Author Archives: majorterata

The Selfishness of OIMBY

The child-like, bouncy-sounding acronym NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) represents a type of collective selfishness whereby a community uniquely affected somewhat negatively by an otherwise broadly positive initiative strives to derail said initiative on the grounds that although it … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Comments Off

Candelabra in the Behind

Prompted by a garish poster touting HBO’s imminent release of the Steven Soderburgh-directed movie “Behind the Candelabra” featuring Michael Douglas, Matt Damon and a Bichon Frisé, each decked out in cosmetics and white fur, I read Scott Thorson’s tell-all tale … Continue reading

Posted in books, Movies | Comments Off

Gupta’s Zeros, Moffat’s Little Head

Rajat Gupta, the one-time CEO of the venerated consulting firm McKinsey who is now out on bail while he appeals his conviction in 2012 for insider trading, had “a lust for zeros” – that is to say, according to Sunday’s … Continue reading

Posted in Business | Comments Off

A Boy Named . . . Dick Trickle ?

In Johnny Cash’s classic “A Boy Named Sue” the balladeer sings the tale of the woes he was forced to endure growing up with a girl’s name (something harder to appreciate in the 21st century where members of either gender … Continue reading

Posted in Movies, Obits | Tagged | Comments Off

SEC: The FEMA of Finance

Right after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and surrounding towns in 2005, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) serially fumbled every aspect of their responsibilities, and as it was revealed that FEMA administrator Michael D. “Brownie” Brown possessed no … Continue reading

Posted in books | Comments Off

Scripts by the Numbers: “Garbage-in, Blockbuster-out”

Imagine a restaurant that serves nothing but peanut butter sandwiches. The executive chef wants to expand the menu but the owner is hesitant about putting new items on the menu that might turn away customers. Perhaps the grilled cheese sandwich … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Comments Off

A Season With Hell

I recently finished Richard Hell’s oddly-titled memoir “I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp” and came away with the impression that the author by all accounts never should have lived to celebrate his 25th birthday. A Hollywood stereotype of … Continue reading

Posted in books, Music | Comments Off

Cuisine Malfunction

I had the worst dining experience of my life last Tuesday at a small-bore franchise called Canz-a-Citi, a place limply striving to compete in the restaurant category dominated by Hooters – the faux sports-bar pitching greasy fried food, dozens of … Continue reading

Posted in Restaurants | Comments Off

The Lost Week-ending

Blake Bailey has just written “Farther and Wilder,” a biography of Charles Jackson who is most famous for his first novel, “The Lost Weekend” which was made into an Academy Award-winning film (1946) of the same name, directed by Billy … Continue reading

Posted in books, fiction, Movies, Newspaper | Comments Off

Would They Call Him “Lumpy” Today?

Clarence “Lumpy” Rutherford died the other day at age 71, and given the man had by his own account (via his autobiography “Call Me Lumpy” ) banged more than 1,000 women, pounding a bit hard on the beaver so to … Continue reading

Posted in TV | Comments Off

Clevver: The Best Little Whorehouse in Hollywood

By the time a movie franchise reaches “part 5,” the jig is up. You know the producers have made back their initial speculative investment and are now relaxing on a sugar-sand beach somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere drinking Cachaça cocktails. … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Comments Off

A Pyramid of Books Falls Down

A Ponzi scheme is the financial industry’s equivalent of the Perpetual Motion Machine. Every physicist and engineer knows that creating a perpetual motion machine is impossible; the laws of thermodynamics preclude any device from operating indefinitely without an external source … Continue reading

Posted in books | Comments Off

An Actor, a Screenwriter and a Movie Critic are at the Pearly Gates . . .

An Irish Catholic, a German Jew and an American secular humanist are standing outside the gates of Heaven. I could rephrase to say an actor, a screenwriter and a movie critic are at the pearly gates, but this isn’t the … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Comments Off

A Whiff of Gross Air

This past Monday evening as I seared some yellowfin tuna and curated a saffron risotto, I listened to Terry Gross, host of NPR’s “Fresh Air” interview Mary Roach, the author of “Gulp.” It seems author Roach has “tackled the human … Continue reading

Posted in Art, books | Comments Off

The Art of Taking Offense

New York City deputy mayor Joseph Lhota wants to run for real Mayor when Michael Bloomberg finally gives up the reins after twelve years (the last four of which he got by browbeating and bribing City Council to override voter-approved … Continue reading

Posted in Art | 1 Comment

How to make product placement work for you

Driving past McDonald’s today I noted a large poster displaying a decidedly ugly-looking family called the Croods, pre-historic stars of a new 3D animation from DreamWorks. Knowing that Hollywood producers of expensive 3D computer-generated animations for children don’t take a … Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Comments Off

The Soulless Lepers of the Iraq War

Ten years ago on my birthday – March 19, 2003 – America invaded Iraq. Much has happened in the ensuing decade, much of it bad, but I was struck by how little was written and discussed on the big anniversary … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Three Minute Fiction: “Waiting for You Know”

Another NPR Three-Minute-Fiction challenge . . . another rejection. Although this time I fully expected it because I decided to abrogate the guidelines and submit an entry that I thought was clever in its own right. Some background: every so … Continue reading

Posted in books, fiction, plays | 1 Comment

“Lazy” meets “Trite”

“Under Siege,” the 1992 action movie starring Steven Seagal has often been described succinctly as “Die Hard on a battleship.” The mash-up of another movie with a different location was once a fairly-common method to communicate an instantly understandable movie … Continue reading

Posted in books, Movies | Comments Off

The Pointless Memoir

There are two kinds of memoirs: insightful and pointless. With the barriers to publication all but fallen away with the advent and standardization of technologies to enable self-publishing, I estimate that the pointless memoir now makes up 95 percent of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off