Tuesday, August 25 2015

‘Spirits Rejoice!’ Takes a New Look Into an Old Tradition

Scholar Jason C. Bivins thinks through more difficult aspects of the relationships between jazz and American religions, while at the same time examining the permeability of both.

Monday, August 24 2015

Contemplations on the Nature of Truth: True Crime and Dark Empathy

How well can one digest murdertainment's darkest elements?

Friday, August 21 2015

Yellow Fever and Yum-Yum Girls

Multiple versions of the classic story The World of Suzie Wong offer different takes on a social phenomenon, but can any of them escape the biases of their authors?

Thursday, August 20 2015

Why the Arcade Matters

The arcade snatched video games from the rarefied spaces of industry and academia, making playing video games into a truly populist pastime.

Wednesday, August 19 2015

What About the Victim of the Victim of Homophobia?

Recent televisions shows are focusing attention on the plight of the spouses of gay men and lesbians. But is it enough to make their lives less traumatic?

Tuesday, August 18 2015

‘Fresh Romance’ and ‘Island’ Signal a Revival of the Anthology Periodical

The periodical anthology, or comics magazine, allows for a variety of experiments with form that may not otherwise fit into conventional publishing models in the US.

Monday, August 17 2015

‘24 - Live Another Day’ ‘Cause You’re Gonna Die Anyway

24 began sugared-up on gooey clichés of liberty and freedom -- and ended in hypoglycemic shock. Would a new series be worse for our health?

Thursday, August 13 2015

What’s So Smooth About the New Smooth Jazz?

Recent work from a group of young musicians, beautifully represented by the new Supreme Sonacy from Revive Music, makes it cool again to put out jazz that wants to be popular.

Wednesday, August 12 2015

‘Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist’ Is Older But Still Wise and Just As Funny

While this show is as funny now as it was when it first aired 20 years ago, the passing of time has given it even greater cultural meaning.

Tuesday, August 11 2015

In Praise of Kristen Wiig’s Risky Career Choices

Kristen Wiig’s genius is that she can generate humor and pathos from the same source, her characters’ pain.

Monday, August 10 2015

No Apologies: A Critique of the Rockist v. Poptimist Paradigm

Both rockists and poptimists treat music as not much more than a social commodity, a consumerized product within the spectacle of American capitalism.

Friday, August 7 2015

Lush Life: The Music of Brazil’s Doris Monteiro

Doris Monteiro, Brazil's "Queen of Radio", offered in 1976 what was perhaps her finest musical declaration with Agora, a now obscure and luxurious treasure of Brazilian pop-delights.

Thursday, August 6 2015

What Is the Real Story of the Atomic Bombings?

America claimed the atomic bomb ended World War II and saved American lives. Journalist and historian Paul Ham calls that “a pack of lies”.

Wednesday, August 5 2015

Reappraising Ian Anderson’s ‘Minstrel in the Gallery’

Minstrel in the Gallery seems as autobiographical as any Jethro Tull album, before or after, and there is a vulnerability and sensitivity that the songwriter was simply growing into.

Tuesday, August 4 2015

Let Us Now Praise Dale Watson, American Treasure

Dale Watson wants to secede from country music and all we can do is hope that this is one rebellion that comes to a happy end.

Monday, August 3 2015

A Public Service Announcement From Your Future AI Overlords

Perhaps what worries Stephen Hawking and his fear mongering colleagues is not some hostile Other like Agent Smith from The Matrix, but the more pedestrian Other that is other people.

Thursday, July 30 2015

Does Reality Television Need ‘The Profit’?

A series about making money, airing on CNBC, might seem like an unlikely place for fostering positive values.

Wednesday, July 29 2015

The Life, Death and Afterlife of Video Stores

In the dust of long gone video stores ghosts of film geeks past forever roam.

Tuesday, July 28 2015

‘Superman’ and ‘Superman II’: What Is, and What Might Have Been

Superman and Superman II are two of the best films of their kind, but budget and time overruns necessitated a number of changes from the original vision.

Monday, July 27 2015

Lovecraft Was Wrong: Knowledge Is Power in ‘Bloodborne’

Bloodborne is not about the horror of knowledge, but the horror of unfettered knowledge.

//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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