Table of contents

The Hangover, Part 2

Deja vu all over again

Phil was the cool guy. He alone was married. In the first story, Doug, the conventional one, got married. It took a sweet long time to persuade us that he was not a boring, banal man. Now, Stu, the even more conventional one is to get married. He is […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: At world’s end

On immortality

Will’s father sold his soul to the devil. Now Will must save his father’s soul, whom he loves, & lose his life & the woman he loves in the process. In his father, he must save the morality that drove him to his death. To hedge in regret and fear, he must […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Courage on the high seas

The Dead Man’s chest hides the devil’s beating heart. Jack Sparrow wants to find it. The devil is coming for him & there literally will be hell to pay. Jack Sparrow, we learn, knew both the devil & a witch, & made deals with both. Jack Sparrow loves the […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl 2

The secret of Jack Sparrow

Jack Sparrow is looking at the city; the first thing he sees, coming in, are the skeletons of hanged pirates; perhaps this is why abandoned the cities of men. The soul of the pirate is what concerns us now. Jack Sparrow sold his to the devil in the deep […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl 1

A pirate’s life

We first see Jack Sparrow peering over the horizon from the mast of what turns out to be a sinking boat. He just alights on the pier as it goes under, everyone’s astounded eyes on him. That is Jack Sparrow’s life, with comic brevity. A clerk charges him for mooring the […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides 2

On the life of crime, continued

It has always seemed to me that the Pirates of the Caribbean resembles Homer’s Odyssey in certain important respects. I suppose the story of a sailor on hostile seas, facing gods & monsters in the pursuit of the thing he loves – the mind of Penelope – is […]

Pirates of the Caribbean: On stranger tides 1

Good pirates & evil

This title is like the previous in the series, for it does not designate the object of our protagonist’s desire. It talks about stranger tides, presumably, stranger than those with which we are habituated. Of those familiar characters, only Jack Sparrow & Captain Barbossa are still around – they were […]


On the education of princes

This is the story of the Norse god of thunder. Here, he is a young man preparing to be crowned heir to his kingly father. Thor is led by his anger, apparently because he is the very exemplar of the manly man. This showcases a strange thing about courage […]

Fast Five

Muscle cars & related vices

That movie about the really fast cars & really bad attitudes – it’s back. Just to make things clear, this time the snotty FBI agent breaks a 25-to-life man out of the bus sending him to jail. & just so you know, it involves explosions, but nobody dies. As […]