Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past


Wednesday, March 24 2004

Virtual Reality

Mainstream (and some non-mainstream) games' re-articulation of the dominant perspectives regarding the War On Terror makes it all the more important that there are alternative games attempting to subvert this process . . . If you can become a Palestinian, Israeli, Spanish or Iraqi civilian, adopt the role of an American GI or British squaddie, if you can assume the role of a general or president, you might understand better the world in which you live.

The Encroachment of the Public

As privacy fades, so do intimacy, personal safety, and self-esteem (mental health) and with them social cohesion.

Wednesday, March 10 2004

Married Gay Martians on Steroids

The always-predictable Republican campaign strategists know that even during a time of war and economic distress, there's nothing like a little gay bashing to divide the country.

Is Women’s Work Finally Done?

Britain is nonetheless witnessing the steady rise of a collection of youthful female challengers who might just catch the attention of American ears before the year is out.

Monday, March 1 2004

Queering the Mic

A hardcore advocate of free speech, Sawyer gives a close listen to hip-hop's homophobic spittin'.

What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?

In a game, someone triumphs and somebody or something loses: we laugh with good reason at the absurdity of the Caucus-race in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland when the Dodo concludes that, 'Everybody has won, and all must have prizes.'

The Iowa Caucuses: American Democracy’s Naked Emperor

Politics and Culture/East and West -- The Iowa caucuses disenfranchise a person who, despite being politically active, would prefer to act -- that is 'vote'.

Wednesday, February 11 2004

Wickets and Missiles

The cultural flexibility for which South Asian cricket stands... is what will ultimately turn away the dark forces of the war-mongering, chauvinist nationalists.

The Case of the Disappearing Patient

Bloodwork -- As an 'empowered' medical consumer, your life depends on choosing the proper drug. Do you want to make the decision based on which of the Norman Rockwell images rendered in television advertisements is most appealing?

The Pathology of Love

Behavior changes are reminiscent of psychosis and, biochemically speaking, passionate love closely imitates substance abuse.

Wednesday, February 4 2004

G. Walker Bush, Texas Ranger

Disregard the 'windshield cowboy's' twangy tough talk, and remember the disturbing realities being perpetrated by the guy who's really in charge.

Reign of Doom: Iran’s Revolution Turns 25

25 years later, the Revolution in Iran still reverberates; sending shockwaves through the bones of the exiled.

Wednesday, January 28 2004

History 101

If the world continues heading in the disastrous direction it's adopted since the turn of the millennium, video game renderings of key world cities may be all our descendants have to go on as a guide to the recent past.


Japan is so much more than simply a handful of groups characterized by crystal-clear definitions and cut-and-dried allegiances: male, female; 'enka', rock; wheat tea, Coca-Cola; 'kimono', blue jeans.

Media Mayhem in England

Those latterday Citizen Kanes -- continue to believe that a policy of chop and change, axe and launch, re-think, re-design and rally, is the best means to hold our attention.

Wednesday, January 21 2004

The Basic Dilemma of the Artist

We are prisoners in the universe of our emotions; our weapons of language are useless.

Wednesday, January 14 2004

America’s Japanese Cinema: Appropriating Japan’s Cachet of Cultural Cool

Japanese popular culture now exerts a significant economic (and, by extension, political) force on the world markets.

Above Disgrace: Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee

Are South African critics indeed displeased that Coetzee won, or is their kind of smarmy sensationalism going on, like a backhanded nod of national pride?

Wednesday, January 7 2004

A Literal-Lateral Conundrum

Then, at Christmas, I received my first video game . . . Suddenly I wasn't watching Harrison Ford act out Han Solo or playing with a tiny plastic doll of Han Solo: I was Han Solo.

By the Sound of Her Voice: Earning a Living as a Voice Artist

You don't have to dress up, watch your weight, or worry about that zit on your chin, and you get paid a great chunk of change.

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