Author: Ben Butina



The best veggie burgers, in my opinion, are those that least simulate meat. A charred portobello mushroom cap with some aioli makes a damn fine sandwich in its own right. Calling it a “veggie burger,” however, distracts me from enjoying it for what it is by prompting me to compare […]


London After Midnight

London After Midnight, (a.k.a., The Hypnotist) is a 1927 silent horror film starring Lon Chaney. The last known copy of the film was destroyed in the MGM vault fire of 1965. This is just a little snippet of music in tribute to it. (For those who care about such things, […]


Five Questions About the “Old West”

1 The phrase Old West refers to both a time and a place. Is there a term for such a signifier, one which refers to both an era and a geographical region (e.g., Antebellum South, Roman Britain)? 2 When we think about the Old West, we include the California Gold […]


Every Outcome is the Result of Two Things

Once upon a time, I hired an electrician (let’s call him Billy) to do some work on my house. Long story short, Billy made a mess of things. Every time I look up and see my wrecked ceiling tile, I’m reminded that hiring Billy was a bad decision. But it […]