Columns

Friday, February 17 2017

It’s a Wonderful Death: A Thanksgiving Carol

This novel is reminiscent of Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol -- but with a twist.


Monday, February 13 2017

Believe Me! Trumpism and the Messianic Impulse

Mario Cuomo once said that candidates campaign in poetry then govern in prose; Trump’s utterances, however, might better be characterized as speaking in tongues.


Thursday, February 9 2017

The Spoiled Little Man-Child They Made King: Celebrity, Richard II, and Donald Trump

Did Shakespeare predict Trump? No. That's ridiculous. He just wrote a play about a thin-skinned, petty, self-aggrandising narcissist whose poor leadership drove an empire to ruin. Totally different.


The Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones’ Memoir ‘Lonely Boy’ Leaves One Wondering

If punk died the day the Clash signed to CBS, what were Rotten, Jones, Cook, and Matlock doing reforming the Sex Pistols in 1996?


Monday, February 6 2017

On the Glories of Mardi Gras and Trump’s Inaugural Just Desserts

I suppose sometimes a cake is just a cake, but more often than not, it’s not.


Friday, February 3 2017

Philippe Druillet’s Lone Sloane Adventures Artfully Take You to Other Worlds

These books create a visually mesmerizing mix of sci-fi and fantasy, where rocket ships cause men to stumble upon gods and monsters that occupy the distant corners of the universe.


Thursday, February 2 2017

The Sanctity of Endings in ‘Dark Souls III’

The Sable Church tells us to work towards the Darkness, yet it also tells us not to let the First Flame go out; it tells us to take the flame for ourselves.


Tuesday, January 31 2017

Overlooked Jazz Gems of 2016

No matter how much music I listen to every year, I miss some great records, somehow. Here are a half-dozen albums from 2016 that deserve our attention.


Hardline Feminism and Unfettered Capitalism in the Action-Masala, ‘Mannan’

How does a beautiful young corporate bigwig control a rambunctiously charismatic Alpha-male trade unionist?


Wednesday, January 25 2017

Football in the Age of Late Capitalism: Field Notes From the 2016 Euro

Behind a veneer of youthful glamour, the Euro all but groaned under the weight of excess global capital, merciless media scrutiny, hyperprofessionalization, domestic French anxieties, and geopolitics.


Wednesday, January 18 2017

Barack Obama Bio ‘Audacity’ Is at War With Itself

Chait's defense of gradualist politics-as-usual undermines the supposedly audacious achievements of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.


Monday, January 16 2017

The Similitude of Dreams: A Conversation With Neal Morse

American prog rock icon Neal Morse delves into the creation of his newest opus, The Similitude of a Dream.


Thursday, January 12 2017

What Happens When Happy Shows Turn All X-Files on You?

From The Brady Bunch to M*A*S*H, what do we do when our favorite TV shows spawn shockingly dark offspring?


Wednesday, January 11 2017

Richard Dawkins and the Need for a New Science Populism

Now, more than ever, public intellectual scientists like Dawkins are needed to counter the forces of faith, fiction, and farce dominating our so-called “post-fact” society.


Tuesday, January 10 2017

Amazon Go Is Hacking Away at the “Poetics” of Supermarkets

Grocery shopping is one of the earliest forms of schooling that we experience.


Friday, January 6 2017

Culture and History for the Age of Trump

History doesn’t always tell us how to get it right. It sometimes warns us of the cost of getting it wrong. Art steeped in that history can remind us, if we’re paying attention.


Thursday, January 5 2017

The Galloway Case: Sexual Harassment, Due Process, and Literary Exceptionalism

Steven Galloway's sexual harassment case, and the literary establishment's response to it, reveals a lot about how much work still needs to be done in combating misogyny.


Monday, December 19 2016

Radicalism and the Art of Compromise

Under a Trump Administration, is it better to be a rebel with a cause, or a reformer with a platform? "Red" Ellen Wilkenson's biography gives us some insight into these difficulties.


Thursday, December 15 2016

Trumpaholism, or, Is “Liquor Before Beer, Never Fear” a Piece of Fake News?

How I worry when I drink, and why Distilled Knowledge is diffuse knowledge.


Wednesday, December 14 2016

If Studs Terkel Were Alive Today, What Would Steve Bannon Tell Him?

Terkel biographer Alen Wieder reminds us that if he were alive today, Studs would actually listen to the voices of the Trump voters -- all of them.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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