Columns

Monday, May 8 2006

The Cult of Mediocrity: Jane Birkin, Serge Gainsbourg and the Medio-cultural

The UK and US are often accused of promulgating the cult of celebrity because of their post-industrialist, neo-liberal take on the world that sees culture as a commodity. France, however, is guilty of pandering to the cult of mediocrity.


Sunday, May 7 2006

Three Ring Circus

While polygamy has a place in the study of human history and culture, it has long been considered taboo. Leave it to HBO and its new hit drama series to make this socially profane subject seem... almost normal.


Thursday, May 4 2006

Headphones and Head Space

The quest for a perfect synthesis of public and private existence may lead us to online 'metaverses' where we don't really exist at all.


Wednesday, May 3 2006

Trilogy of (T)errors

What do murderous Halloween masks, a monster enclosed in a Carpathian fortress, and a legion of interstellar soul suckers have in common? According to our resident scare scholar, they are part of a trio of '80s horror films that have been unfairly maligned by critics and fans alike.


Tuesday, May 2 2006

You Almost Saw It TV

A behind-the-scenes peek at television pilot programs the networks almost wanted you to see -- until someone got wise.


Monday, May 1 2006

The Anchor Wars

Their best anchors gone, now, their viewership bailing for Internet sources, US network news programs find themselves drifting.


Sunday, April 30 2006

A Month to Remember… a Month to Forget

From natural disasters to political upheaval, chaos reigns as Alave chronicles an unforgiving February in the Philippines.


Thursday, April 27 2006

Death and Music

As my eyes locked on that stark casket, my mind tripped out. The cognitive dissonance of it all shut me down until they played Aunt Shirley's 'Here's to Life'.


Wednesday, April 26 2006

Slowing Our Global Roll

What we have on the Internet at the moment is a global village with some dodgy side streets. Some international interests are advocating new 'construction', if you will -- using materials that are more to their liking.


Tuesday, April 25 2006

One-Potata, Two-Potata: The (Million) Dollar Logic of the NFL Draft

The draft, for all its baroque embellishment and glitz, essentially replays the same drama of bygone sandlot days.


Monday, April 24 2006

In Sickness and in Health

In Well, Lisa Kron asks, what is the difference between the healthy and the ill? And also, why does my mom keep fucking up my play?


Swimming Home

Sometimes, the written word can be far more evocative than the most memorable motion picture. Such is the case with John Cheever's classic short story about alienation amongst the sun-drenched swimming pools of suburbia.


Sunday, April 23 2006

Why We Shouldn’t Bury Bonds

Like American society itself, baseball is governed by a win-at-all costs mentality that doesn't discourage cheating -- only getting caught.


Wednesday, April 19 2006

On the Necessity of Listening As Confrontation

How can you possibly know why you 'like' something you assume you like unless you confront that which you have dismissed? Jenkins discusses the importance of spending time with the music that immediately displeases us.


Designs on Democracy

On The Great British Design Quest a new sort of made-for-TV entertainment/culture show, the best that Britain has to offer is at the mercy of the masses.


Tuesday, April 18 2006

Batman, Africans, and the Pope’s Superheroics

Bandes Dessinées (BDs, or drawn strips, bound in hardcover 'albums'), a Franco-Belgian cross between comics and graphic novels, are crazily popular in Paris.


Supercalifuckthesystemexpialidocious

Desperate for a symbol other than Fight Club's Tyler Durden to help 'realign your perceptions' on life? Look no further than Walt Disney's 1964 family classic, and a certain subversive nanny who understands rebellion all too well.


Monday, April 17 2006

The Learning Curve

Costambeys-Kempczynski imagines a French version of The Apprentice. The day after the first episode is aired, French employees would stand around the coffee machine, point at each other, and shout 'Vous êtes muté!'; that is, 'You're Transferred!'.


Sunday, April 16 2006

The Time to Kill Is Now!

The least poetic of metal bands, Cannibal Corpse has gone to disturbing lengths to make gruesomeness its cold, calculated calling card.


Wednesday, April 12 2006

The Attention Economy

Amatuer online blogs and MySpace pages give currency to a growing 'attention economy', wherein the most successful have garnered the most flattering friends - and advertisers.


//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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