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The best of our week, leaf-raking edition.

Blogcritics Editors’ Picks: November 1 through November 7

Stop raking those leaves for a little while, fix yourself a snack, and catch up with what our editors liked best this week. Our usual inspired mix of reviews and commentary will entertain and educate.


From Music Editor Connie Phillips:

Brand new to Blogcritics, Rhys Williams jumped right in making his first article part of the on-going focus on the blues. Blues Bash Interview: No Questions Asked, They Are The Answer! is a wonderful up-close look into the band and the music they make.

DJRadiohead's review of Leigh Nash – Blue on Blue incorporates his review with a fantastic account of how the album grew on him over time.

Eric Berlin examines every aspect of this expansive release in his review of The Doors – Perception (6 CD/6 DVD Box Set), bringing back a few memories and persuading me to consider a purchase.

From Asst. Music Editor A.L. Harper:

Big Geez continues our musical education, this time with a history of some of the most famous and talented songbirds.

Assistant Music Editor DJRadiohead lets the voices in his head change his opinion of Leigh Nash's solo album Blue On Blue.


From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:

There's dedication, then there's real dedication, and that's what Ian Woolstencroft shows in Ian's Cornucopia of Comics, a monthly round-up of not only what's new in comics, but what is on the way. I hate to think what the bill for this extensive collection must be, but Ian buys all of these – the good, the bad and the plain old-hat – so he can tell others what are musts and what can be left on the shelf. If you know a comics fan who doesn't read it now, send them Ian's way.

For something complete different, check out Karen DeGroot Carter's review of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun. There have been so many awful genocidal disasters since then that Biafra – the first to occur in the age of instant international news – has almost disappeared from memory, but as Karen says, it is both a particular story and a general story – how humans survive and remain human, and humane, in the face of the worst their race can do to its own.

From Asst. Books Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:

What, Bill Sherman worry? With the musing and amusing Lighter Side of Mad Goes Political for Election Day, I was with him all the way.

Imagine learning of the implementation of Islamic law that would effectively turn the clock back fourteen hundred years, or seeing your own name on a death list. With expressiveness and a deft use of allusions, Natalie Bennett, in her review of Shirin Ebadi's frankly honest and human autobiography Iran Awakening, makes a convincing case that in addition to displaying "a certain pig-headed determination to effect change," the author demonstrates the needed "clarity of vision" that enables such Nobel Peace Prize winners "to understand their own actions, and the workings of their society."


From TV Editor Jackie:

Although it's not technically a television pick per se, I have to give kudos to Melita Teale for putting in words my very own thoughts about the newest box office hit in her article Actually, I Don't Like You: Turning Down Borat.

Back to television, this week Eric Berlin's article The Apprentice Finalist Lee Bienstock Hired By Trump Organization really caught my eye. I'm a big fan of the show and regularly recap/review it. So, I had a bit of a vested interest in the news. I had read several articles written others about the story and I think Eric wrote the best danged one out there.

From TV Editor TV and Film Guy:

Serial Killers must have a hard life. I can just hear them getting together and singing: It's a hard-knock life for us, it's hard-knock life for us, steada treated, we get tricked, steada kisses, we get kicked, it's a hard-knock life. Woe is them, woe is them, it must be so lonely and sad. Poor Dexter, I almost feel bad for him; Ray Ellis certainly seems to.

Jericho. There's a series I just couldn't get into, and don't think I didn't try. I can't tell you how happy it therefore makes me that Ian Woolstencroft is trying and doesn't get it either. I admire the trying, and really appreciate the not getting it. Are we missing something here? I really don't think so.

From Film Editor Lisa McKay:

Most BC reviewers have been raving about Borat and calling it the funniest film they've seen all year. In this excellent anti-review, Melita Teale writes about why she won't be seeing Borat any time soon.

Even if you're not in the birthday doldrums, you might want to put Bubba Ho-Tep in your Netflix queue after reading Iloz Zoc's review of this underappreciated "classic little gem."


From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:

From the standpoint that faith is both powerful and private, Donnie Marler takes a reflective look at the world of belief, separating holy books from unholy acts, condemnation from justification, and ideologies from ideas in Having Faith, Losing Religion.

Dungeons, dice, and the deceased come together to make all your dreams come true in Timothy Greathouse's The AD&D Make-A-Silly-Wish Foundation.

From Asst. Culture Editor Melita Teale:

We hear all the time that love conquers all, and in The Runaway Bride and Groom of Pakistan, Mayank Austen Soofi shows us how in an article about a Christian celebrity and a Muslim doctor from Pakistan finding a way to make things work.


From Politics Editor Dave Nalle:

A Little Revolution Now And Again Wouldn't Hurt by Mark Schannon is a rousing call to revolution from the eve of the election.

Daniel Ortega and the Return of the Sandinistas by Richard Marcus is a nice piece of international election coverage from our Canadian correspondent.


From Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman:

Every year for about two months BC Sports gets to run David Mazzotta's weekly novella NFL picks column. And it's always a blast to edit and read. Last week, though, he did what I wish more analysts did — grade himself on his preseason outlooks.


From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:

Mac Game Review: Redline by Cameron Graham. Hey look – it's a new IP for the Mac. It's even worth playing!

PC Review: Evidence – The Last Ritual by Jason "Njiska" Westhaver. Repeat after me: Adventure games are not dead. Adventure games are not head.


No picks this week.


From Comments Editor Christopher Rose:

In the week of a modest political revolution in the USA, a little voice of sanity is starting to be heard.

Posted by Peter J to A Little Revolution Now And Again Wouldn't Hurt on 2006.11.05, 20:04:32 PM

Goddamn Mark, well put. You said what so many feel but are afraid to speak. No one wants to be publically challenged, as most cannot verbalize their feelings and wind up bullied and silenced by what has been a majority. There is no one more intimidating than a bible thumping conservative who will not so much as admit to an error in judgement or action. The reason this won't happen is because there are no errors made by these people, everything they do is calculated and deliberate. This is not only the trappings of conservatives either, it's the same game with a different face for the liberals. I don't see any viable answers coming from their corner.

The people who claim that the economy is doing so well because the stock markets are up have never walked the streets, lived the life or even have known a family living on the pittance of pay that so many Americans are trying to get by on. They talk about raising the minimum wage, that's even a joke. To say anyone should try to live on $6.35 an hour is a sin. WE have a very small percentage of people in this country who are living a nice comfortable life, nice away from home vacations, overseas travel, many extravagances that 80% of this country will never know.

I was around for our failed revolution in the 60s and the failure comes from a change of the guard. For this type of revolution to work you need several generations to pick up and carry the torch, but by the time that their time comes the establishment is smart enough to make sure that the following generations are a bit better off.

I keep thinking "maybe some day" but obviously it won't ever happen. The establishment is not accidentally successful. Iit's all in the workings. An answer? I just don't know.
I've said many times that the end of hope in this country was a time when a man who was a part of that establishment tried to fix things for all, he wound up with a bullet in his brain.

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