Table of contents


A note on the daring of spies

This is the story of the man who went to Tehran during the last revolution there & returned safely to America about a half-dozen Americans who escaped the attack on the fateful embassy. We remember the 1979 revolution because it brought the Ayatollahs to power in Iran, […]


The makings of a spy, part three

Bond is no ghost. He is dead, or he is not. This is a necessary part of his education, it would seem, the last part: Understanding tragedy without becoming a tragic hero. The setting of this last story perhaps is everything all by itself. It suggests that […]

Quantum of solace

The makings of a spy, part two

In the sequel, Bond wants justice. Precious little pleasure remains. The good itself becomes problematic. The public good appears for the first time – Bond is trying his hardest to do good for his country – but the actors in this plot seem doomed to fail or […]

Casino Royale

The makings of a spy

James Bond is an ambitious man, enjoys luxury, & is extremely erotic. The latter would seem to describe a woman; the former – emphatically not. This opposition perhaps explains the attractions of the life of the spy for Bond. What other ways of life would satisfy him? His eroticism […]

Taken 2

A note on family & strangers

This is the sequel of a heart-rending story. A man learned his daughter was abducted in a foreign country. Unlike most people, he is a man of war, so his recourse was to war. He saved his daughter by killing the men who abducted her. American life – […]


A note on family love

When our protagonist has to make his most serious decision, he says: Then, I saw a mother ready to die for her son, a husband ready to kill for his wife. They are not married; they are different families, but they have this much in common, their families are […]

End of Watch

On justice as a journey to the abyss

This is the story of Brian & Mike, LA policemen who patrol the bad neighborhoods. The white one happens to be clever – he is ambitious & wants to make detective. The Mexican married his high-school sweetheart, who told him the police is a good job; […]

The Bonfire of the Vanities

Who are the masters of the universe?

This was the famous novel about New York. The first in a long time to educate one & all, shamelessly, publicly, about the class structure of New York. It shows a city where no one acts for the public good, where great achievements & great suffering define […]

Wall Street

Some notes on acquisition as a way of life

Wall Street is the film that won Michael Douglas the Oscar. The Academy was apparently as easily seduced as the viewing public by a man so ruthless as to betray everyone he found it profitable to betray. We notice that the film, much like the […]