Columns

Tuesday, February 9 2016

Why Does Paul Bowles’ 70-Year-Old Existential Masterpiece Continue to Test Our Limits?

The Sheltering Sky is itself a test of limits: its form is an exploration of how far one can go in novel writing.


Monday, February 8 2016

A No-Nonsense Agenda for the Left

The authors of Inventing the Future ask: why think local, when there’s a world to win?


Friday, February 5 2016

Chaos Does Not Mean Despair in Bowie’s Soundscapes

What Bowie's music describes, again and again, is that we were endlessly, relentlessly killing ourselves.


Thursday, February 4 2016

Bruce Springsteen, ‘The Ties That Bind’, the Working Class, and Authenticity

As we use the term today, authenticity allows no truth from art, only from artists. It visits art the way one visits a subway station or an airport: to get to somewhere else.


Wednesday, February 3 2016

Stacking the Rolling Stones’ Best Shows

The From the Vault series adds infinite layers of the Rolling Stones' performances for diehard and casual fans alike.


Tuesday, February 2 2016

Is Miles Jupp On Your Guest List?

Miles Jupp excels at many things, but he earns special top marks for his ability to be both an engaging guest and host of comedy panel shows.


Friday, January 29 2016

Christianity’s Crisis in Medieval Japan Says a Lot About Cultural Dialogue Today

Shusaku Endo’s classic novel of faith, doubt, and intercultural communication, Silence, readies itself for a timely big-screen debut by Director Martin Scorsese.


Thursday, January 28 2016

Kayaktivists’ Colorful and Effective Protests in 2015

The most elaborately staged spectacle of 2015 was performed by the “kayaktivists”, a group of environmentalists that successfully stopped oil giant Royal Dutch Shell from drilling in the Arctic.


Should Hideo Kojima Just Go Make a Movie, Already?

In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima uses the language of cinema in ways that are only possible in a virtual game.


Wednesday, January 27 2016

Anthropology’s Storyteller-Shaman-Sorcerer Strikes Again With ‘The Corn Wolf’

Michael Taussig’s work both attracts and angers other anthropologists. It also re-enchants a discipline that is in desperate need of it.


Tuesday, January 26 2016

David Mamet and Al Pacino’s ‘China Doll’ Rat-a-Tats Without the Tat

There's an interesting play somewhere in the thin structure of China Doll, but not even a dutiful performance by Al Pacino can bring it to life.


Monday, January 25 2016

From Yugoslavia to South India: The Rise of Tamil Turbo-folk

Like its Serbian counterpart, Tamil Turbo-folk masquerades as ethno-nationalist resistance against the dislocations brought to bear by nation building, liberalization, and globalization.


Friday, January 22 2016

What Rod Dreher Ought to Know About Dante and Same-Sex Love

Getting Dante straight means getting him gay, as well.


Thursday, January 21 2016

I Was So Bored Watching ‘Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens’

Star Wars is the latest exemplar of a genre that's accelerating toward its own creative exhaustion. That genre, of course, is the Hollywood tent-pole.


Wednesday, January 20 2016

Showa Epic of Japan Concludes the Story of a Man and His Nation

Past and present converge in Mizuki’s conceptually rich manga.


Tuesday, January 19 2016

Celestial Sound: Thoughts on Mahler’s Third Symphony

To listen to Mahler is to claim your soul hasn’t been splintered by postmodernity -- even if you hate Mahler and disbelieve in the soul.


Monday, January 18 2016

‘The Autobiography of James T. Kirk’: Backstories for Everyone!

Filled with in-jokes and subtle references to the show, uber-fans will love this "auto" biography of Star Trek's Captain Kirk and the stories of the people in his life.


Friday, January 15 2016

The Kamasi Washington Phenomenon

PopMatters' jazz critics didn't include Kamasi Washington's The Epic on their "Best of 2015" list, despite its huge acclaim by mainstream critics. Here's why.


Wednesday, January 13 2016

There Are No Accidents on ‘Mulholland Drive’

David Lynch's film unfolds in a series of desires, warnings, and deals that are often made under duress by unseen malevolent forces, or motivated by darkness within.


Tuesday, January 12 2016

John Lennon’s ‘Working Class Hero’: Boundaries, Mobility and Honesty

The working class song has to speak of boundaries and ambition, but it also has to say where the performer stands among the people, among the classes—or where he thinks he stands, or wants to stand.


//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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