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Posts by Zack Budryk

How the Casey Affleck-Free Gone, Baby, Gone Adaptation Can Age Better in the #MeToo Era

There are notable differences between having real people and fictional characters as role models. The latter are less likely to disappoint you, but they can also feel that much harder to live up to. That may be why I didn’t really have any when I was younger, and when I found one in my late teens, he was a particularly down-to-earth, human example: Patrick Kenzie, the protagonist of six crime thrillers by Dennis Lehane. Unfortunately, the first real person to bring him to life didn't measure up.

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Who Run The World? 8 Great Female Characters You May Have Missed in 2017

There was such an embarrassment of riches that, as in 2015, some of the best female characters of the year slipped comparatively under the radar. Here are a few of those you may have missed, and how to remedy that.

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The Big Sleep to The Big Short: The Rise of Post-Financial Crisis Crime Fiction

Capitalism and American crime fiction have always been intertwined because greed and crime have always been intertwined.

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When the Dave’s Is Done: Some Thoughts on the Passing of a Comic Shop

Even if you’ve never been to a comic shop, you can probably get an idea of what my experience in Dave’s was like from any cultural depiction of the setting. The clientele was overwhelmingly male and largely, if not exclusively, adult. If you weren’t an adult one of the clerks would likely eye you over his glasses (I’m not stereotyping, they all had glasses) and ask if there was anything he could “help you with” if you hadn’t taken your purchase to the register within a few minutes.

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Leaning on the Episodic Arms: The Fiction That Helped Me Process Grief

Sometimes, a fictional death is exactly what we need to work through a real one.

On the morning of the 21st of June, Caroline Wall, one of my dearest friends and one of the best journalists I’ve ever known, died suddenly. In the time since we lost Caroline I’ve found that a lot of fiction, some of it from unlikely sources, truly gets what mourning feels like and evokes within us, and there’s some comfort in that. Here’s some of the fiction that’s helped me weather this particular storm and—who knows?—may do the same for you, should you need it.

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Corruption, Thou Art My Father: The Witch and The Rise of Horror-Americana

Like a lot of other aspects of America ,a lot of the nation’s conventions of supernatural fiction have roots in the generally European and specifically English tradition. Some of the first American supernatural literature, like that of Nathaniel Hawthorne, has a noticeably chilly, Puritan English character. While this work is the product of Americans and American fears, it complements what came before both the work itself and its nation of origin.

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An Open Letter to Robert De Niro

This is hard for me to write. You see, I’m autistic and, as is often the case, it’s manifested over the years as intense interest in certain specific topics.

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In Praise of Letting Female Characters Be a Mess

A lot of the flaws we accept in prestige cable’s Difficult Men are far less commonplace among female characters, even the less morally upright ones. In the past couple years, however, the tide appears to be turning ever-so-slightly.

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Trolling in the Deep: How Internet Trolls Can’t Even Harass Men Without Dragging Women Into It

I should begin by noting it was definitely a mistake to tweet at Anthony Cumia in the first place.

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Listers Are Doin’ It for Themselves: 7 Great Female Characters of 2015 You May Have Missed

There’s been such a wealth of admirable heroines this year that a few have slipped under the radar just because there simply isn’t enough room. So now that you (hopefully) have a bit of a break, here are seven more fierce ladies from screen, page, and stage in 2015.

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Rise of the Overreactionaries: Outrage Over Outrage as a Silencing Tactic

Did you hear? Did you hear what those stupid Internet outrage-mongers did THIS time? Now they’re mad at Reese’s, because their seasonal Christmas tree-shaped candy isn’t shaped like Christmas trees! Isn’t that a stupid thing to be upset about? Doesn’t it just make you SO MAD that someone would be upset about that?

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The Presidential Candidates and Their Television Antihero Counterparts: An Investigation

In today’s level of media saturation, the lines between politics and pop culture grow ever blurrier.

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