Monday, February 21, 2011

The Main Point, and Its Mission

When I started The Main Point blog I described its purpose as a place for observations on culture and politics, news, very short stories, poems, photos, missives from friends.

On return to the blog I notice that balance has been out of whack and that my first post is entirely consumed with current events and conflict. As a former editor of a literary magazine and an arts journalist such had not been intention at the outset, but it is perhaps a reflection of the times we live in.

With the indulgence of my few followers, and since some of you are new to TMP, I'm going to take another look back now at a few earlier posts more in line with my original intentions and with, um, my actual areas of expertise. So herewith a kind of greatest hits for TMP:

The great Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa is best known for his samurai epics, but in the 1950s he was fascinated by hard-boiled crime stories and noir. In Hollywood there is now a cult fascination, led by Martin Scorcese, with Kurosawa's movie "High and Low." "The Bad Sleep Well" is worth similar reverence and has Shakespearean dimensions, but my favorite from that period is "Stray Dog," thoughts on which HERE.

Andres Velasco, until recently the Chilean economics minister, spoke with me in an interview for Monocle magazine, about the proper role of stimulus spending and his notion of counter-cyclical fiscal policies, HERE.

A short story? A very short story... Ernest Hemingway wrote the saddest, and it can be read HERE.

TMP received a missive from the eminent psychoanalyst and business consultant Michael Maccoby on his mentor Erich Fromm, HERE.

Extraordinary times? This month I'm reminded of 1848. Usually though I think back to 1958 and what that must have been like.

Tony Curtis died this winter. Years ago I interviewed Billy Wilder for The Paris Review and he recounted directing Curtis in "Some Like It Hot," as recounted HERE.

A collection of memories about my old boss George Plimpton HERE.

My favorite wine critic Jay McInerney remembered a then-recent bottle HERE.

A number of fascinating missives from novelist and military historian Caleb Carr HERE. Particularly of interest... Carr's speculation on Gunter Grass's life in the 10th SS Panzer division during WWII.

An archive of contributed poetry HERE, including work by Charles Wright, Pierre Martory, and the heroic Jeannie Vanasco.

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