For what awaits can only delight you to your soul's very core.
Music Editor: Connie Phillips
CD Review: The Beastie Boys - Solid Gold Hits by Robert Burke (Dec. 7)
In this offering Robert not only gives a thorough and detailed review of the CD in question, but a comprehensive and interesting look at the history of the band. It is well-spoken and complete, giving the reader comprehensive and enjoyable look at everything Beastie Boys.
Concert Review: Ill Nino w/ Opiate for the Masses, Unbalanced, Junket on 12/7/05 by Chris Beaumont (Dec. 8)
Chris gives us yet another great article in this concert review, complete with pictures. With enthusiasm and details he tells us of his history with the band and their music as well as giving the reader a front row seat to this show. Leaving no detail untold, he writes beyond the show itself but gives us a feel of the room and the crowd, giving the reader the whole experience.
Books Editor: Warren Kelly
America's Right Turn by Richard A. Viguerie & David Franke by Marty Dodge (Dec. 3)
Marty's review shows that, no matter what you think of their policies, conservatives have done something right, and anyone who wants to succeed in politics should emulate their methods, if not their policies.
Book Review: How I Grew - A Memoir of the Early Years by Mary McCarthy by Alpha (Dec. 9)
Some great personal touches in this review. I get the feeling that Alpha could write a fascinating memoir of his own.
Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres by Tim Gebhart (Dec. 9)
Tim gives a valuable summary to this book, which I'd like to make required reading for every family that calls itself Christian. I appreciate the fact that he notes that the book is not definitive, but my own experience leads me to believe that many Christian families fall short of the ideal, and there are those that fall far short.
Narnia and Christian Propaganda by Chromatius (Dec. 10)
This opinion piece (actually, it could be considered a review of the PR driving the movie) should be a warning to Christians out to make this movie the second coming of The Passion. Lewis would be thrilled that so many people get the message of his work; he wouldn't be happy at all with the way we're promoting the movie.
TV/Film Co-Editor Alisha Karabinus
Movie Review: Brokeback Mountain by Silas Kain (Dec. 9)
Sometimes, a film leaves us unable to speak or move, or do anything but sit in silence with tears pouring down our faces. Silas Kain says Brokeback Mountain left him in such a state, but he still managed to churn out an amazing review that brings the reader into his emotional experience. It's nearly as good as the film -- and there's a deeper message, as well.
Culture Editor Lisa Hoover
It's Time For Government To Give The Artistic World Its Due by Kay Bell (Dec. 3)
Kay opens her article by saying, "Government and the arts. Sounds like an
oxymoron, doesn't it? But the two are inextricably intertwined..." After reading this, you might think so too.
Fair Use - Is It Fair? by Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti (Dec. 9)
Sadi has put together some basic guidelines to keep in mind when you're referencing another person's work. A great primer to get some general understanding of the issue.
How Long Is Too Long To Stay At A Job? by Mark Sahm (Dec. 6)
Mark makes such great points about overstaying your welcome at a job that after reading this article, I quit mine on the spot. When I told myself I was resigning, I threatened to give myself a bad reference and then I told myself to get the hell out of my office.
Also selected by Blogcritics.org editorial staff:
Blogcritics.org on SUBJECT2DISCUSSION: Phillip Winn's Turn - (Dec. 13)
SUJECT2DISCUSSION is a weekly two-hour web radio show that airs every Tuesday night at 7 PM PT and 10 PM ET. Each week, a Blogcritic holds down the 8:00 – 8:30 slot with a rollicking discussion of all things pop culture. This week, Tech Maestro and Blogcritics co-owner Phillip Winn sallies forth on filmic releases such as King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia, and also gets into the passing of comedic legend Richard Pryor.
Politics Editor Natalie Davis
A New Iron Lady for Chile by Taylor Kirk (Dec. 6)
Fascinating piece. Taylor Kirk offers a well-written and informative bird's-eye view of what is happening in Chilean politics, with a focus on the possible first female president. The article shares information concisely - a blessing, given most of us are unfamiliar with workings in Chile.
Israeli Politics: All the Trash is Jumping into the Same Bin by Ruvy in Jerusalem (Dec. 2)
A massive shakeup is under way in Israel's Knesset. In this fascinating piece, Blogcritics' Israel correspondent explains the nation's political process and analyzes the players involved in and possible ramifications of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's dumping of one political party for another. This is an important, thoughtful essay that should be relevant to Israelis and to people around the globe.
Bring in the Euro-Marshals by Grozdan Popov (Dec. 2)
Sex slavery in the Balkans is a cancer poisoning the European continent. Grozdan Popov says it is time for the European Union to take action - and he has a bold plan for dealing with the Albanian criminal gangs that use and abuse women.
Also selected by Blogcritics.org editorial staff:
Freedom Now by John Conlin (Dec. 13)
A penetrating and enlightening manifesto on the true meaning of freedom that ends with a simple yet powerful plea: If you support freedom, raise your voice.
Sports Editor: Matthew T. Sussman
Frank Thomas is a Hall of Famer by Dan McGowan (Dec. 6)
The title leaves little to the imagination, but in Dan's maiden voyage on Blogcritics he lays out a solid case for, as he puts it, the best first baseman to play in the 1990s. He writes the two-time MVP's career was a victim of circumstance and in an era of suspected steroid use, Thomas was more than likely clean. Prior to the post I hadn't considered Thomas as a Haller but it's difficult to argue against Dan's points.
Bud Carson: Thoughts and Memories of a Coach by Zach Baker (Dec. 9)
It's not easy being a Browns fan, but the Cleveland faithful always take time out to remember those who touched the organization before they passed away. Bud Carson will be remembered as the architect of Pittsburgh's famous "Steel Curtain" defense, but Zach remembers him best as a one-time Browns head coach.
Gaming Editor: Ken Edwards
Roger Ebert and Video Games: A Sign of the Times by Matt Paprocki (Dec. 6)
Video games are art, no less than film. Roger Ebert disagrees though. Why? Paprocki shares a rebuttal to Ebert's latest take on video games.
Best Articles Written By Blogcritics.org Editorial Team
As chosen by the very same, the self-referential and spotlight seeking thugs that we are!
Blogcritics.org Executive Producer Eric Berlin chose:
TV Preview: A Charlie Brown Christmas — Glad Tidings of Great Joy by Eric Olsen (Dec. 6)
EO won me over on the strength of this wonderful paragraph:
Schultz dared to directly search for the meaning of Christmas amidst commercialized children (some gleefully, some reluctantly so) and innocence lost, most pointedly symbolized by a garish Christmas tree lot filled with neon-colored aluminum trees, stiffly reflecting both the searchlight glare and soulless artificiality of Christmas in mid-20th century America.
Music Editor Connie Phillips (and Blogcritics writer Mike West!) chose:
Remembering Lennon and Dancing on Dec. 8 By Natalie Davis (Dec. 8)
In a week when many were remembering a legend, Natalie articulates her memories and emotions of a painful day in music history with eloquence and grace. She also reflects on lessons learned that she holds dear.
Editor and all-around all-star Justene Adamec chose:
Internet Ad Share to Double by 2010 by Eric Olsen (Dec. 9)
The fearless leader of Blogcritics, Eric Olsen, has been one of the players on the internet since the dark ages of 3 1/2 years ago. In this, his best article of the week, he puts Internet advertising in perspective — why it was only 5% of the total market in '04 and where it's going. Of course, there's also his personal opinion of pop-ups.
More Best of Blogcritics.org Articles of the Week
As chosen by Blogcritics who have had their work highlighted by editors last week
Pete Blackwell chose:
The Fifteen Dollar Future by Chancelucky (Dec. 12)
It's not often that a post can make you feel simultaneously great and crappy about being an American. Idealism is alive and well and it's nice to remember that sometimes the "invisible hand" is there to smack some sense into us.
Zach Hoskins from Modern Pea Pod chose:
CD Review: Here, My Dear by Marvin Gaye by Michael J. West (Dec. 8)
These days, it's a rare thing to come across music criticism that doesn't just rehash the same old tired albums or artists. But Mr. West, hot on the heels of his well-researched essay on the ambiguities of modern folk music, has done it. His revelatory look back at Marvin Gaye's Here My Dear is neither mediocre choir-preaching nor a self-indulgent attempt at slaughtering sacred cows; instead, he brings to light an album which has been overlooked and underrated by many (including myself), and by god, the results made me want to get off the computer, run to the record store and buy myself a copy. That's what music writing is about, folks.
Single Review: 'Til Tuesday "Voices Carry" by Pam Avoledo (Dec. 9)
I was immediately drawn to the article because I'm a big Aimee Mann fan, but the writing more than lived up to the promising enticement, and, moreover, represents a larger purpose. Pam insightfully and sensitively explores the song, lyrically and musically, and
expressively renders her analysis in well-considered detail and comprehensiveness. In a more general sense, Pam's choice of subject matter — an appreciative glance back at a fondly remembered work — also shows the free-rein adventurousness and flexibility of Blogcritics' writers and editors, willing and eager to spotlight both the past as well as the shiny and new.
Duke de Mondo chose:
Movie Review - Scorpius Gigantus by Aaron Fleming (Dec. 7)
Aaron Fleming's masterful appraisal of the latest Jeff Fahey opus made me wanna claw my teeth out wi delight. Truffaut, Darwin, Sartre, Miles Davis and Jeff Fahey all in the one article. If I wasn't in love with a review of Bright Eyes I read one time, I'd demand nothing less than sweet filth from this slab of hilarious Faheyist discourse.
Due to some production delays caused by winter's snow and intermittent solar flare brain static, this week's choices cover the period from 12/3 – 12/13.
How'd we choose these things? Find out here.
Please send you input, ideas, and suggestions to Eric Berlin: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And thanks for stopping by!