Wednesday, March 9 2005
Noticeably absent from Streets stories are the guns, bling, fast cars and ho's that so many American rappers invoke to establish their credentials. Where U.S. rappers emulate the fast-paced content of American action films, The Streets is more in tune with the Mike Leigh sensibility in his scenes of working class desperation and blank nothingness.
Apartheid-era policeman have a certain 'look' about them that Leonard can detect from more than a decade away. You can take them out of an apartheid uniform, but you can't take the apartheid uniformly out of them. They also have a way they Look at him that still gives him chills, all these years later. You can take a leftist out of a paranoid era, but you can't take the paranoia out of a leftist.
Davis' true art was in his representation of all that was noble and heroic about being a black man. He gave dignity to our workaday struggles, and ceremony to our highest joys.
Costambeys-Kempczynski puzzles over the roles, and the meaning of the roles, of modern, married, hetero women: their voracious sexual appetites; their productivity level while pregnant; and their entertainment factor.
Why try to form a labor union at your local Wal-Mart when you can strike an equally seditious blow against the system by jerking off to photos of women in latex underwear? No matter how much we label pornography's users as 'addicts' or 'degenerates' and tout religious values, porn is not an immoral anomaly; it's a capitalist inevitability.
Wednesday, March 2 2005
Upon her move from Poland to Korea, Smith finds that it is possible to be nearly killed by kindness. A child of postcolonial wealth and might, and all that implies, negotiates in fits and starts, her early days in an ancient, Confucian land. Culture clash is inevitable.
The creators of the 'tights and cape' crew that have dominated the comics form for much of its history knew the streets of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn well, but the rural South proved beyond their imagining. 'Captain Confederacy' changed all that.
Egypt's lack of political vision is directly related to the quashing of all potential leaders: the worst crime you can commit is to develop a following.
The view from Herrón's City Terrace looks something like this: elements reminiscent of the Catholic Baroque combine with visual cues from Chicano aesthetics, such as skulls and wrestling masks, to evoke a sense of presence that is as lovely as it is tough. And the view has a sound. And that sound has a history.
Wednesday, February 23 2005
In which the Foreign Devil shares four Beijing-area rock experiences to prepare readers for what is Out There, and, further, what is to come.
Our sophisticated game culture critic goes infantile, and has a blast doing it.
McDonald vouches for SquarePants' character. He should know, he roomed with him in college.
Wednesday, February 16 2005
It is perhaps the biggest story of ReDotPop 2004: baseball came to Sendai, bringing with it a dramatic strike between management and the players that struck at the very core of Japanese identity. The strike itself was so typically Japanese: the players continued to play weekday games -- so as not to inconvenience the fans too greatly -- and only suspended play on the weekends; and the fans became deeply embroiled in the matter. Holden wraps up his reflection on life in Japan, 2004, with this quintessential example of what it means to be Japanese in these times.
Is it imitation? Is it flattery? Is it postmodern homage when a band's name is a play on another's that has gone, most famously, before?
Wednesday, February 9 2005
Breebaart provides a walking tour of a special place in Dublin. In its brief 250 metres, Moore Street inadvertently draws the best portrait of modern and diverse Dublin that can be drawn; it mixes the banal and plain elements of small business with the unexpected contiguity of being surrounded by gaping commercial wealth.
Neighborly relations, intimacies among relations, relating, long-distance... a look at life in Japan, 2004, continues with stories of a resiliant abductee, a consummate baseball player, players in the film industry, and of course, members (of varying merit) in the Royal Family.
Wednesday, February 2 2005
Black History Month is subject to a lot of commercial hype, trotted out once a year, as it is. February alone cannot contain such history. But 2005's Black History Month is a good opportunity to look at the history lessons brought to us in just the past year.
New Years' celebrations in Japan can get pretty roudy, as anyone who has suffered asphyxiation by rice cake would tell you - if they were alive to tell. Like New Years' celebrations the world over, the occasion calls for reflection on the year just passed. Holden looks back on 2004 in ReDotPop land with tongue-in-cheek. This is the first of three installments.
Wednesday, January 26 2005
The people -- and the dogs -- of Romania now reside in a less threatening, more humane country.
In a land of plenty, the commodity of respect -- the sense of being socially recognized -- continues to be rationed, rendered scarce.