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PopShots

Sunday, July 7 2013

Better Baseball Through Technology

What happens when parenting, technology and America's Pastime collide?


Wednesday, May 1 2013

The Pleasures and Perils of Showbinging

The strategy and neologism of showbinging has become the preferred method of assimilating all that great TV out there.


Monday, February 25 2013

Steven Wright on the Craft of Comedy

"My thing is to get the joke across in as few words as possible." Standup comedy legend Steven Wright talks about his stage persona, Twitter, and the art of the joke.


Thursday, October 25 2012

Halloween Movie Night: Do You Want to Be Mildly Freaked Out or Seriously Traumatized?

Choosing the right movie can spell the difference between an evening of fun thrills and a night of seriously bad dreams.


Sunday, August 26 2012

Who, What, Where, When and Wi-Fi

People are customizing their network names, knowing full well that friends, neighbors and passersby are scanning for free wi-fi all the time.


Tuesday, June 26 2012

Twitter and the Borscht Belt Connection

140 characters? Sounds like my sister's wedding reception!


Monday, April 16 2012

The Enduring Legacy of ‘21 Jump Street’

How I learned to stop worrying and love TV show remakes.


Wednesday, January 4 2012

Return of the Movie Blurb Game

Notional, portable and entirely analog, the Movie Blurb Game can be played anywhere, at any time.


Thursday, August 18 2011

Comedy, Technology and DVD Extras: In Defense of a Dying Format

Media formats come and go, subject to the gale-force winds of technology and the retail market. Me, I'm still clinging to my Monty Python collections on VHS.


Sunday, June 26 2011

What Harm Can ‘Ice Road Truckers’ Do to Tender Young Minds?

We went into Ice Road Truckers with the best intentions for our eight-year-old, I swear. It's the History channel, right? It's educational!


Wednesday, May 11 2011

How Sherlock Holmes and Isaac Asimov Can Help Purge Your Social Media Addiction

Old books and even older movies can fend off the creeping anxiety of information overload.


Sunday, March 13 2011

‘I Am Number Four’: Vampires, Aliens and the Art of Movie Recycling

I Am Number Four, a PG-13 science-fiction-slash-teen-romance movie, is so faithful to the Twilight template that it could have been assembled by marketing software.


Tuesday, January 18 2011

‘Glee’ on the Wii

Video games and cross-promotional marketing yield the inevitable: console karaoke for Gleeks.


Tuesday, November 9 2010

‘Knucklehead’: The Tenacious Appeal of Pro Wrestling

It occurred to me that Clint Eastwood used to make these kinds of movies – often with an orangutan – back when he made good movies.


Wednesday, September 22 2010

Return of the Situational Ethicist!

Glad you asked about the mosque! This is what situational ethics is all about!


Tuesday, July 6 2010

Plan 9 for Ironic Appreciation: On B-movies, Riffing and Value-Added Irony

The RiffTrax line of DVDs reignites the enduring debate: Can something really be so bad that it's good?


Tuesday, May 4 2010

Submarines and Androids: The Comfort Movie Phenomenon

Is there a certain film that, if you come across it flipping channels randomly, you feel compelled to watch yet again? Even though you've seen it 34,000 times? Even if it's on the Spanish-language station and you don't speak Spanish?


Sunday, March 21 2010

Come Back to the 9-5, Dave Chappelle, Dave Chappelle

If Dave Chapelle came back, spring would come earlier, melodies would sound sweeter, the polar ice caps would stop melting, and maybe we might all understand and treat each other just a bit better.


Sunday, November 8 2009

PopShots: The Lighter Side of Swine Flu

Researchers have largely ignored the pop cultural value of the H1N1 virus: hours on the couch catching up on DVD.


Tuesday, September 8 2009

Digital Downsizing: CD to MP3 the Hard Way

When paring down your music collection, is it OK to prune songs off classic albums? An aesthetic (and moral) dilemma...


Wednesday, July 15 2009

15 Second Theater Presents…

PopShots introduces 15 Second Theater -- radically distilled dramatic readings designed to accommodate the contemporary attention span.


Monday, May 4 2009

The Geeks Have Inherited the Earth -– and They Rule It

Geek humor is rooted in a commanding pop cultural and scientific literacy and deployed with a sense of casual authority which one ... must ... obey.


Monday, March 2 2009

Quote-Unquote: Excerpts from Upcoming Oral Histories

The use of unfiltered direct quotes gives a veneer of authenticity, and the writer doesn’t have to do much actual writing.


Monday, January 5 2009

Facebook and the Death of Distance

Facebook is like having a dozen rolling high school reunions simultaneously, plus grade school, and college, and every summer camp you ever attended.


Sunday, November 23 2008

You Think You Know Obama?

Internet memes meet political postmortems as we uncover more salient facts about America's next president.


Tuesday, October 21 2008

Discovery: Washington, D.C.!

Tred quietly, carefully with your Tour Guide as we catch glimpses of the fierce and the timid political animals of Washington, D.C.


Wednesday, September 3 2008

The TrueGeek(TM) Qualifying ExamExam

Mushrooming geek chic trendiness has made it difficult to separate the men from the fanboys. Take this quiz to see how authentic you are.


Tuesday, June 24 2008

Wii Will Rock You

On the (Wii) golf course I am a multiracial, broad-shouldered, green-haired punk rock Adonis in a kilt.


Sunday, May 18 2008

Zen and the Art of Cramming

You will highlight and underline, memorize and prioritize. And you will not blink.


Tuesday, March 18 2008

Websurfing, Digital Shorts and Lateral Drift

Premium beer + long winter months + national health care = fertile breeding ground for resourceful science.


Tuesday, February 26 2008

Dear Lost: Lose the Guns

The gunplay in Lost shot past the ken of lessons-not-learned in Screenwriting 101 and blasted into an over-the-top Marx Brothers routine.


Monday, January 21 2008

In Defense of the Popcorn Movie

Wanna get me off my DVD-lovin' couch and into a movie theater? Then gimme the movies that make me feel like a 14-year-old.


Sunday, November 18 2007

Writers – Who Needs ‘em? A Solution to the Writer’s Strike

A bold proposal regarding our massive backlog of pop culture artifacts and the potential recycling thereof, ad infinitum.


Thursday, October 25 2007

Last-Minute Halloween Costume Ideas

Time again for everyone's favorite corporately co-opted Judeo-Christian pagan demon holiday! A public service for procrastinating party-goers.


Thursday, October 4 2007

A Chronicle of Higher Education

A felonious alumnus provides words of wisdom to the graduating class and sepia-drenched remembrances on the way things were at Higbert Community College.


Monday, August 20 2007

Archeological Discovery!

The cause of the Cataclysm revealed? Experts discover new tell-tale artifacts, recalibrate their analysis of American celebrity from the Year 2449.


Thursday, August 2 2007

Pop Culture in 17 Syllables

In our brave new world of news bytes, instant messaging and dwindling attention spans, the haiku is making a comeback.


Thursday, July 5 2007

Summer Must-Reads

Let authors Michael Bloomberg, Paris Hilton, John Travolta, and Bob Barker help you through the long dog days of summer with these new, engaging titles.


Thursday, May 24 2007

American Family Vacation

Roller coasters are fun, vacations are fun, and parks are fun. So why are vacations at roller coaster parks no longer any fun?


Monday, April 30 2007

An Ugly Trend in Filmmakers

Strapped for cash, aching to free their creative impulse from the grind of the same old story, over and over and over, our best modern film directors turn their talents toward the vastly untapped world of TV commercial-making.


Tuesday, April 3 2007

Nobody Likes a Quitter

Giving up cigarettes – an odyssey of shame, debasement and despair.


Sunday, March 4 2007

Send/Receive: The Instantly Regretted E-Mail

You know that sick feeling you get when fire off a toxic reply, hit the “send” button, and find yourself peering into the Dark Side of instant global electronic communication?


Monday, January 29 2007

Gadgets Gone Wild

The introduction of Apple’s new iPhone prompts a review of that enduring cultural artifact known as The Gizmo.


Wednesday, January 3 2007

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

Our resident wit offers up the excerpts and highlights from the best celebrity roasts in 2006.


Monday, November 27 2006

The Situational Ethicist

In which our resident ethical expert contends: Ethics may complicate, but absolute ethics complicate absolutely.


Sunday, October 29 2006

Kids’ TV: A Vast Stygian Wasteland

Kinder, gentler, and thoroughly creepy, today’s children’s television is no match for the classics.


Tuesday, October 3 2006

When Harry Googled Sally

A terrifying glimpse of what can happen when modern technology meets Happily Ever After.


Monday, September 4 2006

Discovery: Internet!

Join our guide on a tour of the Internet, where stealthy sexual predators, docile digerati, pathetic loners, and vast, roaming herds of the dangerously overinformed roam freely in their habitat.


Wednesday, August 9 2006

The Lighter Side of Artificial Intelligence

The scary-smart 20Q AI project asks: Animal, vegetable, mineral or legendary '70s rock star?


Monday, June 26 2006

Snakes, Planes and the Triumph of Ironic Appreciation

Does the Snakes on a Plane phenomenon signal the End of Days in Hollywood?


Tuesday, June 6 2006

The Trouble with (Net)Time Travel

It's the ultimate in entertainment options when Netflix and the time-space continuum collide.


Tuesday, May 2 2006

You Almost Saw It TV

A behind-the-scenes peek at television pilot programs the networks almost wanted you to see -- until someone got wise.


Monday, March 27 2006

Love the Sport, Not the Sports Star

Q: How many professional athletes does it take to screw over a lifelong fan? A: Several thousand, evidently. Thanks, pinheads!


Tuesday, March 7 2006

The Movie Blurb Game

The ultimate in elegant time wasting for the obsessive film fan.


Wednesday, February 8 2006

The (P)Art of the Prank

A desperate inquiry into the madness and methods of practical joking from a frightened young man who really should know better, by now.


Wednesday, January 18 2006

SupraDeluxe Interactive Reader Edition

Our intrepid correspondent answers his fan mail. That which is publishable, anyway.


Monday, December 12 2005

All I Want for Christmas…

'Tis the season! Several modest proposals for Mr. S. Claus regarding studio execs, rock chicks, worldwide revolution, and other gift ideas.


Monday, November 21 2005

Jung and the Restless

Fun with media supersaturation as the realms of celebrity and the collective unconscious collide!


Tuesday, November 1 2005

The Underrated/Overrated List

Bringing you the best in arbitrary, uninformed and mean-spirited opinions since 1986!


Monday, October 10 2005

Friendless, Hostile, and Afraid of Soil Erosion

In the alien(ating) world of addictive, online communiqués, can anyone hear you scream?


Tuesday, September 20 2005

The Last Action Hero

Indiana Jones is 63 years old, and we're in trouble.


Wednesday, September 7 2005

We Came! We Game! Get Used to It!

30,000 gamers descend on middle America to dress up, get down, and spook the squares.


Monday, August 8 2005

Grand Theft Autoerotic

The notoriously violent video game sneaked in some sex scenes. Now that's naughty!


Wednesday, July 20 2005

I Don’t Feel Tardy

What goes around to the hip, comes around to us all... eventually.


Friday, June 24 2005

Impending Drastic Inevitables

At PopMatters, we've seen the future. So . . . want some investment advice?


Friday, May 20 2005

Discovery: Hollywood!

A guided tour of one of America's most protected habitats for endangering species.


Wednesday, April 20 2005

Orthodontia: A Generation Laments

There's a planet full of kind and decent people who, as children, were terribly abused. We were the lab rats and guinea pigs for a nascent industry called orthodontia.


Wednesday, March 23 2005

TV is a Horrible Bitch Goddess

McDonald succumbs, all too easily, to the guilty pleasures of Internet TV.


Wednesday, February 23 2005

The Curious Case of Mr. SquarePants

McDonald vouches for SquarePants' character. He should know, he roomed with him in college.


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