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

Marginal Utility
Image: Marginal Utility
When shopping nirvana shrivels away like the mega mall growing incrementally smaller behind you at the end of a long day, and buyer's remorse begins gnawing at your nerves, and you begin to fret the futility of it all, Rob Horning's blog, "Marginal Utility", steps in to stimulate your woefully neglected neocortex. Read, laugh, weep, but above all: realize. You'll feel smarter again in no time.

Deryl Dodd: Pearl Snaps

It's 1992, and a relatively unknown Martina McBride has gone from selling T-shirts to opening for the very well known Garth Brooks. For part of her road band, McBride chooses a good-looking Texan who's been in Nashville for about six months.

The Wisconsin Film Festival 2002

The Wisconsin Film Festival represents the Badger State's belated but nimble leap onto the festival bandwagon.

Time Out (2001)

A surpassingly rich and urgent movie about the way we live now.

The Survivors (2002)

It's not as though 'The Survivors' takes its survivalists seriously.

Nine Queens (2000)

Nine Queens' class analysis is acute, and narrowly focused on defining the characters.

Murder by Numbers (2002)

'Murder by Numbers' isn't about solving the case; it's about solving Cassie (Sandra Bullock).

The Last Waltz (2002)

The Last Waltz still spirits a tingle up the spine.

Marc Anthony: Libre

The Vines


Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros

The Shiners

Beta Band

Open Letter to Showtime and MTV

I am pleased MTV and Showtime are joining forces to create a gay television network.

Tuesday, April 16 2002

Sloan: Pretty Together

Josh Ritter: Golden Age of Radio

Gary Allan: Alright Guy

Thursday, April 11 2002

Various Artists: Punch Drunk III

Brendan Benson: Lapalco

Spy Game (2001)

The film's assumptions about the Agency, are, in a word, Before September 11, before top secret government agencies (CIA, FBI, etc.) were revealed as not doing what they've been pretending to be doing all this time.

The Sweetest Thing (2002)

The Sweetest Thing targets moviegoers who seek out the familiar and formulaic.

Pauline and Paulette (2002)

It's not every day that you see an older adult with mental disabilities as the star in an internationally distributed film.

Promises (2002)

When the children speak for themselves, 'Promises' is very powerful.

National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (2002)

National Lampoon's Van Wilder [is] the latest version of Maxim, the Movie.

Grey Gardens / Salesman - PopMatters Film Review )

What makes the Maysles' work special lies in how they manage, by focusing so intently on their subjects, to elicit a body of information that the audience is compelled to examine for its possible meaning.

Frailty (2002)

Moody, perverse, and full to busting with metaphorical cautions.

Wednesday, April 10 2002

ShelleyDevoto: Buzzkunst

Radio 4: Gotham!

Steve Earle: Guitar Town (Expanded Edition)

Without this brilliant effort, none of the others would’ve been possible. A modern classic.

Sean Altman: alt.mania

Paranoia Over Privacy

How is a sense of security retained in an environment embedded with hidden policies and clauses that come to the foreground only after the fact? The same security measures put in place to protect our privacy have the capacity to strip them from us.

Freedy in the Aftermath

Something of this clumsy love can get us through a season of war. By way of the benefit concert, pop has seemed like a parade of virtue; by way of everything else, it has sounded like knee-jerk nationalism.

A Cynic’s Demise: Billy Wilder (1906-2002)

To the movie maven, Billy Wilder was the last of his kind, the most visible link to the Golden Age of Hollywood . . . he epitomized the professional spit and polish that the factory system of the major studios promoted.

The White Stripes: 3 April 2002 - Boston

The White Stripes are the real deal. No bass guitar, no samples, no click tracks, no "exploratory jams" -- just monster tunes, earth-shaking guitar, a telepathically intuitive drummer, and a vocal delivery that can evoke Iggy Pop as easily as Gene Vincent.

Rinôçérôse + Soviet

Phantom Planet

Diana Krall

Holly Golightly

Australia’s Need for Multicultural Politics

. . . in light of September 11th you can imagine the current of backlash, and why the Australian's government's harsh handling of the Tampa met public approval.

Major setback: Is time up for EMI?

. . . but since the de-merger from Thorn in 1996, it has looked a rather lonely whale in a sea of increasingly hungry sharks.

Tuesday, April 9 2002

The Plus Ones: It’s a Calling

The Good Life: Black Out

Big Country: The Crossing

Thursday, April 4 2002

Sparkle*jets u.k.: Bamboo Lounge

Eight Years After: A Remembrance of Kurt Cobain’s Troubles and the Music They Inspired

At the start of the '90s, Kurt Cobain appeared to be the savior of rock 'n' roll. He was a beacon of hope to the black and flannel set, who saw him emerge from the fog of macho groups like Guns N' Roses as the only guy who could wear liberalism on his sleeve, begging sexist, racist, and homophobic rednecks not to buy his records, while still gaining their admiration by rocking fucking hard.

Art Forms

When talking about movies, the phrase 'based on a video game' does not have to mean simply 'dumb'.




Hanson Brothers

The Piano Teacher (2001)

Haneke's films challenge not only media violence, but also unsuccessful satires of media violence, like Oliver Stone's indulgent, bloodily hedonistic 'Natural Born Killers'.

No Such Thing (2002)

Arid and hermetic, it's the first misstep in Hartley's intriguing and varied career.

High Crimes (2002)

'High Crimes' is a movie starring Ashley Judd whom someone has determined is the ideal Flinty Woman in Danger.

E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982/2002)

The rerelease of 'E.T.' raises questions that underscore the difference between the Reagan-Bush years and the years of Bush Jr. and Dick Cheney.

Death to Smoochy (2002)


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2014 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.