From the archives of the Boston Phoenix
By  |  October 27, 2008

BURN OUT | 5 years ago | January 19, 2001 | Kris Frieswick commented on the tired state of our nation. | “Then there’s the new presidency of George W. Bush. Not only does his cabinet bear a striking resemblance to his father’s cabinet, but it even features a designee for secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, who’s reprising a role he held under President Gerald Ford. What could be duller than that?

“Face it. We, as a nation are exhausted – we’re so spent, we’re even recycling presidencies. For the past few years, we’ve been running around like chickens with their heads cut off, creating new paradigms, eschewing convention, spending money like it grew on trees, taking risks with our professional careers and our families’ long-term fiscal health in a bid to grab a piece of a great big smoke-and-mirror pie. We’re just beat down. And now we’re sitting on the sidewalk, battered and worn out with mud on our clothes, looking around and asking ourselves, ‘What the hell was that all about?’

“There’s only one thing you can do under these circumstances. Nest. Embrace your inner dullard. Get back in touch with that person you used to be before you became corrupted by 60,000 stock options and had the word ‘chief’ added to your title. Retrench. Reset your inner metronome from pretissimo to largo, or at least andante. See if you can remember what it feels like to take a long, deep breath without interrupting it to check your e-mail.”

DÉJÀ VIEW | 10 years ago | January 19, 1996 | Peter Keough critiqued filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’sFrom Dusk till Dawn. | “For better or worse, art in the ’90s has been the decade of recycling, not creation. In film, the embodiment of that trend’s triumphs and disasters has been Quentin Tarantino. After basking in adulation for his pop pastiche masterpiece Pulp Fiction, he’s now enduring a drubbing for the vacant Four Rooms. Those fearing that the great hope of independent filmmaking has shot his wad will find no consolation in From Dusk till Dawn, his 1990 script based on a short story by Robert Kurtzman and directed by fellow Room-er Robert Rodriguez. It’s one thing to cut and paste and regurgitate the detritus of junk culture; it’s another when the junk you’re recycling is your own.”

BIKER BLISS | 15 years ago | January 18, 1991 | Gail Ross explained why a young person would choose to pursue a career as a bike messenger. | “Boston’s messenger community, like those in other cities, is heavily populated with young people who, for one reason or another, aren’t ready to settle down, or who find corporate life stultifying, or who are simply drawn to the idea of tearing around on a bicycle eight hours a day. And indeed, one of the reasons few people understand why messengers choose to do what they do all day, day after day, is that they simply don’t understand how much couriers love to ride their bikes.

“A few messengers never get a thrill out of riding; some become bored by it; others get wise and slow down, realizing it can be downright dangerous. But some people just take to it.”

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