Remembering Andy Jones

Andy Jones3.JPGI was saddened to hear this afternoon about the death of entertainment journalist Andy Jones, who suffered a fatal heart attack at a press screening of the new Angelina Jolie film A Mighty Heart. I hadn’t been in touch with Andy in far too long a time, but I wouldn’t be doing the things I do if it weren’t for him—at least nowhere near the way I’m doing them. Back in ’96, Andy was kind enough to hire me as a freelancer for Spiv, a pop culture site that the folks at Turner were putting together when every media conglomerate decided they needed to have a webzine. Later, when they killed off most of Spiv and kept only the film section, Rough Cut, he made sure that I was tapped to do indie film reviews and cover film festivals in San Francisco. I even got to do an occasional interview with film historians like David Thomson—the site is long gone, but you might be able to find some of that stuff in the Internet Archive if you look hard enough. Anyway, Andy’s support enabled me to hone my chops as a reviewer and interviewer, and we used to talk on the phone a lot, and the one time I met him, just as I was leaving the West Coast for New York, he was so much fun that I’m sorry we never got around to doing it again.

22 June 2007 | obituaries |

Richard Rorty, 1931-2007

richard-rorty.jpgTelos reports the death of Richard Rorty last Friday. I got engaged with Rorty’s ideas when I was the philosophy editor at and reviewed books like Achieving Our Country; I still consider his pragmatism a strong influence on my way of thinking a decade later. Todd Gitlin remembers Rorty as a philosopher who “put his fingers squarely on the central thought dilemmas (or multilemmas) of our time” and “didn’t use philosophy as a dodge from politics—sensible liberal social-democratic politics at that.”

The photo above comes from a Stanford News article about a 2005 lecture where Rorty slammed mind/body dualism, asking, “Why did this bad idea enter our culture?”

10 June 2007 | obituaries |

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