Home / Jef Costello

Jef Costello

In Defense of “Anthropomorphism”

“I think you’re anthropomorphizing,” said the vet. I had brought the cat in for a routine checkup and was describing something cute she had done. I don’t remember what it was (this was some years ago). But it wasn’t the first time he had said this to me, and I had heard the same tiresome charge from others. The context was usually when I was speaking about what I took to be emotional displays on the cat’s part, as well as displays of affection. And I carried on “anthropomorphizing” after the cat died and I lived for a couple of …

Read More »

The Unexplained

I have been fascinated by the unexplained for, literally, as long as I can remember. Now, by “the unexplained” I do not mean such matters as what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, or Amelia Earhart, or the shot that may have come from the grassy knoll. I mean the really out-there, woo woo stuff that makes people look at you funny. As a child I was fascinated by anything witchy, and one of my fondest early memories is seeing the film Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Only later did I come to realize that this was actually a rather inept attempt by Disney …

Read More »

“You Are the All-Singing, All-Dancing Crap of the World” Fight Club as Holy Writ

11,660 words 1. I am Jack’s Most Devoted Space Monkey I have hesitated to write an essay on Fight Club for some time, as it would mean breaking the first two rules of Fight Club. But I can no longer remain silent. And I’ve got a lot to say. So brew yourself a big pot of coffee and spend an hour with me. I promise I’ll make it worth your time. Fight Club has now displaced Network (1977) as my favorite film. It’s not because Fight Club is a better piece of cinema, or “the greatest film of all time.” …

Read More »

My Code

A few years ago, I decided I needed a code to live by: a set of principles to guide my life. Now, it’s not as if I hadn’t already discovered some principles that seemed right to me; it wasn’t as if I was flying blind, without any convictions. But I had never sat down and reflected on exactly what my “code” consisted in, and put it all on paper. So, I decided one day to do just that. But nothing I do usually turns out to be easy or simple. And my little exercise in reflection actually turned into a research project. …

Read More »