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.

Wednesday, May 5 2004

Kill Your Television Before It Kills You

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?

Bad Rerun, Worse Consequences

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.

Maison Ikkoku and Displaced Nostalgia

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

What’s a Puerto Rican doing in Germany?

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

Redneck Chic and Hip-hop Get Down and Dirty

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.

Whose World Cinema?

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.

Put Another Nickel In

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

TV, Validation, and the Three Sistas

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.

When Worlds Collide

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.

Walls of Sound

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

Mel’s Collection Plate

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.

//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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