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Lone Survivor

At the conclusion of a recent preview of Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor (last weekend’s highest-grossing picture in this country), a number of people in the audience cheered and clapped, some of them rising to their feet. It might have been interesting to ask some of them what they were cheering. They might have been celebrating the survival of Navy Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), a member of a Navy SEAL team on a mission to kill a Taliban leader in Afghanistan in 2005. (This is no spoiler, given the title and the large-scale promotional effort.)

Kill Your Darlings

If you’re not a devotee of Beat literature you may not know the name of Lucien Carr, who spent most of his life as an editor for the United Press news agency. But as a young man at Columbia University, he was the nucleus of a group that included Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William S. Burroughs. Considered by some to be the “fallen angel” of the Beats, he inspired their youthful iconoclasm and rebellion, but didn’t follow them down the path onto which he led them. In 1944 he killed an older man, David Kammerer. His defense was that he was defending himself from homosexual assault, and he spent two years in a reformatory for manslaughter.

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