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.

Testing Interests

Caution: too many MRIs may fatten your doctor's bank account -- and that's not good for your health.

Just another Negro in the Diaspora

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

We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off

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.'

It’s the Stupidity, Stupid

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.

15 Minutes of Less-Than Perfect, or Romantic, Fame

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

Speaking Through an Interpreter

Pieter-Dirk Uys and his Mbeki puppet poke South African leadership in its tender spots.

Can Pop Last Forever?

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?

Another Brick in the Wall

Culture clash is a healthy thing. 'Consider a vacation in a potential war zone,' writes Fowler, 'you'll be helping the local economy and we'll be glad to see you.'

No Sikth Please, We’re British

What happens when high culture meets low, high art meets popular, establishment meets street, funded meets fundless? At Fuse, it's a culture clash.

Wednesday, March 24 2004

Virtual Reality

Mainstream (and some non-mainstream) games' re-articulation of the dominant perspectives regarding the War On Terror makes it all the more important that there are alternative games attempting to subvert this process . . . If you can become a Palestinian, Israeli, Spanish or Iraqi civilian, adopt the role of an American GI or British squaddie, if you can assume the role of a general or president, you might understand better the world in which you live.

The Encroachment of the Public

As privacy fades, so do intimacy, personal safety, and self-esteem (mental health) and with them social cohesion.

Wednesday, March 10 2004

Married Gay Martians on Steroids

The always-predictable Republican campaign strategists know that even during a time of war and economic distress, there's nothing like a little gay bashing to divide the country.

Is Women’s Work Finally Done?

Britain is nonetheless witnessing the steady rise of a collection of youthful female challengers who might just catch the attention of American ears before the year is out.


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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