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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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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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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

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