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Tuesday, July 8 2014

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.


Thursday, May 22 2014

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.


Thursday, February 13 2014

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?


Thursday, November 7 2013

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.


Thursday, July 18 2013

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.


Wednesday, May 15 2013

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.


Wednesday, March 13 2013

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.


Monday, January 28 2013

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.


Sunday, January 6 2013

Wishing for the End

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


Monday, November 5 2012

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.


Sunday, October 7 2012

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.


Thursday, September 13 2012

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.


Sunday, August 12 2012

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?


Monday, June 25 2012

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.


Monday, May 7 2012

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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