Columns

Friday, April 17 2015

Still Life: The Portrait of Time in ‘Boyhood’

Boyhood sets itself the daunting task of reflecting the breadth of a human adolescence, but it instead reveals that it is in life's minutia that we find the most meaning.


Thursday, April 16 2015

Laughing Through the Great Depression With ‘Sullivan’s Travels’

The real charm of Sullivan’s Travels is the way it exposes Hollywood’s mediation of the Depression and the trauma it inflicted.


Wednesday, April 15 2015

On Epigraphs and Other Incestuous Things

Like a cover letter, the epigraph must take me to the textual meat without giving me reason to discard the sandwich altogether.


Monday, April 13 2015

Death in the Land of Smiles

A recent biopic about the last executioner in Thailand explores the extremes between killing and redemption.


Thursday, April 9 2015

Robert Christgau Falls From Grace in ‘Going into the City’

We have here the post-apocalyptic wanderer, able to go anywhere because there’s nowhere he belongs.


Wednesday, April 8 2015

Bill O’Reilly’s Rock & Roll Machine

Nostalgia has its uses, its benefits. But is it useful and beneficial when it obscures the reality of the past and present, usually in the service of power, prestige, and making a buck?


Tuesday, April 7 2015

Billie Holiday at 100: Still an Inspiration

On Billie Holiday's centennial, her influence remains everywhere in music. Jazz singers Cassandra Wilson and Jose James, have new tributes out on Blue Note.


Monday, April 6 2015

Time, Space and Plasticity in Long-running Comics Series

Some creators and publishers choose to make time and space infinitely malleable. Others take readers to new times and places while leaving characters in a single timeline.


Thursday, April 2 2015

The Curious Art of Wrapping Music

With the 'gratuity' of music fostered by digital ubiquity came a renewed, exacting demand for magic artefacts.


Wednesday, April 1 2015

The Deconstruction and Destruction of a Hero

Shadow of the Colossus begins as a game about a hero rescuing a princess, but by the end, there are no heroes and there are no princesses.


Tuesday, March 31 2015

What’s Not to Love About the Trombone?

There was a time when jazz trombonists like Glenn Miller were mega-stars. Not so today, but talents like those of Ryan Keberle and Joe Fiedler make the case that they should be.


Monday, March 30 2015

Contemplations on the Nature of Truth: True Crime, ‘True Detective’, & ‘Serial’ Obsessions

True Detective and Serial mark our society’s preoccupation with all things illegal, especially when they end in murder.


Friday, March 27 2015

How to Use the Media

Don’t just sit there looking at your computer (or tablet, or phone). Engage!


Thursday, March 26 2015

The Artist Is Not Present: The Significance of Sia’s Anti-Pop Persona

For once, a pop artist has rejected the idea of stardom, and as a result, has become one of the world’s most discussed pop stars.


Wednesday, March 25 2015

What Would Don Draper Do? Reading Dante in a Secular Age

Many readers of our generation emulate Don Draper, having lost Dante's connections to Christianity or perhaps to any such deity.


Tuesday, March 24 2015

‘The Voices’ Gets to the Very Essence of the American Nightmare

Disturbing, funny, alluring and repulsive in a uniquely American way that no one likes to admit, The Voices should trouble you.


Monday, March 23 2015

Farther Than You Think: Mapping the Noir Terrain

Rope of Sand, Dark City, and Union Station each extend the shadowy reach of film noir.


Friday, March 20 2015

Jethro Tull: Back to Basics (Sort Of)

After the back-to-back-to-back brilliance of their previous three albums, a letdown seemed inevitable; amazingly, Ian Anderson & Co. raised the bar, instead.


Thursday, March 19 2015

It’s Not That Steven Toast Is a Total Failure

Arthur Mathew and Matt Berry's sitcom, Toast of London is almost too weird and wonderful to put into words.


Wednesday, March 18 2015

Power and Possibility in Political Satire: 22 Years of ‘22 Minutes’

Canada’s hit comedy news program offers a provocative example of the role political satire and popular culture can play in defining and even changing a nation


//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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