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Trailer for the film Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, by Tamra Davis, screening on PBS’ Independent Lens on April 16. See John Berger’s essay on Basquiat in the April 2011 issue of Harper’s Magazine, out now.
The 44-year-old ex-heavyweight champion is in bed by 8 and often up as early as 2 in the morning, at which point he takes a solitary walk around the gated compound in the Las Vegas suburb where he lives while listening to R&B on his iPod. Tyson then occupies himself with reading (he’s an avid student of history, philosophy and psychology), watching karate movies or taking care of his homing pigeons, who live in a coop in the garage, until 6, when his wife, Lakiha (known as Kiki), gets up. The two of them go to a spa nearby where they work out and often get a massage before settling into the daily routine of caring for a 2-year-old daughter, Milan, and a newborn son, Morocco; they also run Tyrannic, a production company they own. It is a willfully low-key life, one in which Tyson’s wilder impulses are held in check by his inner solid citizen.
–“Mike Tyson Moves to the Suburbs,” Daphne Merkin, New York Times Magazine
Apart from sending people like myself into tailspins of depression, Sucker Punch is essentially about the Warner Bros. corporate uglies giving loads of money to a wild-eyed 21st Century primitive and in so doing trying to turn on the younger female ticket-buyers with fantasies of power and revenge against all the oily men in their lives who’ve sought to exploit or use or treat them with cruelty. It is putrid ComicCon swill of the lowest order.
In fact, Sucker Punch strongly suggests that there is, in fact, a ComicCon screenwriting software that is being secretly peddled to GenX and GenY filmmakers that insures that the exact same mythical imaginings and the exact same high-flying Matrix-y sword battles and the exact same wild-action-fantasy, go-to-the-next-video-game-level story progressions are repeated ad infinitum.
–“Punched, But No Sucker,” Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere
More from Rafil Kroll-Zaidi:
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”