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(If you are interested in pitching a review of some specific current work or performance, please contact the appropriate section editor.) We prefer careful analysis of the chosen subject matter with the intention of supporting an original thesis; we aren’t particularly interested in articles that merely want to promote their subject. An assessment of what ideological work a given pop culture phenomenon performs (i.e. what has allowed something to become popular, what’s at stake in its popularity besides money, how it is situated in a historical or geographical context, etc.) is especially welcome. Ideally essays will draw on sophisticated interpretive strategies derived from a theoretically informed point of view, but will be presented for a general reader in lively, accessible language.

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Flash Points provides a critical overview of cultural trends and developments. As the title indicates, Flash Points is a direct response to issues raised within the media. It critically covers topics with a broad purview, ranging from latest news to new film trailers.

by Karen Zarker

21 Jan 2010

The Absinthe Drinker (partial) by
Viktor Oliva

Pitch Deadline: None. This is a standing call.
Contact: Karen Zarker
Email: zarker at popmatters dot com

There was a time, late 19th/early 20th century or thereabouts, when people, many of them the fashionable French, ventured out to public establishments to imbibe in, among other things, an herbal/licorice/mind-bending brew distilled from the essence of the inelegantly named ‘wormwood’ plant, which resulted in the poetically named ‘absinthe’ cocktail. Deep within absinthe’s perplexing, complex concoction the “Green Fairy” resided. She is named the “Green Fairy” due to her glowing color and the muse-like inspirations she cast upon some suggestible minds (many quite famous minds, at that). Indeed, absinthe was a fashionable drink among the Parisian artist and intellectual class. You know; those Bohemian-types that so raise the ire of the uptight, fuddy duddy social conservatives and prohibitionists that exist in all societies throughout the world, throughout all time.

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