“These vegetables turned yellow,” the customer said, holding up a bag of unidentifiable produce.
I could hear her discussing the situation with a clerk as I strolled the aisles of Ubud’s premier organic vegetarian establishment, Down to Earth, peering over offerings of kombucha and cacao as I tried to choose between three varieties of hummus.
“Can I get a refund?”
“But they turned yellow,” the customer replied, her face clouded with confusion. I have no idea what the original color of the vegetables was, but I’m guessing something other than yellow.
The clerk remained unmoved. It was a standoff, the tension only broken by the arrival of a shipment of almond butter. Continue reading
Runner Runner, the new film starring acting heavyweight Justin Timberlake (minus the dancing tofu costume), opens with a voiceover explaining that everything is a risk. You see, Richie Furst (Timberlake) was on the verge of having it made on Wall Street when everything collapsed due to bankers’ greed. Now, he’s just a gifted but broke Princeton grad student struggling to get his degree. Oh, you say, so this movie is going to detail the injustice of a legal code that outlaws casinos yet lets bankers make millions with your money? No. Keep reading.
This week, the US government stopped working. Not figuratively—that happened a long time ago. No, it literally stopped working. Suddenly, pre-planned high school field trips to our nation’s capital had to be rescheduled because monuments and museums were closed. Air traffic controllers had to take longer than usual coffee breaks. Congress had to forfeit its salary. Oh, sorry, I meant Congress had to forfeit other people’s salaries. My bad. Continue reading
The Believer, a 2001 film starring Ryan Gosling in a breakout role, is about a young Jewish man who is also (paradoxically) fiercely anti-Semitic. He falls in with a crowd of racist intellectuals, led by Theresa Russell and Billy Zane, who want to put a new face on white supremacy. They wear eyeglasses and sweaters with patches. They read hardcover books from mahogany shelves. They use terms like “antidisestablishmentarianism”. But really, they’re just bigots who stroke their beards as they reheat tired pseudo-intellectual theories about ethnic differentiation. Continue reading