On the Exegesis of the Soul Or: Why I Love Beef Stick [The Ryan Dixon ...

INTRODUCTION TO THE 2012 EDITION “May I try a free sample?” After speaking those six simple words, the ritual would always be the same: A smiling gray-haired clerk at a Hickory Farms Christmas stand in one of the many Western Pennsylvania malls I visited during my childhood would poke a...

THE RYAN DIXON LINE: An Ode to Black Friday [Best of FaN]

Conventional wisdom has it that Thanksgiving is the one day where family and friends reunite, reconnect, and relapse over a grocery-store-bought feast of turkey, stuffing and wine. Football is watched. Happy tears are shed. Everlasting memories are made. Balderdash. Come on, admit it, if I...

My Life as a Mall: A Day in the Life [As Told to Ryan Dixon]

A bi-weekly blog featuring the recollections of a soon-to-be demolished super regional mall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as told to Ryan Dixon. For previous installments, please click HERE They’re boarding me up as I write this. A crew of twenty burly men attach plywood over my doors and...

My Life as a Mall: The Day the Music Died [As Told To Ryan Dixon]

A bi-weekly blog featuring the recollections of a soon-to-be demolished super regional mall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as told to Ryan Dixon. It’s quiet now. Allegheny Energy has pulled the plug, sending the lights blinking into blindness. The music, which had been going steady for nearly 30...

THE MAN FROM PRIMROSE LANE by James Renner: Book Review [The Ryan Dixo...

The Man From Primrose Lane is pretty fucking great. Is it okay if I just end my review right here? After all, in an ideal world, one sentence of profuse praise for James Renner’s debut novel would be enough to convince you to go to Amazon right now and hit “purchase.” But that’s not how it...

WATERGATE by Thomas Mallon: Book Review [The Ryan Dixon Line]

In Watergate, Thomas Mallon’s exceedingly entertaining, panoramic re-telling of the eponymous presidential scandal now forty years old, Richard Nixon’s downfall is framed as the inevitable, near-farcical conclusion of one of our most tragic national epics: the 1960’s. As the novel opens in...

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD TRAIN WRECK by Eric G. Wilson: Book Review [The ...

Before the internet allowed us to watch footage of people being murdered for free, any aspiring video-age Percival had to search high and low for quality snuff. There was no relic so highly prized as the Grail of gross, Faces of Death. Often shelved in the back rooms of those pre-Blockbuster...

Mr g by Alan Lightman: Book Review [The Ryan Dixon Line]

Let’s just jump to the question you really want to ask: Does Alan Lightman’s new novel, Mr g: A Novel About the Creation, live up to the enormous accomplishment of his first one, Einstein’s Dreams? Comprised of chapters devoted to the dreams young Albert Einstein had while working on his...

THE MAP AND THE TERRITORY by Michel Houellebecq: Book Review [The Ryan...

“Literary critics have labeled Michel Houellebecq’s novels ‘vulgar,’ ‘pamphlet literature’ and ‘pornography;’ he has been accused of obscenity, racism, misogyny and islamophobia.” Why couldn’t I have read that book? Considering that one of his...

THE PRAGUE CEMETERY by Umberto Eco: Book Review [The Ryan Dixon Line]

Able to leap multidisciplinary subjects in a single bound, Umberto Eco is the college professor you always wanted to have.  His first novel, 1980’s international bestseller The Name of the Rose placed such seemingly inaccessible topics as semiotics and biblical hermeneutics inside the...

WIN A McRIB! The Five Reasons Why the McRib is the Greatest Fast Food ...

Want to win a free McRib? Then play Fierce & Nerdy’s Search for the Great McRibiography! Here’s how to win your FREE McRib: 1. Read Ryan’s Dixon’s now classic manifesto: The Five Reasons Why the McRib is the Greatest Fast Food Item of All Time 2. In the Comments...

THE STRANGER’S CHILD by Alan Hollinghurst: Book Review [The Ryan Dixon...

To start, let’s compare Alan Hollinghurst’s new novel The Stranger’s Child to the Boston Red Sox. In 2004, Hollinghurst won the Man Booker Prize (Britain’s highest literary award) for his previous novel, The Line of Beauty. That same year the Boston Red Sox won their first world series in 86...

LIFE ITSELF by Roger Ebert: Book Review [The Ryan Dixon Line]

Every hero hears the call to adventure. So, too, then must a critic — perhaps the most passive of all protagonists — discover the stylistic and aesthetic tools needed to tell perfect strangers how to think about a work of art. In Roger Ebert’s new memoir Life Itself, the...

The Ever-Sinking Ship: The Historic Losing Streak of the Pittsburgh Pi...

.500. For any fan of baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates, this number now has more significance than Barry Bonds’ home run record, DiMaggio’s hit streak or Cal Ripken’s consecutive games played. When I wrote the following blogumn in March, it looked like the chances of  the...

Your Life as My Novel: The Ryan Dixon Line [BOOK WEEK]

I have a problem. And like most of my problems, I was the last one to know about it. In fact, I had considered this problem an attribute until last Saturday night when I was strolling through the outdoor shopping and dining district of Old Town Pasadena enjoying a fruitful, funny conversation...

The Orphan Blockbuster: How We Stopped Caring and Learned to Love Unlo...

Soda is delicious. But to the ancient Callatians, so was the flesh of dead relatives and nowadays no one outside of gourmand serial killers would salivate over a dish of foie gras d’ humain.  That soda and junk food have followed in the footsteps of flesh and cigarettes to become the...

The Seven Deadly Sequel Sins: A Memo on How NOT to Kill Your Film Fran...

To: Newly Promoted President of Production at Major Hollywood Studio From: The Mainstream Moviegoing Audience of America Congratulations on your new job! After years of suffering through labyrinthine lunch orders, death-defying dry cleaning runs and post-orgy organization duty, you’ve...

The Sheetz Masterpiece: The Convenience Store as Art and the Art of Co...

How Morgan Spurlock’s POM Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold shows the world the glory of Sheetz. During the 1940’s, Walt Disney spent weekends sitting on creaky benches watching his daughters play at shoddy, destitute amusement parks. Those endless hours suffering in communal...

James Joyce’s Ulysses: Cocktail Party Edition [The Ryan Dixon Line]

A Reader’s Guide to Not Reading Ulysses. It can happen to anyone. You’re at a birthday party, Bar Mitzvah, or PTA meeting. The day has gone well, the weather outside is perfect, you’re happy to be alive. But then the rabbi, soccer mom super hero or neighbor’s boarding school brat references...

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark – Flopocalypse Now [The Ryan Dixon...

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has yet to kill anyone, but could it end up murdering the Broadway Flop? No show in Broadway history has ever battled through such a dizzying array of troubles as Spider-Man: Turn Off Dark. The buzz hasn’t just been bad, it’s been genocidal.  And like the war in...

THE RYAN DIXON LINE: Dangling by a thread – SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF...

“The Ancient Greeks reserved a special word for the sort of arrogance that makes you forget your own humanity. That word was Hubris.” — From an introductory essay included in the Playbill of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Note to Julie Taymor, Bono and The Edge: When...

The Ryan Dixon Line: On the Exegesis of the Soul or: Why I Love Beef S...

a blogumn by Ryan Dixon INTRODUCTION TO THE 2010 EDITION Like that Christmas Eve story Grandpa always told that became longer and more convoluted as the years went on, the time has once again arrived for my ever-growing annual holiday column on Hickory Farms Beef Stick. I figure if George...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: December 3-5 [BOOK WEEK 2!]

Fierce Anticipation’s 1st Annual Macabre, Morbid, Miserly, and somewhat Murderous Christmas Reading List of 22 Books Selected at Random by Me, Ryan Dixon Need a gift for that not-so-special someone? Read on to discover the perfectly inappropraite book for every Christmas occasion after the...

JOHN DUNN’S LAST RUN – Part 5 [Fierce and Nerdy Presents]

To celebrate Halloween, all week Fierce and Nerdy is proud to present the online premiere of John Dunn’s Last Run, a darkly comic psychological horror film written and directed by Hell House: The Awakening co-author and F&N contributor Ryan Dixon and produced by F&N writers...

The Ryan Dixon Line: The Five Reasons Why the McRib is the Greatest Fa...

INTRODUCTION TO THE 2010 EDITION: Why Me? How did an always poor, mostly anonymous and only occasionally witty blogumnist living in Burbank, CA suddenly find himself as the protagonist in a real-life, 21st century Horatio Alger novel? During the past three weeks I’ve been quoted in the...

JOHN DUNN’S LAST RUN – Part 4 [Fierce and Nerdy Presents]

To celebrate Halloween, all week Fierce and Nerdy is proud to present the online premiere of John Dunn’s Last Run, a darkly comic psychological horror film written and directed by Hell House: The Awakening co-author and F&N contributor Ryan Dixon and produced by F&N writers...

JOHN DUNN’S LAST RUN – Part 3 [Fierce and Nerdy Presents]

To celebrate Halloween, all week Fierce and Nerdy is proud to present the online premiere of John Dunn’s Last Run, a darkly comic psychological horror film written and directed by Hell House: The Awakening co-author and F&N contributor Ryan Dixon and produced by F&N writers...

JOHN DUNN’S LAST RUN – Part 2 [Fierce and Nerdy Presents]

To celebrate Halloween, all week Fierce and Nerdy is proud to present the online premiere of John Dunn’s Last Run, a darkly comic psychological horror film written and directed by Hell House: The Awakening co-author and F&N contributor Ryan Dixon and produced by F&N writers...

JOHN DUNN’S LAST RUN – Part I [Fierce and Nerdy Presents]

Just in time for Halloween Week, Fierce and Nerdy is proud to present the online premiere of John Dunn’s Last Run, a darkly comic psychological horror film written and directed by Hell House: The Awakening co-author and F&N contributor Ryan Dixon and produced by F&N writers...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: OCT 22-24 – The Hell House of Ryan Dixon, P...

On the Origins of Hell House: The Awakening:  A Special Multi-Part Fierce Anticipation Event By Ryan Dixon Click Here for Part I Click Here for Part II The phone rang in my dorm room during the dawning hours of a frigid Monday morning in January 1999. Already awake and blearily trying to...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: Oct. 15-17 – The Hell House of Ryan Dixon, ...

On the Origins of Hell House: The Awakening:  A Special Multi-Part Fierce Anticipation Event By Ryan Dixon Click Here for Part I “This is Steve,” the Grim Reaper guide says. “He thought his homosexual lifestyle was everything a real man could want, but now he’s dying of AIDS.” While the exact...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: OCT 8-10 – The Hell House of Ryan Dixon, Pa...

On the Origins of Hell House: The Awakening:  A Special Multi-Part Fierce Anticipation Event “Where do you get your ideas?” As a writer I’m asked that question a lot. Usually I respond by spouting off something about an amalgamation of life experience, imaginative fancy and just plain ripping...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: Sept. 10-12

Back in August I promised that today I was going to reveal the true and terrifying story behind the upcoming graphic novel I co-wrote, Hell House: The Awakening. Well, it turns out I f*cked up the release date and Hell House: The Awakening isn’t actually coming out until later this...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: September 3-6

. a favorite blogumn by Ryan Dixon Ryan Says: Love at first sight? For me, it’s a dubious concept with one notable exception. During a trip to Boston last August I fell instantly into Eros’ pulsating embrace upon my first step inside Jordan’s Furniture. For those who didn’t read this...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: August 27-29 [FaN Favorites]

. a favorite blogumn by Ryan Dixon Before his diagnosis of Esophageal cancer took up all the headlines and dominated the interviews, Christopher Hitchens’ officially-minted feud with literary lion Gore Vidal looked like it was going to be one of the featured topics during the publicity tour...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: AUGUST 20-22 [HELL HOUSE]

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING You Watching the Hell House: The Awakening trailer! On September 8th HELL HOUSE: THE AWAKENING, a graphic novel I co-wrote with Chad Feehan, will be unleashed upon unsuspecting readers all across America. While I won’t reveal the dark, twisted...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: August 13-15

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon Those lucky enough to count themselves as children of the 80’s know the truth. If it was amongst your possessions, there was perhaps no other toy that earned more esteem from one’s elementary school peers than Voltron: Defender of the Universe (which should not...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: August 6-8

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING ON DEMAND “Are you sure you’re ready to do this?” “Yeah, I really want to.” “And you won’t have any regrets? You know there’s no going back.” “I want to. I want to do it. Badly. Really badly.” And so last Friday evening, my roommate and I, after...

Fierce Anticipation: June 25-27

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon Fiercely Anticipating Tom Cruise in Knight and Day I come to praise Tom Cruise, not to bury him. That I can present you with this brief, but spirited defense, is due to one major reason: I used to work for the man. If you’ve spent any time employed in the...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: June 18-20 [BOOK WEEK]

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon Fiercely Anticipating The Novelization Like any adolescent with a slice of ambition and a small sliver of spunk, I was always searching for new and inventive ways to see R-rated movies. Unfortunately, in the confines of my rural existence, where the nearest theater...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: June 11-13 [80s Worst Ten]

She released her soft, moist tongue from around my throbbing member. And then her naked body, dripping with liquid crystals of love sweat, began to mount me. In a matter of minutes, I would be a virgin no longer… Okay, enough with that. Per the new format of FaN, our dauntless edittress...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: June 4-6

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon A very busy week with lots of overdue projects equals an abbreviated Fierce Anticipation. Instead of providing you with an 2,000 word exegesis on the glories of Honey Baked Ham or a dissertation exploring the semiotics of The Real Housewives of New York, I’ve...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: May 28-31 [Ryan Dixon (Finally) Returns]

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Returning to Fierce Anticipation “So, where were you?” That’s what you’re asking right now. Wondering what the hell happened in my own life to cause me to go missing on this very web page for nearly six months. Well, as...

The Ryan Dixon Line: Love Never Dies But Phantom 2 Most Certainly Will

. an occasional blogumn about an assortment of things by Ryan Dixon Here’s a tip for any theatre-centric PhD candidate desperately looking for a thesis topic: write your dissertation on the history of sequels to Broadway musicals. In fact, I’ll make your job even easier and provide you with...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: January 8-10

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING THE ORACLE OF DIXON: 2010 EDITION The NFL playoffs are starting this weekend without the Pittsburgh Steelers. No matter how you look at it, the evidence is pretty clear: It’s all my fault. During the course of the NFL’s regular season I used a...

Fierce Anticipation [Very Special Edition]: December 18-20

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon Introduction to the 2009 Edition Last December, I wrote a blogumn explaining my unconditional love for Hickory Farm’s Beef Stick. The post was a raging success and, after talking with the editor, we’ve decided to bring it back as a special holiday treat....

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: DECEMBER 4-6

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING The McRib This past Sunday I was driving down the long, wide stretch of San Fernando Blvd in Burbank, CA, searching for a place to buy a salad for lunch, when I passed the local McDonald’s and noticed that the “McDouble” sign that had graced the...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: November 20-22

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Black Friday Conventional wisdom has it that Thanksgiving is the one day where family and friends reunite, reconnect, and relapse over a grocery-store-bought feast of turkey, stuffing and wine. Football is watched. Happy tears are shed....

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: November 13-15

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon In which the Bengals are declawed, A Christmas Carol sings again and 2012 can’t come fast enough. FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers It seems like once every other decade or so the Cincinnati Bengals manage to sew together a football...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: October 23-25

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon In Which Applebee’s is Defended, the Minnesota Vikings Dissed and Saw VI Declawed… FIERCELY DEFENDING Eating at Applebee’s Are you an aspiring comedy writer? Do you need an easy joke to top off that last scene? Is mentioning George W. Bush a little too...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: October 16-18

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon In Which The Stepfather Arrives, Usher Falls and Cleveland Still Sucks… FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Choosing Between The Stepfather and The Fall of the House of Usher As I see it, if you’re in the mood for a gothic and gory tale of severe family dysfunction and...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: October 9-11

In Which Detroit is Rebuked, Cloudy Rains Again and Free Style is Disciplined… FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Detroit Lions If I were Detroit I’d really hate Pittsburgh right now. Think about it.  Last month, during the G-20 conference hundreds of articles were published...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: September 18-20

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon In which we ponder the mysteries of football while eating buffalo wings, but not Meatballs. FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Teaching My Girlfriend about Football One of the ancient rituals of courtship is the indoctrination into the habits, hobbies and areas of interest of...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: September 11-13

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon In Which a Diabolical Crime is Uncovered, Sorority Row re-visited and Michael Douglas dissected… FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Catching the Can Man They were two men. Both alike in many ways; late middle age, short and stout, beer bellies the size of bowling balls,...

Fierce Anticipation: Sept 4-7

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon The Furniture Store as Theme Park Edition (with Complimentary Bonus Photos!) FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Jordan’s Furniture Over the past decade, when dinner party chatter would turn to the topic of the best themed furniture stores in the nation, my well-worn...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: August 14-16

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Madden NFL 10 “Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is admirable, complete and possesses magnitude; in language made pleasurable, each of its species separated in different parts; performed by actors, not through narration; effecting...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: August 7-9

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY REMEMBERING Flea Markets The middle of August is almost here and — if today’s release of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra wasn’t enough of a hint – that means we have officially entered the dreary days of dog.   For those attending or teaching school in the...

FIERCE ANTICIPATION: July 31-Aug 2

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Finishing The Power Broker   This column is a cry for help. While I normally wouldn’t use this space to talk about my personal life, this particular crisis has left me paralyzed to think or write about anything else: I am in a long-term book...

Fierce Anticipation: July 24-26

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING In the Loop In the graveyard of movie genres, the traditional, door-slamming farce (celluloid and digital descendants of French playwright Georges Feydeau’s oeuvre) must be one of the first tombstones. Movies that fit this form (A Fish Called...

Fierce Anticipation: July 10-12

On Saturday, July 11th, “John Dunn’s Last Run,” a 30-minute film I wrote and directed that revolves around nighttime jogging, ghosts, underage sexual temptation and unwanted back hair will screen at the Johnstown Film and Wine Festival in Pennsylvania.* Since I’m sure that many of...

Fierce Anticipation: June 12-14

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING IMAGINE THAT or: The Eddie Murphy Code Hollywood has been trying to crack the secret code to making box office hits since the day the brothers Warner hopped on that train from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles. While that mystery will probably forever...

Fierce Anticipation: May 29 – 31

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Up Seemingly every review and article about Pixar’s Up mentions the fact that this new movie gives the Emeryville, CA studio a perfect 10 for 10 streak of critical and box office success for their films. In fact, many refer to this streak as...

Fierce Anticipation: May 21-25 (Robot Edition)

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon NOTES ON A ROBOT REVOLUTION Photo by Ariel Boston I awoke with tears in my eyes. Being only eight years old, it was the first time I had ever had a dream emotionally powerful enough to make me cry. It was a dream that not only provided me with a sense of what true...

Fierce Anticipation: May 15-17

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon THE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION EDITION Author’s Note: The continuing economic crisis has finally hit FaN. Earlier this week all contributors received a memo from our editor, Ernessa T. Carter, stating that from this time forward, we would have to find sponsors...

Fierce Anticipation: May 8-10

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Star Trek Many of us use cultural and artistic touchstones as signposts to measure our lives. While for some it may be the albums of Bob Dylan or the ever-receding hairline of Nicholas Cage, the seminal moments of my life have always seemed to...

Fierce Anticipation: April 10-12

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Gore Vidal on Real Time with Bill Maher It was really happening. In less than one hour I was going to meet one of my honest-to-god heroes. And not just meet him. To sit, talk, and hang out with him. I needed to tell someone, share this amazing...

Fierce Anticipation: April 3-5

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Rock of Ages As anyone who has attended the theatre with any regularity can attest, leaving a play feeling satisfied is, like Halley’s Comet, an event whose very rareness only serves to magnify the power of the experience. And God bless theatre...

Fierce Anticipation: March 27-29

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING YOU going to see Duplicity and The Great Buck Howard The complaint never goes away: movie studios are so consumed with churning out product that appeals to those (mostly males) 25 and under that they ignore everyone else. A glance at any weekly...

Fierce Anticipation: March 13-15

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon The Existential Despair Edition or: A Chronicle of a Fugitive Weatherman, the Letters of Samuel Beckett and the Ignominy of the Pittsburgh Pirates FIERCELY ANTICIPATING The Continuing Criminal Exploits of Jay Patrick, the Felonious Weatherman Having been born and...

Fierce Anticipation: March 6-8

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING The Shamrock Shake In the pantheon of fast food items McDonald’s Shamrock Shake stands at the pinnacle. Like the chirping of a robin, its annual appearance heralds a sure and glorious sign of spring’s imminent arrival. Originally...

Fierce Anticipation: February 27 – March 1

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING, FIERCELY DISAPPOINTED The Ring Cycle In the world of opera and classical music, Richard Wagner‘s four-part Der Ring des Nibelungen is the closest thing there is to epically popular movie franchises like the Star Wars saga or The Lord of...

Fierce Anticipation: February 20-22

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon   FIERCELY ANTICIPATING The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann David Grann‘s book about the mysterious disappearance of British explorer Percy Fawcett, a contemporary of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle and a sort-of real life Indiana...

Fierce Anticipation: February 6-8

a blogumn by Ryan Dixon   FIERCELY ANTICIPATING He’s Just Not That Into You While the six words that make up the title of this newly released romantic comedy are probably endowed with more romantic truth than anything since Shakespeare’s 18th sonnet (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?),...

Fierce Anticipation: January 23th – 25th

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Re-Watching The Dark Knight in IMAX Even though it was criminally shut out of both the Best Picture and Best Director categories for this year’s Oscars, it still doesn’t alter the fact that if you haven’t seen The Dark Knight in IMAX, then...

Fierce Anticipation: January 9th – 11th

. a blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING The NFL Playoffs: The Pittsburgh Steelers vs. The San Diego Chargers Three quick questions: Which NFL team has the best dynasty ever? Is responsible for the single greatest play in sports history? And has the most loyal fan base? Answer: It’s...

Fierce Anticipation [Very Special Edition]: December 19-21

A blogumn by Ryan Dixon . On the Exegesis of the Soul or: Why I Love Beef Stick   FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Hickory Farms Beef Stick “May I try a free sample?” After I spoke those six simple words, a smiling gray-haired clerk at a Hickory Farms Christmas stand set up in one of the many Western...

Fierce Anticipation: Dec. 12-14

. A blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirit by Les Standiford We’ve seen Shakespeare in Love, now get ready for Dickens In Debt. That’s the starting point in this...

Fierce Anticipation: Dec. 5 – Dec.7

A blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING George C. Scott in A Christmas Carol You can have Seymour Hicks, Alastair Slim, Albert Finney, Mickey Mouse and the Muppets, I’ll take George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. The elaborate 1984 TV movie that starred the always cantankerous (and often...

Fierce Anticipation: Nov. 21 – Nov. 23

. A blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Dry Storeroom #1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey Was there ever a place more magical than a museum? In the middle of my birthday party evolutionary chart, where fast food restaurant playgrounds begat roller...

Fierce Anticipation: Nov. 14-16

. A blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING “Have You Seen…?” The Jews had Moses to deliver the Ten Commandments, and those of us who worship at the altar of cinema have David Thomson. The author of the magisterial The New Biographical Dictionary of Film has given us a holy treat with the...

Rest In Peace: Michael Crichton Nov11

Rest In Peace: Michael Crichton

. A Life In Review by Ryan Dixon Since the bad news came during the elation of the Obama election — a celebration rivaled in transcendent excitement only by the Rebel Alliance’s defeat of the Empire at the end of Return of the Jedi — perhaps the low-key response to Michael...

Fierce Anticipation: Oct. 31 – Nov.2

. A blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCE ANTICIPATION Ghost-to-Ghost on Coast to Coast While it seems like truly bizarre radio programs can now only be found while driving deep into the desert or hiking through the dueling banjos territory of Appalachia, the nationally syndicated Coast to Coast AM...

Fierce Anticipation: October 24-26, 2008

. A blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING The Original Faces of Death: 30th Anniversary Edition Before the internet allowed us to watch footage of people being mauled by animals for free,  any aspiring video age Percival had to search high and low for quality smut, and there was no...

Fierce Anticipation: The 1st Annual 3rd Weekend of October Extra-long ...

. A blogumn by Ryan Dixon (Surgeon General’s Warning: May Cause Hemorrhoids if Read on the Toilet) FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Haunted Houses Halloween is here and that means it’s time to make the pilgrimage to haunted houses. Here are the three must-visit haunted destinations in Southern...

Fierce Anticipation: Oct. 10-12

. A blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Honk! Festival of Street Bands What happens to all of those awkward, yet enthusiastic high school and college-age souls who take off their shakos and leave behind the sex-crazed, drug addled lifestyle of the marching band? Well, it seems that...

Fierce Anticipation: October 3-5

/ A blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Religulous / An American Carol Not since 2004’s The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11 have two movies been released that so perfectly represent the opposing views in our national Cold War of ideology. While it’s almost a given that...

Fierce Anticipation: Sept. 26-28

A blogumn by Ryan Dixon FIERCELY ANTICIPATING Neil Diamond in Concert The Oughts have been very good to Neil Diamond. Like his fellow pop-culture roller-coaster rider William Shatner (both “Solitary Man” and Star Trek first appeared in 1966), for a long time it looked like the career...

Fierce Anticipation: Sept. 12-14

. A blogumn by Ryan Dixon On the subject of what to do this weekend… FIERCELY ANTICIPATING The food at the Los Angeles County Fair. While Southlanders on low-carb diets may equate a trip to the fair with the Bataan Death March, for those of us who assume that technology will advance...