CINEMA: A Confederacy Of Dunces

EDITOR’S NOTE: Warren Lipka was a Phawker intern in 2015. BY DAVID EDELSTEIN FRESH AIR FILM CRITIC The heist movie American Animals opens with a cutesy title. This is not based on a true story. Then the words not based on disappear, leaving — this is a true story. I doubt any fiction writer could have dreamed up a heist so dumb, stealing the original of Audubon’s multivolume “Birds Of America” from the library of Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. The movie is funny in spots, but it’s not a comedy. The British writer-director Bart Layton has set out to […]

The Things You Learn On Your First Day In Prison

BY ANDREW MCKENNA & WARREN LIPKA The first thing you learn on your first day of prison is fuck the dude that told you to “walk up to the biggest guy on the yard and punch him as hard as you can in the face.” That poser has never done any type of time past county drunk tank bullshit, or 30 days for public masturbation. A time and place exists to display the don’t-fuck-with-me vibe but to punch the biggest guy in the yard in the head on day one of your stay at the big house is extremely ill-advised […]

REEFER MADNESS: 858,408 Arrested In 2009

ALTERNET: Police prosecuted 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The arrest total is the second highest ever reported by the FBI, and marks a 1.3 percent increase in the number of arrests reported in 2008 (847,864). According to the report, marijuana arrests now comprise more than one-half (approximately 52 percent) of all drug arrests reported in the United States. A decade ago, marijuana arrests comprised just 44 percent of all drug arrests. Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 88 percent (758,593 Americans) were charged with […]

The Wrongful Life & Death Of Kenneth Keith Kallenbach

INQUIRER: Kallenbach’s mother said the staff at the privately run Delaware County prison — which in 2005 was the subject of at least two inquiries into the deaths of five inmates in as many months — failed to properly treat Kallenbach’s cystic fibrosis, a congenital disease that affects the lungs and other vital organs and can lead to chronic infections and premature death. “If he had been home and gotten all of his medications, all these things he needed, he would be alive today,” the retired telephone operator for Verizon said in a phone interview. She said her son had […]