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Film, "Crazy Wisdom": A Flat Portrait of a Holy Fool

"Crazy Wisdom": A Flat Portrait of a Holy Fool

Watching the succession of talking-head testimonials by former disciples of Chogyam Trungpa that comprise Crazy Wisdom: The Life & Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, it is evident that the Buddhist teacher commanded significant loyalty from his acolytes — though that…
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Calendar, Night&Day What a Boar

What a Boar

The love of pork never ceases. We bet that people in the 1300s loved bacon just as much as we do now. Not many of us celebrate that by serving a boar's head at our holiday dinner table, but annually…
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Calendar, Night&Day Hog Wild

Hog Wild

Around this time of year in 1340, legend has it, an Oxford scholar on his way to midnight mass was confronted by a wild boar. Fearing for his life, he assaulted the angry pig with the only thing he had…
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Music, Oasis’ fallen empire

Oasis’ fallen empire

Earlier this month, Noel Gallagher opined that he abhors comparisons to a certain outfit from Oxford. "The biggest criticism that the music press has against us is that we're not Radiohead," the Oasis guitarist told Plavi Radio in Zagreb, Croatia.…
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Music, The Bookish Bunch

The Bookish Bunch

You can be guaranteed three things in reading about Vampire Weekend. First, there will be a mention of esoteric references in the nascent Brooklyn quartet's lyrics and song titles. Next, you'll probably find a description of the members' appearance as…
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Music, All Shook Down Who You Tryin' To Get Crazy With Ese? Don't You Know I'm Locavore?

Who You Tryin' To Get Crazy With Ese? Don't You Know I'm Locavore?

Whatever. The 2007 Oxford word of the year is "locavore," defined as people who only eat "food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius," who "also shun supermarket offerings as an environmentally friendly measure ..." Back in the 90's…
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Music, Bouncer

Shine on you crazy lightning bugs and deep-sea creatures!

Fireflies, or "lightening bugs," which is what I used to call them in Illinois, glow by a process known as "bioluminescence." All living cells have some level of bioluminescence, each with their own unique wavelengths. Only some cells, however, produce…
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Film, The Good East German

The Good East German

We Americans complain of Big Brother's unblinking eye in the post-Patriot Act, corporate e-mail era — as well we should. But, as The Lives of Others makes plain, things could be worse. Set in East Berlin circa 1984, when one…
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Calendar, Sports/Outdoors See Men Sing

See Men Sing

FRI 12/10 Say what you will about sea chanteys -- they're too long, just plain weird, and written in a bizarre seamen's patois -- but the folk music of the ocean is experiencing something of a revival among young creative…
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Culture, Stage

The Circus Head Show

Will Franken calls himself an "avant-garde, experimental comic." I'd call him a talented mimic with a hyperactive imagination. The nervous energy of The Circus Head Show starts with a video about a housewife, played by Franken in drag, driving to…
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Music, Reviewed Radiohead


Strike up the hype machine: Here come those pasty boys from Oxford, readying another assault on the foundations of rock 'n' roll. Whereas on the group's last two albums -- 2000's Kid A and 2001's Amnesiac, recorded during the same…
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Culture, Stage

The Colossus of Rhodes

Before he even attended Oxford -- later than usual -- Cecil Rhodes took the advice that critic John Ruskin was dispensing to Oxford's smart young men in the 1880s: Go to Africa. Conquer. Bring the blessings of our civilization to…
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Music, House of Tudor House of Tudor

House of Tudor

In a photograph marked in time by its sepia tones, young Xie Kitchin stands against a bare wall. Her dark hair falls over her shoulders in careless, languid waves, framing her pale cheeks and somber eyes. Her thumb is tucked…
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Culture, Stage As She  Likes It

As She Likes It

Shakespeare was an uneducated glover's son, from a provincial village, who left no firm evidence that he went to any sort of school. The only real proof that he wielded a pen with his own hand consists of six signatures…
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Culture, Stage A.E.I.O.U.


The last time one of Tom Stoppard's plays had its American premiere in San Francisco, last spring, I wrote that it "wouldn't be above Stoppard to spin a whole script around a minor and meaningless point of grammar." My point…
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