How to Survive One “Bad Day at Black Rock”

John Struges’ Bad Day at Black Rock is a lean 81 minutes, largely set in one sparse locale, and driven by perhaps the most basic of narrative conceits: a stranger comes to town. While the film is not a golden age Hollywood “message” movie per se, it does indeed have something to say. After viewing it in 2017 and reflecting on its origins as a short story first published 70 years ago, what’s most remarkable is how malleable that message turns out to be.

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SP Mix: The xx and Julie Byrne Embrace Wide-Eyed Joy

George Harrison created joyous music under the right circumstances. Nothing else in his solo career quite stood up to that impassioned post-Beatles period, where years of ideas culminated into one album. For many artists, it’s the same deal: you need the right inspiration to make music that sounds good, but feels good too. For The xx and Julie Byrne, that inspiration has arrived; both artists created beautiful, jubilant albums this month, and both did it in very different ways.

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The Grant Rant: Blue Jays Fans, The Sky is Not Falling (Part 2)

Many think that the Jays bullpen is a huge weakness for a team with so much strength in the starting rotation and an offense that’s now rounding into shape. It’s actually not quite as bad as you might think. Let’s take a look at what the Jays actually have in the bullpen right now. Toronto will likely carry seven relievers for most of the season, so we’ll look at those seven spots by role.

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NBA MVP Watch: Russ vs. Oscar vs. History

Through 36 games, Westbrook has set the NBA on fire and watched it burn. The Thunder are 21-15, good for 6th in the Western Conference. It’s hard to argue that any player has been more instrumental to the success of his team than Westbrook. He’s averaging a league leading 30.9 points per game, is second in assists at 10.5 per game and, perhaps most shockingly, ranks 11th in the NBA with 10.5 rebounds per game. But it goes deeper than that.

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