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


Wednesday, January 28 2004


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.

Get Naked? Why Not Let It Be?

Has anyone the right to take an existing document and resurrect it in this manner?

Thursday, December 18 2003

Will America Follow?

(President Bush) chose tax cuts for the highest-income Americans... he chose new laws that allow companies to avoid having to pay workers overtime... he chose to terminate unemployment benefits and loosen laws that protect worker pensions... he chose a 'free' trade policy that encourages corporations to troll the world's most repressive countries for the cheapest labor.

Beauty Queens and Fairness Creams

Their true significance in the context of modern Indian society lies in the fact that behind their chiseled, smiling faces lies a wave of an almost terrifyingly aggressive commercialism.

Wednesday, December 10 2003

The Columnist in the Mousetrap

Agatha Christie's opus is a portrait of our age as it emerged, all bloodied and repellent, from the womb of the dying Victorian era.

Monday, December 1 2003

Bearing the Black Female Body as Witness in Sci-Fi

(Uhura's) USS Starship Enterprise world was both multiculti and alien, which offered a familiarity of what it is like to grow up black and female in America.

Wednesday, November 19 2003

Bring on the Truth

Now, with the Administration calling up thousands of National Guard and reservists to serve in Iraq, the say-one-thing, do-another dance continues.

Into the Mainstream

I am optimistic about what lies ahead as the prime time closet door continues to open.

The Kennedy Mystique, 40 Years Later

The popular notion of the 'Kennedy curse' has preoccupied America for some time.


ReDotPop -- A Concept Due Its Title -- It is a sniff-the-breeze, taste-the-frisky-freshness-of-freedom problem that has no Japanese word to describe it.

Wednesday, November 12 2003

The UN, George Bush, and You

Politics and Culture/East and West -- Americans feel very mean towards the UN, at the moment.

Jailhouse Pop

Nothing adds a more notable notch to your studded belt, nothing sharpens the spurs on your blue-suede shoes better, than a bit of disorderly disrespect for the social code.

Wednesday, November 5 2003

The Soul of the Game

Video games play us as much we play them. They do this by keying into our emotions as a means of generating feelings, a precedent set by many other cultural activities.

An Argument for State-Sanctioned Torture

Inevitably, the very act of being rendered suspect is traumatic and bound to inflict psychological, pecuniary, and physical pain and suffering.

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