports, “Up, up and out of the closet.” Rebranding cultural icons seems all the rage. And not just for superheroes. Many public-facing entities have endeavored to refresh their image, some to fix longstanding cultural offenses—looking at you,…

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Creative & How-To's FMRL

The Graduate: Writing in degrees

Until this week, the only thing Rodney Dangerfield and I had in common was a penchant for one-liners and general anxiety about our respectability. Then we both went “back to school.” His experience was fictional—apart from the cameo by a real-life Kurt Vonnegut—and arrived in the local cineplex as the movie Back to School. My back-to-school…

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Creative & How-To's

Write is Might: Voice of a (de)Generation

Like every other writer I know, I’m the voice of my generation. Apparently, my voice just isn’t loud enough to overcome our collective screams of desperation. That said, I feel obligated to continue trying, partly because I have the rare privilege of being a writer with a day job, which is being a writer—but with some…

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Creative & How-To's

Writing in Cafes

Remember writing in cafes? My own obsession began with Christine’s Cafe in Petaluma in the mid-’80s but quickly metastasized into San Anselmo’s Cafe Nuvo and finally into San Francisco’s North Beach. This is where my cohorts and I vainly searched for traces of the Beats, who, by the early ’90s, were so heavily productized and…

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Creative & How-To's Culture

To James Joyce: A Bloomsday Apology

Dear James Joyce – It being Bloomsday and all, I just wanted to apologize for not having finished reading Ulysses. Again. I know, I know, this is totally ridiculous, not least of which because my own mother named me for one of your major characters…

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Creative & How-To's Culture Lit Game

Works by Marquis de Sade and Andre Breton Now French Treasures

As far as literary bedfellows are concerned, the Marquis de Sade and Andre Breton make for an odd pair. With a gulf of 72 years separating the former’s death and the latter’s birth, they might’ve twisted a shared tongue with their work — both were French — but there was to be no bed between…