Wednesday, May 12 2004
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.
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.
Wednesday, May 5 2004
Just one of many grotesqueries on reality TV: plastic surgery used to be something dirty and hidden, a product of cancerous vanity akin to pedophilia in its sick unnaturalness... Why hasn't the American Medical Association condemned the dark arts of its most bottom-feeding specialty, plastic surgery?
An amazing amount of deceit and manipulation by the Bush administration is going on right under our noses. Much like the Iran-Contra scandal of 20 years ago, it seems we're allowing history to repeat itself.
The Japanese TV program Maison Ikkoku generates an elegiac feeling of home. Watching the show creates an odd disjuncture for Ruh -- leaving him feeling nostalgic for something he has never known.
Tuesday, May 4 2004
Ambient Latinidad is the recognition of Latino geographies, writes Cruz. Conquests, migrations, and memories of home give rise to the Latinidad sensibility; a sensibility that is felt virtually everywhere, even if it is not always seen and heard.
Wednesday, April 28 2004
Drive-By Truckers and Bubba Sparxxx share a similar aesthetic, a defiantly rednecked aesthetic that caterwauls and rebel yells, demanding that their listeners put down their bottle of Dasani and pick up a fifth of Wild Turkey. Both acts have exploded out of the musical ferment of Athens, becoming part of what can only be called a red neck chic, a fascination with the low-down South that can be seen in everything from the jokes of Jeff Foxworthy to the popularity of NASCAR.
The language of 'world cinema' is highly reductive, often compressing all artistic decisions made in a film from another country into irreversible inferred statements about the singular essence of that entire country or culture itself.
John Lennon's Swiss-made, KB Discomatic can now be seen and heard with this TV programme and CD, and it's a beautiful thing.
Wednesday, April 21 2004
Somewhere in the country, a black woman who has no use whatsoever for the Bush administration's approach to global politics watched Rice on the witness stand and chanted, 'You go, girl.' Political and economic progress be damned, we still live vicariously through our celebrities.
Columnist Colin Harvey writes that video games suggest we may be altogether more Renaissance -- and less of a divided mind -- than we give ourselves credit. On the one hand we have video game players: art lovers who aren't allowed to say it and science buffs who don't realize it. On the other hand we have the creators of games: mathematicians and scientists who are really artists, and artists who are really scientists.
It seems the Atlantic causes distortion in the sound waves flowing between the continents. Musically speaking, America and Europe are just not hearing each other very clearly.
Wednesday, April 14 2004
Easter in Ireland 2004 finds the faithful flocking to the blood-spattered screen; this is how many people want their kids to process a religion based on love and charity.
Caution: too many MRIs may fatten your doctor's bank account -- and that's not good for your health.
Canadian/Jamaican/African/Anglin messes with the whole 'identity thing'; is her father the Nigerian ambassador to Canada and she must find a husband so she can stay in the country permanently? Or must a suitor produce a herd of goats for her family, lest their potential relationship become void under Ugandan civil code?
Wednesday, April 7 2004
The abstinence education movement, by and large, fails to save young people from the perils of sex, but it may be more successful in 'saving' them in a different way, writes Sawyer, 'A cursory glance at some of the people who receive some of that $270 million that the President has set aside for abstinence education lends further credence to the notion that abstinence education is just one of many methods fundamentalist Christians have for getting God in through the doggie door when straight-up knocking won't work.'
If we're lucky, the investigation into 9/11 will uncover a President who understood terror warnings and covered them up, rather than a President who was intellectually incapable of grasping overt national security threats.
Eerily mirroring the Internet's romance boom in the '90s, which saw the whopping rise of users flocking to matchmaking and personals websites, television has now cashed in on the demand-for-romance phenomenon by stepping in as matchmaker extraordinaire... with, more often than not, painful results.
Wednesday, March 31 2004
Pieter-Dirk Uys and his Mbeki puppet poke South African leadership in its tender spots.
Is pop as ephemeral as a cherry blossom... like youth, so quick to burst with beauty and excitement, so quick to fade? Or is it a perpetually regenerating force, like the magnificent and tenacious sakura that hosts the blossom?