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Wednesday, January 12 2005

Fighting Chance

After the 2004 US Presidential election, part of me still waited for the Diebold voting scandals to unfold, irrationally hoping that Bush's victory was simply a dirty backroom handshake hammered out during an Illuminati luncheon at Cracker Barrel.


Mistaken Identities

Two women, an Egyptian and a Westerner, share a seat on a train between Alexandria and Cairo. On their journey, they are accompanied by a train of thought wherein the identity of the people of Egypt and its colonizers is as in flux as their historically relative and imagination-filled memories.


Tamales y Champurrado

Despite the abundance of Mexican restaurants all over the globe, they are rarely placed in the same category as fine French or Japanese establishments. Burritos, tacos, fajitas, guacamole, quesadillas, salsa, tortilla chips and so forth have become so ubiquitous that what passes for Mexican food outside of Mexico is a poor approximation of what the country's diverse regions actually have to offer.


Wednesday, January 5 2005

Pop is Porn

These days, it's possible to have a porn website on the computer screen and an MTV video on the telly, and lose one's ability to distinguish one from the other.


Forgive Me Father, For I Have Bought

Shopping within three European countries on a 'universal' credit card can prove to be most taxing to one's historical, not to mention monetary, tolerance. Damn the Irish, the French, and not least, the British!


Traveling the Public/Private Divide

Portable entertainment and communication technology has obliterated the distinction between public and private spaces, and the inconsiderateness that accompanies these devices is fast becoming the public status quo, which drives more people to tune out, hastening the spiral toward complete incivility.


Wednesday, December 29 2004

Growing Up With John Peel:  A Memoir

In John Peel I know that I (and many others) found a voice that championed the cultural margins and artistic mavericks; this voice, in turn, fostered a receptive sensibility with which to open-mindedly and open-heartedly appreciate marginal artists.


Goodbye, Lady in Black

Poole writes of the last Southern 500, Republicans in blue collars, and why it's still the economy, stupid.


Wednesday, December 22 2004

Let the Good Times Roll… Again

Up in the Pop Culture Attic, where all those wonderful things that get trampled by the new and exciting eventually end up, radio DJs worthy of their stuff pull out and dust off some '50s R&B for the holiday season and for the joie de vivre this music brings.


Wednesday, December 15 2004

Theo van Gogh: Words and Reform

Muslim women, the very subject of the film that resulted in van Gogh's murder, may ultimately be the force that invoke proactive change within Islam.


Moving Home: Two Transatlantic Tales

Warner converses with two reverse migration musicians, Preston Reed and Gabriel Minnikin, who have moved away from North America to live and work in more ancient lands.


Wednesday, December 8 2004

Sex, Lies and Videotape: the 2004 US Presidential Election

'Moral' Bush supporters unleashing their anti-gay bigotry; 'patriots' denigrating a veteran's wounds and combat service while supporting a draft dodger. With four more years of the Bush Administration to endure, we have to show these bullies that it is we, not they, who represent the best, compassionate impulses of American democracy.


Barack Obama, the Great Fill-in-the-Blank Hope

Everywhere Barack Obama went, people flocked to get a glimpse of the politician who stole their hearts with just one speech.


Wednesday, December 1 2004

Topping Corpus: On Sex and Life Across Cultures

A half century after Kinsey, Corpus' challenge is to take HIV/AIDS discourse back from medical abstraction, and reintroduce the intimate.


Radio Head? Ex-pirate Peel Abandons Ship

John Peel retained a fondness for music of all periods. The unearthing of undiscovered performers and undersung genres appeared to be his unceasing motivation.


Celebrities and the Barnum Effect

Ah, the shine of a pretty new thing, the clever ploy of its packaging. We enjoy the fantasy that such things arouse, and then, when shoddy reality sets in, we tip our caps to the ingenuity by which we were led to indulge the fantasy.


Wednesday, November 17 2004

X, Y, Z

Games move through time because everything else moves through time. Including us. Constantly, inexorably.


Controversial Subjects

The Frankfurt Book Fair's invititation to writers from the 'Arab world' triggered a bad case of stage fright for invitees, and brought to the fore issues such as the degree of official oversight exercised by most Arab governments in cultural matters.


Wednesday, November 10 2004

Send in the Clowns:  Subversive Rock Humorists

From Chuck Berry to Eminem, I hope these 10 disparate acts suggest that the need for subversive humor has never been greater, and that rock needs to react with its own insurgence: re-arming, re-loading, and then sending in the clowns.


Smear the Queer

We were too frightened by the possibility of Bush's reelection to recognize that Kerry frets his way around the language of values, handling it in his speeches the way macho men hold their wives' purses for them.


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