Columns

Thursday, March 22 2007

Why Don’t the Planets Speak?: An Inquiry Into Music and Language

Speech involves saying something individual in a rigid system of conformity. Music seems to attempt something similar -- or, more appropriately, people attempt something similar through music.


Wednesday, March 21 2007

The Post-Putin Era: Russian Revolution or Russian Evolution?

The world’s two most dominant forces will usher in new regimes in 2008. Thompson offers insights into the next Russian presidential election and its diverse cast of players.


Tuesday, March 20 2007

Palahniuk’s Fight Club Punch: We Never See It Coming

With Fight Club, whether he intended to or not, Palahniuk has shown us that fascism can be created right before our eyes, almost invisibly, and we won’t even see it happening.


Orhan Pamuk: A Brave Voice in a Troubled Country

Caught in the cultural clash between east and west, Pamuk struggles to balance his political beliefs and astonishing international literary success in a way modern Turkey can accept.


Monday, March 19 2007

P.M. Mixtape, Vol. One

Maybe the sun has set on the days of the cassette tape, a format that made you work for your music. Huff, feeling nostalgic for the "fast forward" and "rewind" buttons, makes his own theoretical cassette mix of oddball hip-hop tunes.


Sunday, March 18 2007

The Proof is in the Progeny

Each child named with a presidential surname is in fact a living memorial to that president. So if we count these living memorials, we'll know who the best US presidents really were.


Thursday, March 15 2007

The Pleasures of Propaganda

Animated Soviet Propaganda, a recently released collection of cartoons the Russians commissioned to indoctrinate children with the presumed moral superiority of communism, reminds us how nice it is to have prejudices aroused and confirmed.


Wednesday, March 14 2007

The Rudest, Crudest, Lewdest, Drunkest Band in Christendom

Extreme was the nature of the Macc Lads' music, as was the nature of reactions to it. Within their deftly created insular world, traits of civility, sensitivity, and compromise were anathemas. Therein lay the foundation of their punk-inspired wit.


Tuesday, March 13 2007

Gender Divides

Are celebrity “girls” really the only gender that’s “gone wild”? Or has the media gone mad -- and misogynistic?


My Wandering Days

Our intrepid traveller summarizes many journeys past, as she prepares for another in Bengal.


Monday, March 12 2007

Bling, Bling, Bia, Bia!: How Hip-Hop Can Survive Beyond Black History Month

If hip-hop is an art, or a larger entity such as a culture, then we must be able to assess it. No body survives unchecked, so what sets hip-hop apart? As its producers and participants, fans and Stans, we must be able to navigate conversations about our actions.


Warcrack: The Second Coming

Having grown up as the only girl in a three boy household, I was quite adept at Atari, Sega, Nintendo, Playstation, etc. But nothing could have adequately prepared me for the enslaving lure of Warcraft, aka Warcrack.


Sunday, March 11 2007

Toys ‘n the Addict

As wild-eyed Rob (John Cusack), in High Fidelity, explains that his chaotic collection of LPs is not organized alphabetically, nor chronologically, but autobiographically, so, too, many toy collectors amass and display their plastic trinkets in an effort to compile something of a three-dimensional, pop cultural autobiography.


Thursday, March 8 2007

Celebrating John Coltrane, Personally

Spurred on by a couple of anniversaries, a new podcast "Traneumentary", and plenty of memory, Layman reflects on the music and meaning of John Coltrane.


Wednesday, March 7 2007

Coming ‘Out’ to Play

American sports fans may consider themselves a more level-headed bunch than their seemingly always rioting European equivalents, but they excel at hurtling vitriol at 'out' gay players.


Say What You Will

What you say about yourself is also, by implication, an argument about the world around you – whether you would have it be or not.


Tuesday, March 6 2007

Art History

Without venturing to psychoanalyze Art Garfunkel’s unconscious fixations, I’d say there are times when you can, in fact, tell a book by its cover -- and one of them is when it’s covered in protective plastic.


Monday, March 5 2007

Las Vegas—The Real Never Never Land

In less than 36 hours, I was rear-ended in traffic by a sleazy local lingerie-shop owner who offered free pot for my troubles; I overcame an early $70 deficit and left the blackjack table with $45 in winnings; and the hotel upgraded me to a swanky top-floor Jacuzzi suite.


Sunday, March 4 2007

Vibe: Hard to Let it Go

Vibe once nailed down the sweet spot between hip-hop swagger and Madison Avenue polish. But no longer needing to prove hip-hop’s worth to the broader audience, it morphed into a gooey valentine to hip-hop’s ghetto fabulousness.


Send/Receive: The Instantly Regretted E-Mail

You know that sick feeling you get when fire off a toxic reply, hit the “send” button, and find yourself peering into the Dark Side of instant global electronic communication?


//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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