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Tuesday, February 11 2014

What Would Thomas Pynchon Do?

Like his protagonists, Thomas Pynchon appears to remind us, in his absence from advising us, that we must rely on our own smarts, arrayed against mystery and cynicism and corruption.


Monday, February 10 2014

What Does the Success of ‘Sharknado’ Reveal About Social Media?

In 2013, Syfy's Sharknado became a trending topic on Twitter and a pop culture phenomenon. Here's why none of it matters.


Friday, February 7 2014

Et Tu, Utah?

The battle for gay marriage rights in Utah is turning so ugly and complicated that it will make the battle in California look like a trip to Disneyland.


Thursday, February 6 2014

The Sounds of Upwardly Mobile Africa

While Sub-Saharan Africa is not the first place associated with cutting edge innovation, its people have a long history of adapting, adopting, and re-imagining ideas from abroad.


Wednesday, February 5 2014

In Defense Of ... Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Legacy

Lost far too soon, Philip Seymour Hoffman was the single most affecting reason I ever decided to watch movies in the first place.


Tuesday, February 4 2014

“The Goodness of Privacy in a Warm Room with Books”

We all search for escape, and while music, drugs, radicalism, or fame may ease the monotony, the protagonists of so many of these tales find themselves at the end of their narratives still constrained.


Monday, February 3 2014

Selling Japan: How Much Is a Nation’s Culture Worth?

Via the billion-dollar Cool Japan Fund Inc, Japan is aiming to become one of the world's dominant culture forces. But can a national culture be commodified so easily?


Friday, January 31 2014

How Can a Listener Ignore the Influence of the Market on the Beautiful Art of Jazz?

Some will tar a record with being “commercial” due to preset notions of what one might think an artist should be doing, rather than listening for what he actually is doing.


Thursday, January 30 2014

The Beautification of Country Stars

You can call 2013 the year that country-music album covers looked like advertisements torn from fashion and lifestyle magazines.


Wednesday, January 29 2014

In Defense Of ... A Roku Television Revolution

Roku streaming is ready to offer Roku TVs. The longer its competitors wait (cough, Apple, cough), the harder it will be to dethrone the current champs.


Tuesday, January 28 2014

Soul Train: The Hippest Nostalgia Trip in America

Soul Train was more than entertainment for black America. It was inspiration and validation. Questlove gives us another ride.


Monday, January 27 2014

The (Mis)Education of the Player

Players can approach a game however they wish, but a developer has a responsibility to provide some sort of guidance through their virtual world.


Friday, January 24 2014

What Will We Become? R.E.M.‘s “Driver 8”

In 2008 Michael Stipe introduced "Driver 8" as "a song that represents the dream of the United States of America and what it may become in the next three days." What did he mean, and has that dream come true?


Thursday, January 23 2014

The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them

Caesar Must Die and The Act of Killing are experiments that mix fiction and reality in distinct ways in order to investigate the relationship between freedom and violence.


Wednesday, January 22 2014

In Defense Of ... The Gosh-Darn Revelation That Is The Food Network

The Food Network is a love letter to culinary experimentation. It's a lab we can visit whenever we get bored with our own spaghetti.


Tuesday, January 21 2014

Cherished Concepts in Current Prog Rock

Many diehard prog rock enthusiasts dismiss modern bands as inferior imitators. These three releases prove there are still a few visionaries out there.


Monday, January 20 2014

Cinematic Kaiju: A Worm’s Eye look at Filmdom’s Biggest Monsters

In the sagas of film's biggest monsters, what qualifies as a Kaiju? And does the giant monster have to be a Japanese creation to be considered Kaiju?


Friday, January 17 2014

A Lot of Good Books Published in 2013 Kept Me Awake at Night

The year 2013 saw a rash of big new books published, from the likes of Stephen King, Malcolm Gladwell, and David Sedaris; none of whom made this list.


Thursday, January 16 2014

Arab Soul Rebels: Punk Among the Beurs of ‘80s Era France

French-Arab band Carte de Séjour made pop music history with their rousing blend of punk and raï in the early '80s. To date there are no successors in sight.


Wednesday, January 15 2014

Is He a Friend of Dorothy? Is She a Dragzilla?

Who knew that every time I mowed the yard and stuck a Kelly green bandana in my back left pocket to wipe my sweaty brow, I was also advertising that I'm a male prostitute for hire?


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