Freeman

Spoiler Alert

Second-Banana Blues

Veep, cringe comedy, and laughing at Washington so you don’t cry

MAY 13, 2014 by MICHAEL NOLAN

Power-worship in D.C. and shows about it is nothing new. Playing it for slapstick rather than fetishizing it, however, makes Veep a welcome change of pace.

Emotional Dictatorship

MARCH 05, 2014 by MICHAEL NOLAN

A new documentary shows North Koreans as agents of their own liberation.

No Sleep Till Johannesburg

Searching for Sugar Man and spontaneous order

FEBRUARY 05, 2014 by MICHAEL NOLAN

Music creates spontaneous, unpredictable communications directly from person to person. That makes it essential to life--and a persistent threat to power.

Chemistry Is What We Are

Breaking Bad shows exactly how entertainment can become art, and why the distinction matters

OCTOBER 16, 2013 by MICHAEL NOLAN

There's a lot that can be said about Breaking Bad. What's more interesting--and what makes it art--is what our reactions say about each of us.

Matt Damon vs. The Space Republicans

Science fiction with technology that's more realistic than its politics

SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 by ANDREW HEATON

Elysium's cyborgs and floating space colonies are plenty of fun. They're also a lot more realistic than the straw men peopling the film or the economic theory underlying its plot.

Take Me Out to the Cleaners

Crony Capitalism and Stadium Funding

JUNE 12, 2013 by MICHAEL NOLAN

Stadium funding deals amount to making some people's leisure-time preferences a matter of law, then forcing everyone to transfer money to the already wealthy.

The Hair of the Dog

APRIL 08, 2013 by MICHAEL NOLAN

Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington team up to present an excellent piece of character development. Then Zemeckis sacrifices all of the nuance for the sake of a tidy ending that presents the State as the realm of the gods.

Zero Dark Maybe

FEBRUARY 28, 2013 by MICHAEL NOLAN

Sorting out how your political beliefs relate to your entertainment choices isn't always a simple process. When it comes to a movie about the war on terror, though, the stakes get a little bit higher.

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CURRENT ISSUE

September 2014

For centuries, hierarchical models dominated human organizations. Kings, warlords, and emperors could rally groups--but also oppress them. Non-hierarchical forms of organization, though, are increasingly defining our lives. It's no secret how this shift has benefited out social lives, including dating, and it's becoming more commonplace even in the corporate world. But it has also now come even to organizations bent on domination rather than human flourishing, as the Islamic State shows. If even destructive groups rely on this form of entrepreneurial organization, then hierarchy's time could truly be coming to an end.
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