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Tuesday, February 25 2014

Who Does Lydia Loveless Think She Is?

With the release of her two new records, Lydia Loveless watches you watching her. Maybe you should listen, instead.


Monday, February 24 2014

Blood, Bugs and Gore: ‘Gears of War 2’, Postpartum Edition

Gears of War is not about narrative. It's about gut instinct. Pure, primal, primitive emotion. It paints on a big canvas, and uses thick brushstrokes, but the result is an unfiltered, expressionistic roar. It's just like a newborn baby.


Friday, February 21 2014

A User’s Guide to Parody Religions: Dudeism, Invisible Pink Unicorns, and Americhrist Ltd.

Plotting exposure, parody seeks to unveil rather than to mask, to offer truths where it finds lies, deceit, or hypocrisy. So why has religion proven particularly prone to this means of comedic put-down?


Thursday, February 20 2014

The Rap Pack: Italy’s Indie-Rappers

Italy’s independent hip-hop scene has so far produced some of the brightest, most interesting artists on European shores.


Wednesday, February 19 2014

Tick, Tick, Tick: The Temporal Cost of Free-to-Play Gaming

Free-to-play game developers are playing a game of their own. The object of that game is to gain ownership of your time.


Tuesday, February 18 2014

60 Nights at the Movies: The Sequel

The success of Canon Fodder's "50 Nights at the Movies -- at Home!" Requires a bigger and better sequel. Or at least, a longer one. Might want to make some popcorn before sitting down for this one.


Monday, February 17 2014

In Defense Of ... Totally Being Over the Winter Olympics

An institution once associated with class, heroism, athletic superiority, equality and, of course, proud patriotism has been deduced to yet another pawn in the ongoing game of international passive-aggression.


Friday, February 14 2014

Instantly Familiar: Hollywood’s Great Duopolies

Ever think Hollywood is making the same films over and over? These many sets of twin films that constitute Hollywood’s Great Duopolies show no signs of stopping.


Thursday, February 13 2014

You Can Achieve Greatness! Harnessing Your Pop Culture Spirit Animal

Just as our bodies are made of recycled stars, our thoughts are spawned from bits of songs and books and movie dialogue. So what happens when your star gets old?


Wednesday, February 12 2014

In Defense Of ... Openly Enjoying Professional Wrestling

All it took was a trip to the Royal Rumble to see how similar the warped reality of the WWE is to The Kardashians. Or The Real World. Or Duck Dynasty. Or Honey Boo Boo.


Tuesday, February 11 2014

What Would Thomas Pynchon Do?

Like his protagonists, Thomas Pynchon appears to remind us, in his absence from advising us, that we must rely on our own smarts, arrayed against mystery and cynicism and corruption.


Monday, February 10 2014

What Does the Success of ‘Sharknado’ Reveal About Social Media?

In 2013, Syfy's Sharknado became a trending topic on Twitter and a pop culture phenomenon. Here's why none of it matters.


Friday, February 7 2014

Et Tu, Utah?

The battle for gay marriage rights in Utah is turning so ugly and complicated that it will make the battle in California look like a trip to Disneyland.


Thursday, February 6 2014

The Sounds of Upwardly Mobile Africa

While Sub-Saharan Africa is not the first place associated with cutting edge innovation, its people have a long history of adapting, adopting, and re-imagining ideas from abroad.


Wednesday, February 5 2014

In Defense Of ... Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Legacy

Lost far too soon, Philip Seymour Hoffman was the single most affecting reason I ever decided to watch movies in the first place.


Tuesday, February 4 2014

“The Goodness of Privacy in a Warm Room with Books”

We all search for escape, and while music, drugs, radicalism, or fame may ease the monotony, the protagonists of so many of these tales find themselves at the end of their narratives still constrained.


Monday, February 3 2014

Selling Japan: How Much Is a Nation’s Culture Worth?

Via the billion-dollar Cool Japan Fund Inc, Japan is aiming to become one of the world's dominant culture forces. But can a national culture be commodified so easily?


Friday, January 31 2014

How Can a Listener Ignore the Influence of the Market on the Beautiful Art of Jazz?

Some will tar a record with being “commercial” due to preset notions of what one might think an artist should be doing, rather than listening for what he actually is doing.


Thursday, January 30 2014

The Beautification of Country Stars

You can call 2013 the year that country-music album covers looked like advertisements torn from fashion and lifestyle magazines.


Wednesday, January 29 2014

In Defense Of ... A Roku Television Revolution

Roku streaming is ready to offer Roku TVs. The longer its competitors wait (cough, Apple, cough), the harder it will be to dethrone the current champs.


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