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Philip Glass, Robert McNamara, Transcendent Man

Philip Glass, Robert McNamara, Transcendent Man (photo)

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I was raised to think guys like former brainiac defense secretary Robert McNamara, who died last week, were heroes. Then I got an education and found out he was just a sad old dick who pumped up the military industrial complex machinery with each and every ordinance-heavy scheme he conceived from the indulgent end of World War II through the colossal fail that was Vietnam. It’s clear now that he was just a servant of hegemonic momentum, lost and churned up in a war machine too complex to navigate.

If one can be momentarily removed from that born and bred nurturing sense of nationalism, it’s also clear he was what’s called a war criminal. Look no further than the facts, or the admissions in Errol Morris’ brilliant documentary “The Fog of War.” But instead of making me despise him more, that film made me empathize with the poor bastard and I’m certain Philip Glass had something to do with it.

Philip Glass is already one of the most influential composers of this century and has bridged the gap between pop music and classical, bringing the latter to legions of uncultured punks (like me). You could take a film about the bowel movements of Paul Wolfowitz, set it to Glassworks and it would seem important. The man could score his way out of a Uwe Boll film.

You may have missed it in the trainwreck soundtrack of “Watchmen,” but Glass compositions were used for the character Dr. Manhattan, one of the few great uses of music in a film burdened by a heavy hand. Next up should be another documentary, called “Transcendent Man,” a film about Ray Kurzweil that premiered at Tribeca earlier this year and still awaits release. I’m sure the Glass score will outshine the annoying 24-hour cable style bits of narration prominent in the trailer.

For nostalgia:

If you happen to be in Prague tomorrow, Philip Glass will be performing an evening of chamber music at the Prague Congress Centre.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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