About Stefan Beck

A writer living in southern Connecticut, Stefan Beck has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Sun, The Weekly Standard, The New Criterion, and other publications. He also writes a food blog, The Poor Mouth.

Epic Fail: David Denby’s “Snark”

By February 3, 2009

David Denby has the worst job on earth. As the New Yorker’s other film critic, Denby has the misfortune of competing with the suffocatingly funny Anthony Lane, a stylist and wit who once likened R2-D2 and C-3PO to “a beeping … Read More

Dimmer Bait and Switch: “Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage”

By December 12, 2008

Next time you’re thinking of telling a tedious anecdote about how “crazy” your family gets during “the holidays,” ask yourself: Am I from Austria? In the March 1958 issue of Folklore, Maurice Bruce relates that “Saint Nicholas’ Eve—the fifth of … Read More

Void Where Prohibited: 75 Years of Legalized Hooch

By December 5, 2008

The most unusual drink I ever took is a mouthful of hot moonshine whiskey, right out of a handsome copper still. I can’t provide any further details about this incident, though, moonshine being the natural enemy of recall. The fact … Read More

The War on Boredom: “Bottle Rocket” on DVD

By December 4, 2008

It’s often said that only the boring fall victim to boredom. A better way of putting this is that there are those on whom boredom acts as a powerful sedative or paralytic, and those for whom even a few parts … Read More

Propped Up: How Not to Support Gay Marriage

By November 20, 2008

A good measure of how badly someone wants something is how he goes about trying to get it. Fringe political candidates, blocking traffic in their flag-capes and foam Statue of Liberty crowns, don’t really want to be president—they just want … Read More

Am Embarrassment of Stitches: “Quantum of Solace” Reviewed

By November 17, 2008

Why is cinematic violence so much more disturbing when performed with an everyday object and not a weapon? I don’t mean Colonel Mustard in the conservatory with the candlestick. In Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible (2002), easily the most violent film I’ve … Read More

The Looniness of the Long-Distance Runner

By November 12, 2008

The sun is rising over the Lake Chabot Marina, in California’s Castro Valley, and I’ve just opened my eyes to find a heavy-set African-American woman slipping fluorescent pink and green fliers under my windshield wipers. She smiles apologetically, and when … Read More

Misoverestimating Palin

By November 10, 2008

I tend to drink Keystone Light, the mother’s milk of my alma mater. I’m not dogmatic about it, though; I’ve considered switching to Natural Light because my doctor says it’s a good source of Vitamin D. After all, as we … Read More