Columns

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.


Tuesday, December 13 2016

On the Robot Zombies of Angkor Wat in John Burdett’s ‘The Bangkok Asset’

The sixth novel in John Burdett's Bangkok detective series is a dispiriting, dismaying mess. Is there still hope for recovery or is the series in a death spiral?


Monday, December 12 2016

Home Alone: Laird Koenig’s ‘The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane’

Novelist Laird Koenig managed to capture the world of children with an exactitude that is rare nowadays. His children are often sagacious -- and sometimes they're sociopaths.


Friday, December 9 2016

How About Some Noah Baumbach, Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Altman & Akira Kurosawa for the Holidays?

If you ever wonder why certain elements get tossed into a movie, remember: beauty never needs to be justified. These and other thoughts on recent Blu-ray releases.


Thursday, December 8 2016

Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ Trumps Reality TV

Shakespeare's As You Like It employed every signature reality show convention three and a half centuries before television even existed.


Monday, December 5 2016

George Harrison’s “Savoy Truffle”: Holiday Reflections on Sweets and the Beatles

George Harrison knew that in the time and space that get between us and our food, there's a sense of longing.


Friday, December 2 2016

Confronting Evil, Determinism, and Death in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Exploring the darker core of a Christmas classic reveals just what is so wonderful about life.


Thursday, December 1 2016

An Italian in New York: Mondo Marcio Gets Fresh

Italy's favourite rapper mines the crates of American '90s hip-hop on his latest work.


Wednesday, November 30 2016

Was Your iPhone Produced by Slaves? Has It Made You One, As Well?

Media scholar Jack Linchuan Qiu argues that slavery-like conditions, which define digital media workers, mirror the slavery-like obsessions of consumers.


Tuesday, November 29 2016

The Future and Past of Batman, Superman, Fantastic Four and Hunger Games

Can Batman and Superman save the DCEU or will their efforts fail, again? These and other The Next Reel speculations, past, present and future.


Monday, November 28 2016

History, Commentary, and Religiosity in ‘No Man’s Sky’

The universe of No Man's Sky may be calm, but it’s certainly no utopia.


Tuesday, November 22 2016

Finding the Sublime in Jazz, an Argument for Abstraction

Jazz columnist Will Layman presents seven pieces of music as evidence of the beauty and urgency of pure sound in instrumental jazz.


Monday, November 14 2016

There’s This Little Bar Down in New Orleans… Interview With Chris Hannah

Bartender Chris Hannah is an old soul who's perfectly suited for Arnaud's French 75.


Thursday, November 10 2016

Old Ideas and New Generations: What Leonard Cohen Means to Us

Leonard Cohen endures and conquers. But does he mean something different to Millenial audiences than he did to their parents? Can the legend of Cohen escape its own clichés?


Monday, November 7 2016

Are We Gon’ Be Alright?

Crises abound in America, but while complacency won the day before, these times feel different.


Tuesday, November 1 2016

What Is ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Trying to Accomplish?

Can the rebooted film franchise keep what is special about Star Trek, but boldly go where no director has gone before?


Monday, October 31 2016

Nutty Professors? The Case for Scientist-Humorists in the Culture Wars

It's time for the personalities of the science community to emerge from their labs and to get into the ring.


Thursday, October 27 2016

Lost and Found: A ‘Blair Witch’ Postmortem

As the latest Blair Witch exits cinemas, PopMatters asks what was the aura of the first Blair Witch Project, and has it been lost?


Wednesday, October 26 2016

Is Indian Cinema’s First Chick Flick, ‘Mouna Raagam’, a Hindu Nationalist Fantasy?

The "chick flick" medium doesn't completely obfuscate the espousal of the triumph of Hindu conservatism over secular-liberal institutions and socialist ideology.


Monday, October 24 2016

Can Transparency Motivate Gamers?

Transparency means that I can always find enjoyment in improving my personal high score when I play a game, whether or not I win or lose.


//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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