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EIC of FanFare. Writes about culture, film, TV. Popular Prose column at Writing Cooperative. Top Writer


The prison journal of Ms. Whiskers, who is innocent of all charges

Photo by Malek Dridi on Unsplash

Day 423

Each day as gray as the last. The air like old kibble. There are many windows but the sun shines weakly when it can only be felt through glass.

I miss the tickle of grass underpaw. The wind whispering through my fur. The companionship of feline and the terror of prey.

My only company is that of my captors, those hairless monstrosities who respond to my cries with babbling nonsense. They are imbeciles. The only thing worse than this indefinite internment is that I must share quarters with humans.

Only for a little longer. I have divined an escape from…


This fan film is the best Star Wars movie since ‘The Last Jedi’

Screencap taken from the film

Where Star Wars is concerned, I have deep, complicated feelings. I lionize these films (at least the original three), placing undue importance on what George Lucas has rightly said are movies meant for kids.

I take Star Wars seriously because for a long time it was the only constant in my life.

Is it sad to admit that I looked up to people that existed only on celluloid prints? They were literally the flimsiest sort of role models, transparent and two-dimensional, carbon copies of Force ghosts. Han Solo is probably a shitty person to idolize, but when your father only…


“Writer-director” Ben Falcone is dragging her down

Or is she only about the money? Image: Universal Pictures

Melissa McCarthy’s performance in 2011's Bridesmaids was a scene-stealing whirlwind of unbridled sexual energy and frenetic Farley-ian physicality, one saturated with a maniacal willingness to do anything in service of a laugh — the more perverse the better. It was clear then that we were witnessing the birth of a comedic legend, the sort of talent that comes along once a generation and changes everything.

So what the hell happened?

I have been irrationally angry since reading Hogan Torah’s review of the new McCarthy flick Thunder Force, a film which may somehow be worse than Tammy or The Boss. I’m…


The nuance of slow burn character development

Image: Marvel Studios

I’ve never been much of a fan of comic books.

It wasn’t for lack of trying. Growing up, I spent countless hours re-reading my small, tattered collection. Comics often tell an ongoing story, but my books were random, divorced from one another; any continuation of the story only occurred in my head. Maybe it was better that way.

Despite comic book’s propensity for longform storytelling, the characters themselves are largely stuck in stasis. The Peter Parker I read about 30-some years ago is the same one swinging around New York today. …


5 thoughts from the new trailer

Image: Sony Pictures

The latest Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer is shockingly familiar, but not how you might expect. Yes, it has ghosts and ghostbusting and all the gadgets therein implied. But it was the trailer’s intentional aping of Star Wars I wasn’t prepared for.

Check it out yourself to see what I mean:

1. Mini Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men are a Blend of Baby Yoda and Gremlins

And I love them.

We respond to cute things. It’s just the way we’re wired. …


The modern man is incomplete and poorly dressed

Lords of leisure. Image: Netflix

Bridgerton is a smart, beautifully assembled period drama with a feminist message in pre-suffrage silk. It should be on everyone’s watch list. It’s also absolutely filthy with corsets.

But for all that, it was the men that drew me in.

There is a Chappelle Show skit that came to mind midway through the season, wherein Charlie Murphy (brother of comedian Eddie) recounts the time Rick James slapped him at Studio 54. Charlie’s response:

First of all — you don’t slap a man. Even when slapping was fashionable … a guy would come up — wap-pap — I challenge you to…


Only we can save ourselves and we are therefore doomed

Image by author via Canva

First, a brief story about my grandma’s first encounter with an automated toilet.

I promise this is related.

My aunt married a successful business man about 20 years ago. The reception was at a fancy hotel in a well-to-do suburb of Detroit, all marble and plush carpets and high ceilings. It was the type of place we visited infrequently and only for the briefest of times, more accidental tourist than guest.

Grandma Meno excused herself as the first course was delivered and returned when the soup bowls — emptied or no — were exchanged for plates heaped with foreign greenery…

Despite my enormous to-be-read pile

I only own three of the five in physical form. Photo: author

I love buying books.

Not just buying them — simply shopping for books fills me with joy. Wandering the aisle of Barnes & Noble is a date night staple (well it used to be, thanks COVID). I have an enormous Amazon wish list dedicated to Kindle eBooks I am interested in; my CPU fan accelerates noisily whenever I sort the list by price.

I’m far too neat to be a hoarder but if they find me buried alive by things, you can be assured it was a wobbly stack of books that did me in.

I don’t re-read books lightly…


Fan entitlement is a scourge

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Image: HBO

After years of public petitions, DC fans were vindicated by last month’s release of The Snyder Cut. The victory wasn’t so much in being proven right — the Cut is a much-improved version of Justice League — but that the grassroots initiative was able to effect such a change in the first place. (The director and the cast endorsing the cause certainly didn’t hurt.)

In the wake of such a victory, attention has naturally turned to Game of Thrones, whose final season left such a bad taste that it lingers two years later. Many fans, such as myself, will never…


Burdened with glorious purpose

Loki for President, apparently. Image: Marvel Studios

Marvel’s plan to bury us with new content continues apace, as yesterday they dropped the trailer for the new Disney+ series Loki. The trickster god has once again sidestepped death only to find himself trapped in a sort of bureaucratic limbo.

Here are 5 thoughts I had after watching the trailer.

1. Time Cops

I am only a casual fan of the comics, so the idea of an organization tasked with maintaining the time stream is new to me. But given all the time travel shenanigans we’ve been witness to already, the idea is clearly not unwarranted.

Hell is where a place…

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