This Week in the Voice

When their pets die, most New Yorkers can't bury them in the backyard. They can put the earthly remains in the trash (properly marked). If that's too weird, there are people who will handle the deceased animals. They are, as you might imagine, an interesting bunch. Steven Thrasher walks among them.

Of Wes Anderson's animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Scott Foundas says, "Where [Roald] Dahl's book was essentially a survival story, Anderson's film has become a non-conformist fable about that wildness of spirit (our animal instincts, if you will) we are encouraged to tame as we get older and 'settle down.'"

In her novels, Zadie Smith makes high art with a generous zesting of zeitgeist. In Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays, she writes about Nabokov, Kafka, and Get Rich or Die Tryin'. Zach Baron says it hangs together.

How'd Mayor Bloomberg, outspending his opponent 13-1 and predicted to landslide last Tuesday, wind up in a squeaker? His campaign people point to anti-incumbent fever. "This," says Tom Robbins, "is another silly fiction adopted at the last minute by people who lack all class." He has an alternative theory.

There are some unfortunate environmental choices at Laut on Union Square. But "it's actually a very fine Malaysian restaurant masquerading as a horrible pan-Asian joint," says Sarah DiGregorio.

Michael Musto has scoops about the boys of Eastern Bloc, home of Anderson Cooper's companion, and the new Logo show Kept. Also, an account of Sir Ian McKellen's MC chops, and the Standard Hotel's Boom Boom Room, which "puts the 'wank' back in 'swank.'"

"Stories about R.A. Thorburn" -- aka R.A. the Rugged Man -- "often sound apocryphal," says Ben Westhoff, "like the one about how he took a dump on a mixing board." He talks to the man.

How's the new Richard Foreman thing, Michael Feingold? "Idiot Savant, for instance, features a giant duck that might be God, and an invitation to play 'interspecies golf.'" Okay, then. Also: What Once We Felt and The Understudy.

Plus more Film, Theatre, Art, Books, Music, Restaurants, Dance, Savage Love, Ask a Mexican, Free Will Astrology, and plenty more where that came from.

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