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Tuesday, June 22 2004

The Joy of Sticks

What made the joystick beautiful was what it enabled us to do as players, the blocky vistas it opened up, the luminous cartoonish characters, darting spaceships or multicolored sports cars it let us manipulate.


Wednesday, June 16 2004

You Are What You Wear?

Can one wear clothes from other places without comprising one's own cultural integrity?


Elegy For the Unheroes

Fowler laments the decline of English film and its stories of plucky losers and anti-heroes, its self-effacing comedies, and its dramas that ran against the grain of epic, elegiac heroism.


Chucking Out the Chintz

In European cities, renovating and retrofitting old spaces brings new life -- and light -- to old buildings. Fowler's office in Soho is a former pyjama workshop, while friends live in converted toothpaste, false teeth and ice cream factories, complete with fireplaces, chimneypots and airy rooms.


At the Heart of the Smiley Face: The Forgotten Tenets of the Global Rave Culture

Rave was a place where we could just be friends no matter how different our backgrounds -- where we lived, what we did in life, what race we were, -- all those rules of society were dropped at a rave because the only thing that mattered was that we stepped in time with the beat, and that is how we shared our universe.


The Myth of the Rebel Consumer

One can use the thrift store purchase of a Herb Alpert record to express dismay at the current state of the music industry, and use the coffee grinder at home to thumb one's nose at Starbucks and somehow feel righteous about such seemingly savvy shopping methods. But expressing one's politics through what one buys is no politics at all; at best it is but a vote of assent for the existing economic arrangements.


Wednesday, June 9 2004

The Rape of Logic: Conservatives and Abu Ghraib

Conservatives have tried at every turn to whore out the country's existential fears since 9-11. Abu Ghraib is no exception. Maybe I should be more understanding of the environmental factors that have caused the Right to abandon their rhetoric of individual responsibility.


Beauty for Sale: Selling the Fantasy in Living Colour

If the '80s were the 'me' decade then this must be the 'look at me' decade; a sentiment to be captured perfectly in Suzanne Boyd's upcoming fashion magazine for black women, Suede.


Wednesday, June 2 2004

Being Dick Cheney

Sirota writes that Vice President Dick Cheney's touch on reality seems to be quite out of touch with reality.


Whatever Happened to Mumia Abu-Jamal?

One could argue that, until the current Bush administration and the Iraq war, Mumia Abu-Jamal was the only thing that came remotely close to galvanizing the far left and its myriad individual causes, from Puerto Rican independence to anti-imperialism. Such is the state of the left in America that for years, Abu-Jamal's case was the only thing that aroused unanimous passion.


Letting Yourself Go

With the privileges that create, sustain, and idealize physical beauty in mind, Cruz argues that although attention to weight-related health risks in racialized populations is necessary, the violence of such racialization, and the gender inequity, class discrimination, and poverty that frequently accompany such attention, have direct repercussions on mortality for those people who are considered 'less than ideal'.


Wednesday, May 26 2004

Presidential Showdown: “Southern Efficiency” vs. “Northern Charm”?

In the 2004 US Presidential Elections, voters are faced with two northerners, but one is posing as an adopted southerner that everyone seems to have forgotten was adopted. Yet the façade of the 'northerner' vs. the 'southerner' and all the implicated strengths and weaknesses of those identities prevails, and history gives 'em each a 50/50 chance of winning.


The Trials and Tribulations of Parenting Adolescent Techies

ReDotPop faces tech-savvy, consumer-primed, expensive adolescence in the form of teenaged cell phone users. Holden wavers between pride and panic as his offspring dabble in art via on-screen decals, and explore a range of music via ring options.


Almost Cooke’s Century: A Transatlantic Pioneer Moves On

A tribute to Alistair Cooke and a recollection of his influence on Warner's life.


Wednesday, May 19 2004

A Tribute to Douglas Adams, creator of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

For those involved in designing video games the tension between making tasks suitably difficult without rendering them totally impossible is a perennial issue. The fact that nobody really minded the difficulty in the case of The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a tribute to how well the thing was written. It was the journey that mattered, not the destination.


Rode to Joy: A Path to Cultural Immigration?

Founded to enhance political, economic and social cooperation, will the European Union prompt movement of the masses? Of those who move, who in the crowd is an immigrant, who an expat? Which promises economic rejuvenation; which threatens on-the-dole failure? Which brings civilizing infusion; which brings cultural pollution?


Cannes Heat

Everyone has horror stories about Cannes during the Film Festival: the audacious thievery, the staggering cost of a salad, the rubbernecking crowds, the sheer effrontery of hotel staff -- not to mention you run the risk of being headlocked by a doorman.


Wednesday, May 12 2004

Pub Cause and Effect

Since the smoking ban in Ireland took effect, Breebaart noticed he could detect smells in pubs he never noticed before, including something vaguely musty with a hint of parmesan... And then it him like a punch in the nose: he could smell old people!


Dear Europeans: I Am NOT George Bush!

Politics and Culture/East and West -- Dear Europeans: I Am NOT George Bush! -- At the Geneva Model UN committee session, Thompson and his students face the repercussions of a long-standing European wariness towards Americans; and the fact that the Bush Administration's policies have turned that wariness into open resentment.


Born and Banned in China

It is one thing to understand what a Totalitarian State is on an intellectual level; another to grow up with it just across the thin border, writes Sham-Shackleton. It is quite another thing to feel the State and its censorship policies closing in -- even if it's just through a DSL line.


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