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

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Monday, Jun 3, 2013
The Buffy creator made some other points, too.

There’s one every year—a commencement address that goes viral and pops up all over the Internet. Remember the Wellesley High School English teacher who looked the Class of 2012 in the eye and intoned, “You are not special”? Remember David Foster Wallace’s 2005 “This is Water” speech to Kenyon College?


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Monday, Jun 3, 2013
The film captures the sheer joy and the sincere commitment players bring to the battle, their mutual appreciation and their deep understanding of history.

“Go hard or go home.” Looming against a blue sky and brick walls, Pee Wee Kirkland asserts, “We changed basketball.” Playing the game on outdoor courts in New York City, he and his fellows forged a new attitude, a new style. “It was about living up to what you said, it was street flavor basketball.” Indeed, the pick-up games he’s describing have shaped all of basketball, a point illustrated over the past couple of weeks during the Eastern Conference Finals between the Pacers and the Heat, characterized by impressively athletic, physical play and all manner of trash talk.


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Friday, May 24, 2013
by PopMatters Staff
'Last Shop Standing' charts the rise, fall, and rebirth of the independent record store in the UK. It includes interviews with Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, Billy Bragg and more.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013
The documentary extols Wambach's hard work and talents, her strength and control, and her willingness and ability to play the women's game "like a man."

“You have to be willing to sacrifice everything,” says Katie Wano, “Because once you’re in the air, you have nothing to protect you.” Wano played with Abby Wambach at the University of Florida in Gainesville, and as she speaks, Abby Head On, illustrates just how thrilling and challenging the move can be. Airing as part of ESPN’s Storied series starting 15 May, the documentary celebrates Wambach’s many achievements and narrates her life story, with the sorts of images you might expect: photos of her childhood, the youngest of seven children growing up in PIttsford, New York, apparently competitive from the moment she could be, admiring talking heads, and swelling music on the soundtrack, or, during moments of seeming reflection, an earnest piano plink. Following a basic chronology, from Wambach’s high school stardom through college and then her triumphs as a professional player, the film notes the 2008 friendly game, the 32-year-old Wambach’s 200th, termed by narrator Jack Youngblood a “testament to her durability.” The film includes as well a particular test of that durability, when Wambach collided with another player in 2008 and broke her leg. While she takes it as a lesson that “You can’t get too emotional,” US women’s national team head coach Pia Sundhage remembers thinking, “Gold medal, here we go, off.” At the London games in 2012, the US women’s team does win, with Wambach making a dramatic header.


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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Over three years, Jonathan Goodman Levitt's beguiling documentary reveals, three aspiring politicians undergo changes regarding their ideas about how the US system works, some more drastic than others.

“I think conservatism’s all about being a individual,” announces Nick at the start of Follow the Leader. One of three high school class presidents followed by the film, he’s eager to attend the annual Boys State Leadership Week, where he and his fellows will be learning all about “politics.” As the film begins, Nick, Ben (a liberal, at first), and D.J. (an independent, more or less) take this word to mean a career, dedicated to public service, fulfilling their own ambitions, and making changes in people’s lives. Over three years, Jonathan Goodman Levitt’s beguiling documentary reveals, all three undergo changes, some more drastic than others.


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