Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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Wednesday, May 29 2013

The Great Gatsby Re-Incarnated a la Don Draper and Barack Obama

It’s human nature to Gatsby-ize others, whether it’s for the pleasures of unsatisfied curiosity, or slander, or just plain sport.


Monday, April 29 2013

The Power of Now

There’s an old saying that “patience is a virtue.” Not anymore.


Wednesday, January 23 2013

Violence Unchained

There’s a fine line between showing violence and fetishizing it. Have we crossed it?


Sunday, November 18 2012

The Other L Word

Democrats have returned the term 'Liberal' to the political lexicon. Long live the 'L'.


Monday, September 24 2012

Hope and Change Still Matters

Call it “hope and change”, call it pride, call it any number of things, but the feeling boils down to this: I’m rooting for President Obama.


Tuesday, September 4 2012

Cell Phones and the ‘Entourage’ Effect

Celebrities aren’t the only ones with an entourage, anymore. Anyone with a cellphone has his or her own entourage, too.


Tuesday, July 17 2012

I Miss Anticipa-a-a-tion, Which Used to Keepin’ Me Waitin’ Like a Polaroid Picture

A Polaroid picture wasn’t just a gimmick, it was genius and it embodied both instant gratification and a heightened sense of anticipation


Sunday, June 3 2012

From ‘Little Women’ to ‘Girls’

Hannah of Girls is not your grandmother’s fictional heroine, but she's a worthy, modern-day descendant.


Sunday, April 22 2012

It’s Deja Vu: ‘Network’ Still Has a Finger on the Pulse of Culture, 36 Years Later

If you were to tell women in 1976 that, 36 years later, women who work exclusively in the home and those who also work outside the home would be pitted against each other, they wouldn’t have believed it.


Sunday, March 18 2012

Politics R Us, or, Who’s Your Daddy?

Rich white guys are not the only ones who can be counted among the 1%. The label is not just about income, it’s also about privilege and position… and nepotism.


Wednesday, February 22 2012

Passing on the Crown: From Whitney to Adele

Adele, more than most stars I can think of—and certainly more than Whitney—seems to have had the chance to simply be herself.


Tuesday, January 3 2012

My Own Private Amazon

You’re a clever Casanova, Amazon. You knew if you could win my love with books, there’d be no stopping us.


Wednesday, October 19 2011

Geniuses Are People, Too

Creative geniuses don’t succeed despite their flaws, they succeed because they are flawed.


Monday, September 26 2011

Just Another Pretty Woman: The Who’s Who of Hookers in Film

How did playing a prostitute or stripper become de rigeur for Hollywood actresses?


Monday, August 29 2011

Your Brain in the Voting Booth

President Obama may not be everything people’s brains deceived them into thinking he was, but he’s who he said he would be all along.


Monday, July 18 2011

Talking About My Generation, ‘Mad Men’ Style

Getting older during the '60s was a cruel fate: it was unfair; it was depressing. But, in some respects, it was a party compared to getting older these days.


Sunday, June 19 2011

Where’s Woody?

What does an artist the caliber of Woody Allen do when he’s reached the pinnacle of his artistic accomplishment -- while only in his early 40s?


Tuesday, May 24 2011

Oprah May Say Goodbye, But I Say Hello

Not since the Beatles broke up has there been such a communal feeling of abandonment as there is with Oprah's final airing of The Oprah Winfrey Show.


Monday, March 21 2011

When Did Trying to Be Good Start Feeling So Bad?

Now don’t get me wrong—of course I believe in saving the planet (at least until scientists determine if there are other inhabitable planets with better mobile phone service), but there's gotta be a limit.


Wednesday, February 23 2011

In the Oft-Reviled Genre of Memoirs, Here are Some Memoirs to Love

A subgenre has emerged that should placate memoirphobes and please memoirfiles: the artist-teacher memoir.


Thursday, January 13 2011

Gotta Be ‘In Treatment’

Loss is a necessary part of life, sure, but must it be a necessary part of TV?


Sunday, October 31 2010

You’ve Got a Long Way to Go, Baby

Has this 2010 US campaign season turned into a referendum on women?


Monday, September 6 2010

Life in the Age of Authentic Artifice

We're mastering the art of presenting a persona rather than a person -- each becoming a distorted version of ourselves, further and further removed from the real thing.


Thursday, July 8 2010

Brava, Bravo!

Those Bravo executives are tricksters, fooling me into believing familiarity breeds contentment, not contempt. I'm totally hooked.


Wednesday, June 9 2010

When Did Quitting Become the New “Staying the Course”?

Simon Cowell, like Sarah Palin, did the honorable thing and quit for the sake of the people. Really?!


Tuesday, March 30 2010

Bad, Bad Girls

Sexual stereotyping reached a fever pitch this month; call it March Madness.


Thursday, January 21 2010

Curse Ye, Orwell!

Orwell declared that there are “four great motives” for writing: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose. As for the rest of us...


Tuesday, January 12 2010

Portrait of the Artist…and Their Family

I’d rather hear superstars admit to egos gone wild than insist they uphold “family first” values if family first is not a reality for them.


Sunday, December 13 2009

Kathy ‘Oprah’ Griffin?

We don’t need Oprah Lite or Oprah 2.0, we need someone who’s a true Oprah-in-Training. And the only person who can claim that title is... Kathy Griffin.


Sunday, October 25 2009

Health Care in America has Gone to the Dogs

Compared to the modern-day American, their dogs have the best of everything: questionable intelligence (i.e., happiness), poor memories (i.e., forgiveness), and low expectations (i.e., contentment).


Wednesday, September 9 2009

Jewish is Coolish…At Last!

My people can finally emerge from behind their nebbishy personas to assume their proper place in the coolness pantheon.


Tuesday, August 11 2009

The ‘Michael Jacksons’ and All Their Infuriating Complexity

Maybe it’s more fun to idolize or demonize public figures than to have more complex, mixed feelings about them.


Monday, July 6 2009

Expire, Please. Go Kaput. Die, Already.

It’s not a film, it’s a movie. It’s not a vinyl, it’s a record – and other trendy things that need to go forever bye-bye.


Tuesday, May 26 2009

In Treatment: Fantasy Therapy for All

Explorations of the outer limits of the patient/ therapist relationship titillate viewers with the possibilities of what could happen.


Wednesday, May 6 2009

A Lament on the Deafening Silence of iPods

I miss your impulse to play your music LOUD, to draw me in, to irritate and offend me – and I miss my impulse to do the same to you.


Monday, March 16 2009

I Can Almost Taste It

For someone who wouldn’t know my mortars from my pestles, I seem to spend an awful lot of time observing chefs in action.


Monday, February 9 2009

Genius Persona(lities)

The mark of true genius is the effortless creation of something wholly new that, once seen, becomes self-evident.


Tuesday, January 13 2009

TV Egos Unbound

The small screen is no longer for small personalities or those without ambition or washed up has-beens.


Monday, November 10 2008

You’re Gonna Get a Lot More Girl Talk

Even though the presidential and vice-presidential candidates didn't win the posts they were gunning for, Americans have a lot of women winners, this election.


Wednesday, October 15 2008

Hypocritic Oaths

The source of most hypocrisy in American politics is a moral certitude that is so unyielding, it’s almost bound to trip up the person espousing it.


Sunday, September 7 2008

I Miss When Artists Were Artists Instead of Marketing Machines

Art has always had an uneasy relationship with commercialism. But that’s the point: it’s supposed to be uneasy.


Tuesday, June 17 2008

Anywhere, USA

It seems to me that people in the US are actually craving not change, as we're hearing in current campaign rhetoric, but rather sameness -- and more than ever.


Monday, April 28 2008

Broads Don’t Blog, Especially in Haiku

Broads can only thrive under certain social conditions, and those conditions, alas, no longer exist. But a new species has emerged...


Tuesday, April 1 2008

Obama, Clinton, and Cantaloupes

The media will keep playing YouTube videos and speculating about politicians’ intentions rather than doing the hard investigative work -- simply because they can.


Tuesday, March 11 2008

A Return to Rhetoric

Long past the days of the eloquent Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or John F. Kennedy, Americans have rediscovered the desire to be absorbed by words, stirred by words, even awed by words, again.


Sunday, February 3 2008

A How-to for Hillary

How we want Hillary to appear before us says a whole lot more about us than it does about her.


Sunday, December 9 2007

Trouble in Shopaholicstan

If those slim hipped, cigarette smoking, small-portion eating, fast-walking chic Parisians are going to flaunt their fashion sense in Jersey while taking advantage of the weak dollar, then we really must seal our borders.


Wednesday, November 7 2007

Talk About G-generations

Members of the 'Generation After' are the ones who grew up in the shadows because the previous generation was blocking the sun.


Sunday, September 30 2007

Can’t You Read the Signs?

Cars, guns, values, the US Constitution... like a yellow traffic light, their meaning and importance, relative to oneself, is open to interpretation.


Monday, September 3 2007

You Are Who You Know

If I want reading recommendations, Amazon, I’ll turn to people who really do know me. They’re called friends.


Sunday, August 12 2007

The Lost in Translation Generation

Americans Need to Learn English…British English, that is!


Tuesday, July 10 2007

Vexed by Beauty

Whom next to blame for society’s infatuation with beguiling young women?


Sunday, June 17 2007

Surrender Yourself to the Attack of the Comedians

The truth hurts, but in the wake of our welts and bruises, if we've been properly assaulted, we're still laughing.


Tuesday, April 10 2007

Please Do Not Remain Seated

Sometimes small gestures contain larger meanings. For me, the decision to sit rather than stand at a concert is a sign of giving up on the youthful exuberance that defines the rock concert experience.


Tuesday, March 13 2007

Gender Divides

Are celebrity “girls” really the only gender that’s “gone wild”? Or has the media gone mad -- and misogynistic?


Sunday, February 11 2007

People Substitutes

Contrary to what Babs sang, people who need people might not be the luckiest people in the world, after all.


Monday, January 15 2007

Death Watch

Guessing whether a celebrity is dead or alive has become something of a modern-day parlor game.


Monday, December 11 2006

No! No! No!

Finally, a stand-up, face-off, clenched fists, chin in the air challenge to America's bullies.


Sunday, November 12 2006

Feel Better than You’ve Ever Looked Before

There's a quiet revolution happening in self-improvement: rather than addressing our lives from the inside-out, we're now addressing them from the outside-in.


Thursday, October 19 2006

Gay TV:  Making Same-Sex Marriage Safe for America

At the same time that gay TV is shaping the culture, the culture is also shaping gay TV, containing it and restricting it from going "too far".


Monday, September 11 2006

A Need for Nerds

Now more than ever, as we stumble along the dark, uncertain path of These Troubled Times, we need our brainiacs to help illuminate the way.


Sunday, August 13 2006

About Those People

People magazine is more than just a gossip rag or a teller of heartwarming tales: it's a secretly subversive publication, bent on reshaping society's attitudes about beauty and sexual desire.


Thursday, July 20 2006

When Harry Met Sally It Was Soooo Sweet!

Call me crazy but I prefer to see movies about a relationship between two living, breathing (without assistance), fully functioning (but preferably super-neurotic) humans -- not a person and a ghost or a person and a spirit or a person and a coma victim who's teetering on the brink of life and death.


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