Out of Pocket
Stream of (Music) Consciousness

The 'Marshall McLuhan' message borne by the MP3 revolution is clear: music is endlessly plentiful and entirely disposable. So what's the message of streaming?

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Nobody Should Feel Embarrassed to Read YA Fiction

Young Adult literature is not just for kids, and it fills an important niche left vacant by much of contemporary "adult" fiction.

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Somebody Gave Me an Anonymous, Amazing Gift and It Totally Freaked Me Out

I used to think stealing was subversive. Now I know I had it backwards.

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You Can Achieve Greatness! Harnessing Your Pop Culture Spirit Animal

Just as our bodies are made of recycled stars, our thoughts are spawned from bits of songs and books and movie dialogue. So what happens when your star gets old?

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Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Dormant, Dying or Already Dead?

Like jazz or vaudeville, rock 'n' roll faces significant cultural and technological challenges—true epochal shifts of the kind that always seem to mark turning points in history.

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Climbing Out of the Transhuman Stew Pot, or, Why I’m Not a Singularitarian

The big trend in apocalyptic thinking is now computer based, and it’s strangely not even billed as apocalyptic. It’s known as the Singularity, a point in the near future when computers become more intelligent than people -- and they absorb us.

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We Aren’t the Mods and Other Sorry Tales of a Fashion Slave

I half-believed that if I went mod with enough gusto, a Lambretta would one day parachute itself onto my driveway. That was in 6th grade. I tried it again, as an adult, still hoping for that Lambretta.

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Austerity and the Arts—and George W. Bush

I never would have thought it possible, but George W. Bush’s recently revealed attempts at creating art have had the incredible effect of forcing me to see him as a human being.

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What Is the Stereotypical ‘Real American?’

Picture such a creature in your mind and see how it compares to the one in mine: White. Well-fed. Armed. Christian. I’m seeing Boss Hogg in Bermuda shorts, Foghorn Leghorn in a business suit, Britney Spears in a monster truck.

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6 Jan 2013 // 11:25 PM

Wishing for the End

Our culture is on a deathtrip. Do we secretly wish for the end of the world?

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Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children Macnuggits Are Serious About Their Silliness

If your band already has the most ridiculous name in rock, you might as well have an absurdly oversized sense of ambition to go along with it, and Bobby Joe Ebola definitely has ambition.

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Lament of the Middle Aged Punk

Staring at the churning whirlpool of fists and flannels revolving around Keith Morris as he spat out the anthems of my youth, I wonder why, despite my advancing middle age, I never managed to give up on punk rock.

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Daniel Clowes’ Cranky, Comical World

Some of Daniel Clowes’ exaggerated bitterness about his vocation comes from a willingness to see himself as just as ridiculous as the characters he gets paid to doodle. But he also harbors a deep disillusionment with art itself.

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12 Aug 2012 // 11:15 PM

Turn Up That Racket!

I always thought of adolescence as a time to reject my parents’ tastes. So why are my kids into music I listened to at their age?

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The Mute Generation: How Gen-X Lost Its Voice

The whole “voice of a generation” concept is pretty ridiculous to begin with, but in the case of my cohort, the so-called Generation X, it’s downright laughable.

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Jerks Are My Heroes, Thanks to ‘Jerks’ Like Steve Martin

My folks are probably still kicking themselves for taking a seven-year-old to see Steve Martin’s profane and ridiculous first film, The Jerk, because that was the day I gave up on strong, upstanding heroes and decided that I wanted to be like Navin Johnson.

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//Mixed media
//Blogs

Ten Great Criterion Titles: What to Watch and Why

// Short Ends and Leader

"As the Criterion Collection's ever-growing roster shows, there are simply too many great pictures out on home video to know what to do with.

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