The Blacklist tagged posts

Bill Withers and the Banality of Heaven

Earlier this week, I saw a wonderful warm movie about a very nice man. Got me kind of glowing inside, with an urge to write about it here. But as the week progressed with its normal percolation of ideas in the midst of walks and dishwashing and warm showers, the only real idea that came to me was in the form of a question: Why is it so difficult to say anything interesting about a wonderful warm movie depicting a very nice man?

The answer arrived only as I pondered imagery from a new television show my family recently took up, a cold treacherous show about very bad men. (And even a very bad woman in the most recent episode.)

O.K.—a few details and the dramatis personae. The good man is Bill Withers, a 1970s-80s soulful-romantic crooner and songwriter (Lean on Me; Ain’t No Sunshine). And the wonderful movie about him is Still Bill, a documentary that picks up on him and his life at age 70, decades remov...

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