Author Archives: majorterata

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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“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

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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

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“Find the Fossil” – My One-time Favorite Game

I used to play a parlor game I invented called “Find the Fossil.” It was based on content in the Sunday New York Times. As soon as I got home with the newspaper, I would immediately pluck the “Styles” section … Continue reading

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Best Director as MVP from the Losing Team

This past Sunday the Academy Award for Best Director went to a man who did not direct the Best Picture – a scenario I find difficult to reconcile. It’s like giving the MVP award to a member of the losing … Continue reading

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New Literary Genre: “Killing XYZ”

Bill O’Reilly has made a killing on “Killing.” Rectifying a massive void in the documentation of our country’s colorful history, O’Reilly has penned (with help, of course) two best-selling books about the heretofore obscure assassinations of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and … Continue reading

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Flatline, Meet God, Publish a Bestseller

Every few years I make a visit to the gastroenterologist for a routine colonoscopy – and I look forward to it, but not because I believe I’m taking a positive step toward avoiding a hideous cancer by submitting to a … Continue reading

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Bauman’s (Well Done) Rare Book ads

I love Bauman Rare Books. Not the museum-like store on Madison Avenue with the beautifully-lit stacks and the Oriental rugs where scarce editions are displayed inside Plexiglas boxes and cotton-gloved staff members gingerly handle merchandise for bona-fide clientele ready to … Continue reading

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What page do they screw?

I recently read a blog by Ryan Dixon on ScriptShark titled “What Page Do They Screw?: On Being Flexible During Pitch Meetings.” The thrust of the post was about how Dixon, a journeyman screenwriter, learned the hard way that coming … Continue reading

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No Good Deed Goes Unshoveled

Bradley hosted raucous parties in 4F that lasted all night. Carl retaliated on the mornings that followed by noisily dragging furniture across his uncarpeted floor in 5F. Bradley shunned Carl as they passed in the lobby, and Carl dropped dirt … Continue reading

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“Stuck in the Middle With You” makes me think of torture

I’m working my way through a third or fourth Glenlivet, struggling to unravel puns and spoonerisms that pass for clues in the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle, when I hear the opening lyrics of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off … Continue reading

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Evariste Galois Deserves a Movie

Pursuing a degree in mathematics many years ago, I believe I was the rare student who was truly interested in the lives, and not just in the scribblings of the long-dead mathematicians who advanced axioms, contemplated corrolaries, locked up lemmas, … Continue reading

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An old joke sadly turned upside down

Joe McElroy drove past the Handlebar Tavern each evening on his way home from the Chrysler dealership where for 27 consecutive model years he peddled the likes of Cordobas and LeBarons, regularly beating his annual sales quota. As a junior … Continue reading

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Cuts tell the story

I’m sitting in seat 17D on a Delta flight to Salt Lake City next to a man who in sleep looks remarkably like the mummified body of King Tut, head thrown back and toothless mouth agape. And truthfully, Tut’s skin … Continue reading

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Keanu Reeves: Four down and 46 to go

Keanu Reeves has appeared in three movies with a state in its name: “The Prince of Pennsylvania” (1988), “My Own Private Idaho” (1991), and “Feeling Minnesota” (1996). And in 1991′s “Point Break” he plays an undercover FBI agent with the … Continue reading

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