Wednesday , May 22 2024
Once again we bring you the best of the week past.

Blogcritics Editors’ Picks: September 6 through September 12

It's been a week of reflection here at Blogcritics as many of our writers have shared personal experiences and thoughts about 9/11. We've also discussed (and argued about) the impact that event has had upon our cultural and political landscape. The discussions continue — feel free to join in.

Elsewhere on the site, we continue to bring you the best in reviews, news, and commentary. This is what our editors liked the most this week. There's something here for everyone — if you're unsure of where to dive in, start at the top and work your way to the bottom. You won't regret it.




From Music Editor Connie Phillips:

DJRadiohead recounts his trip to the store at midnight to purchase the album and then talks about staying up all night to listen to it in Music Review: Highway Companion – Tom Petty. Coming from a die-hard fan, what he has to say is not only insightful but balanced.

Hugh Ruppersburg digs deep in his review of Bob Dylan's Modern Times and examines the album and shares his thoughts on Dylan in general.

In I'm Just A Girl With A One-Track Mind: A Music List, Joan Hunt talks about a playlist she put together and the underlying theme. This one is a lot of fun.

Maybe Mark Saleski hasn't ever been line dancing, but his Music Review: Billy Ray Cyrus – Wanna Be Your Joe takes a pretty fair look at the new album from an artist often overshadowed by his one big hit.

From Asst. Music Editor A.L. Harper:

It's never too late to be funny. And in Eric Whelchel's very humourous A Lazy Indie Junkie's Outdated Review Of The 2006 MTV VMAs, he proves that to be true.

What man doesn't like Barenaked Ladies? And Jeff Martin is no exception, although he thinks they could be better.

Connie Phillips is unashamed to think Rick Springfield was relevant to rock music in her informative Music Review: Rick Springfield – We Are The '80s.

From Editor El Bicho:

Liner Notables #3: The Velvet Underground And Nico by Gordon Hauptfleisch
Mr. H's series brings warranted attention to a lost art form. His articles are always an enjoyable read and his writing simultaneously fills me with inspiration and self-doubt in regards to my own work.


From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:

A bumper autumn crop this week makes picking particularly difficult, but I finally settled on two articles that, in different ways, explore the stories and themes behind the stories.

Bonnie reviewed Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer, which, she explains, embraces "the idea that genre is a way of framing a human story, rather than the whole story in itself". Those tempted to dismiss sci-fi as a genre should explore this review as an entry into its complexities. For, Bonnie says, Sawyer has you "thinking about what is, and how it could

Iloz Zoc performs similar honors for the horror genre, with a review of Pretend We're Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture combined with an interview with the author, Annalee Newitz. I'll confess that I'm not a fan — I've never been comfortable with gore — yet this article made me rethink my whole approach to the genre. Unmissable!

From Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:

"Hi, I have an announcement," (checks microphone), "testing …is this thing on?"

Um, okay, I'll be working with Natalie as the new Assistant Books Editor, which in practical terms means that though I finally get a key to the executive washroom, I'm still on cleaning detail. The change also comes with my pledge that The Book Stops Here. What does that mean to you? It means that I will be inserting bad puns into each and every article that comes across my desk. See if you can find them in the following Editor Picks:

Ray Ellis makes an amusingly compelling case that The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril falls into that grand tradition of pulp and pop culture. With "lumbering zombies, madman motivations… nightmare visions" and an obligatory femme fatale who is a "psychic with a pet chicken," who could argue?

Trust me: when you read Sujatha Bagal's witty You Really Should Not Read Bill Bryson in Public Places, you will be too entertained to make "assorted puckery shapes" with your lips as you barely restrain exploding snorts. Indeed, the "outstanding play of young Hugh Twain-Buttocks at middle nipple" pales in comparison. Again, trust me on this.


From Film Editor Lisa McKay:

Howard Dratch took me all the way back to high school with his review of Easy Rider. Not so much a straight film review as it is a compelling description of the zeitgeist of the '60s, it's evocative of much of what was good (and bad) about the good old days. 

From Editor El Bicho:

TV Review: The Wire Returns, Bringing "Boys of Summer" by Eric Berlin. The other EB, as I like to call him, provides a wonderful, in-depth overview of the season premiere of the best show currently on television, and a contender for best TV dramas of all-time.

From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:

Every person who came forth with an article in fond memory of Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin deserves a spot on the list. The one that stood out among all the best was Joan Hunt's initial contribution to the mix, a loving and knowledgeable tribute in Steve "The Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, Dead at 44.


From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:

Mayank Austen Soofi is more than just one with the process of preparing a meal. He befriends his reader and virtually shares the experience in A Simple Vegetable Curry: The Pleasures of Indian Home Cooking.


From Asst. Politics Editor Mark Schannon:

General Musharraf Signs "Peace Treaty" With Pro-Taliban Militants?! by Apollo is a vicious analysis of the so-called peace treaty between Pakistan and the Taliban.

9/11 Remembered by Sujatha Bagal. So much has been written, but Bagal recreates the fear, panic, and confusion of that horrible day.

Bush Plays "Cowardly Lion" In A Poppy Field, As Taliban Reaps Heroin Bonanza by Jet in Columbus tells the truth about what's going on in Afghanistan. It's a tragedy that's not getting enough attention.

U.S. Officials Throw the Book at Terrorism by Diana Hartman is a bitingly sarcastic jab at the military's numbers games for deaths in Iraq. Kind of like the "body count" in Vietnam in reverse.

From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:

Few are able to articulate emotion, memory, and loyalty for one's community the way Victor Lana does in 9/11 Is An Anniversary We Can Never Forget.


From Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman:

No, I'm not bitter that Adam Hoff beat me to it. But as long as he won the race, he at least did it with style regarding Ryan Howard's home run chase and how the steroid era took it away from him before it ever began.

Ashleigh Charlesworth has been giving us some pretty consistent Formula 1 racing coverage, and stepped outside the normal recap when Michael Schumacher announced his retirement.


From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:

Playstation Wii – Sony's Woes by Ashleigh Charlesworth. Has Sony made the biggest mistake since Betamax?

Interview: Just Cause Directors – Christofer Sundberg and Linus Blomberg by Andrew Ogier. Chrisfoter and Linus talk about the origins, the technical achievements, and the excitement of Just Cause.


From Sci/Tech Editor Lisa McKay:

It's not often that we get a chance to perform a public service, but that's exactly what Jet in Columbus has done by writing this very personal, no-holds-barred account of his battle with diabetes and his denial of symptoms that subsequently led to serious complications. We owe Jet our collective thanks for prodding us to the doctor in a timely fashion.

About Lisa McKay

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