Friday, March 25 2016

Death Tripping Tibetan Style With Gaspar Noé‘s ‘Enter the Void’

Reaching for the ultimate psychedelic experience, director Gaspar Noé found The Tibetan Book of the Dead, but did he know what he found when he crafted Enter the Void?

Thursday, March 24 2016

Was Frederick Douglass America’s First Media-savvy Political Activist?

The Lives of Frederick Douglass and Picturing Frederick Douglass reveal a radical approach to discussing politics, race and self.

Wednesday, March 23 2016

Patrick Modiano’s Powerful Glimpse Into the Spirit of Paris

Young Once and In the Cafe of Lost Youth offer a concentrated sense of both the immensity of space and density of meaning that defines Paris.

Monday, March 21 2016

Ireland’s Newest Literary Sensation, Sara Baume, Crosses the Atlantic

The enchanting story of a one-eyed dog has stolen hearts across Europe. Its author reflects on her success, her first smartphone, and literary distinctions between Europe and America.

Tuesday, March 15 2016

The Dark Side of Pacifism in ‘Undertale’

What does mercy mean to someone who hates herself? How can pacifism combat depression? How does euthanasia fit into Undertale's moral code?

Monday, March 14 2016

The Compulsive Artist: An Interview With Julie Doucet

Julie Doucet is still often associated with her award-winning comics work of the ‘90s. As Carpet Sweeper Tales demonstrates, however, she’s been doing a lot more since moving on from comics.

Friday, March 11 2016

Wriggling Down the Rabbit Hole Again With ‘The Esquire’, the Follow-up to ‘The Institute’

Arye Michael Bender reprises his role as defrocked '70s guru Octavio Coleman in the upcoming part spin-off, part sequel, part prequel and completely mind-bending film, The Esquire.

Thursday, March 10 2016

On the Disturbing Disaster Pornography That Is ‘Knife Fight’

Watching the Esquire television network's food show brings to mind how Jean Baudrillard was so right about the ugliness in our reflections of reality.

“The Marketplace Is a Greater Democracy Than the Political Arena”

The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man may be the most important book of 2016, since reading it is like getting a top secret state department debriefing on world affairs.

Tuesday, March 8 2016

Corn in the USA: Hee Haw, Buck Owens and You

Whether he wanted it to be or not Hee Haw was the vehicle that imprinted Buck Owens into the minds of millions of music lovers around the globe.

Monday, March 7 2016

Tomorrow Belongs to Me: “Freedom’s Call”, Donald Trump and Propaganda

When you see and hear a group of children in star-spangled cheerleader outfits lip-syncing the words “Cowardice! Are you serious?” to an EDM reworking of the 1917 patriotic song “Over There”, that is the moment you should wake up.

Friday, March 4 2016

Defending Chicago’s ‘Defender’

It's possible to trace much of 20th Century America’s history through the pages of the Defender, a local paper with a national impact.

Wednesday, March 2 2016

The Bad and the Beautiful: B-Horrors Go Blu

Surrounded by faceless men, stone men, and brainless men, the mesmerizing "Queen of Blood" belongs in her own class.

Tuesday, March 1 2016

The Triumphant Emptiness of Snarky Puppy

If an iTunes library on shuffle needed a house band, Snarky Puppy would be it.

Monday, February 29 2016

The Most Unintentionally Terrifying “Love Songs” Ever Written

From Van Halen to Dean Martin, some of the world's most beloved "love" songs are actually hideously sinister when you dig just below the surface.

Thursday, February 25 2016

How Do Video Games Force Us to Gain Perspective?

Sometimes “hard” in a video game isn't just a difficulty setting.

A Curiously Hollow Horror Show: ‘Cleansed’ at the National Theatre

Over-stylised and strangely unaffecting, Katie Mitchell’s staging of Sarah Kane’s controversial play yields mixed results.

Wednesday, February 24 2016

Jimmy Fallon and SNL With French Subtitles? Oui, Please!

Live from New York it’s Saturday Night Live (albeit broadcast one week later, with French subtitles on an obscure cable channel)!

Tuesday, February 23 2016

What Does Randy Newman Say When He Talks With God?

One of the less celebrated satirists of religion, a study of some of Randy Newman's key songs reveals a subtle subversive at work.

Monday, February 22 2016

Ametora: When Cultural Appropriation Becomes Fashionable

The insightful new study, Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style, demonstrates how Japan beat American fashion at its own game

//Mixed media

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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