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

Columns

Tuesday, July 8 2014

Nobody Should Feel Embarrassed to Read YA Fiction

Young Adult literature is not just for kids, and it fills an important niche left vacant by much of contemporary "adult" fiction.


Monday, July 7 2014

With ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ the MCU Decisively Breaks with Comics

Marvel owns characters and its profits come from comics sales, film tickets, lunch boxes, etc. As such, character identification fluctuates easily between media.


Wednesday, July 2 2014

Shocking the Casbah: The Maghrebi-Noir of Rachid Taha

A furious mix of hip-hop beats, Arabic primal screams and punk-rock guitars, Taha brilliantly battles against the ideologies of both Western and Arab traditions.


Monday, June 30 2014

“Capital’s” Critique of Global Capitalism Is Sage but Dispassionate

Capital offers a savage critique of capitalism and the banking industry, but it fails to imagine its ability to sustain its inhumane and self-destructive practices.


Friday, June 27 2014

Is There Anything Rob Brydon Can’t Do?

Sometimes it seems like Rob Brydon is everywhere in the comedy world. And that's a good thing.


Thursday, June 26 2014

Fleeing the Familiar, Embracing the Abject in ‘Beyond Two Souls’

Within the spaces of darkness or the unknown, Beyond Two Souls asserts that we can exist without being shaped, manipulated, or brutalized by outside forces.


Wednesday, June 25 2014

Dr. McMurtrie and the Gay Kiss

A homophobic doctor, writing in 1914, helped NFL player Michael Sam kiss his boyfriend on TV 100 years later.


Tuesday, June 24 2014

(The Limits of) Football, Samba, and Commonality

The 2014 FIFA World Cup theme song highlights one of the worst trends in a global society: culture boiled down to a sort of triumphant universal human-ness.


Monday, June 23 2014

Bring Back the Beat! What’s Up with Hip-Hop Reissues?

The record industry makes huge efforts to reissue rock CDs, but nowhere near as much effort for hip-hop CDs.


Friday, June 20 2014

The Fascination with Fundamentalism in Hardcore Punk

Some bands echoed the Dead Kennedys' anti-Moral Majority messages; others embodied right-wing religion.


Thursday, June 19 2014

A Wheel Inside a Wheel: Gillian Welch’s ‘Time (The Revelator)’

Time (The Revelator) conjures a hazy post-millennial American dream of disappointment and ambition that's disturbed by what it sees and hears.


Wednesday, June 18 2014

Talent Will Out: Singer-Songwriter Nicky Schrire on Making It in New York

South African jazz singer Nicky Schrire has made three tremendous records, but she isn't well known. That ought to change.


Tuesday, June 17 2014

In Defense Of ... Ann Hornaday, No Matter What Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen Say

The Washington Post film critic wasn't wrong in wondering aloud about the impact Hollywood can have on the typical young male.


Monday, June 16 2014

The Rise Fall and Rise of Marvel Comics on Film Part 3: Our Universe(s) at War

Suddenly, movies from all walks of the Marvel Universe began to rage against the big screen with three distinct universes vying for control of box office gold.


Friday, June 13 2014

The Future of Work Looks Like an Agency-Free Hole That Goes Nowhere

A recent Planet Money episode about worker analytics provokes two things: a memory of a troubling past, and troubling vision of the future of work.


Thursday, June 12 2014

Benighted by Beauty: The Legacy of Opeth’s ‘Still Life’

Still Life's narrative borders on Shakespearean levels of romantic tragedy and social commentary, making it the most poetic and philosophical in Opeth’s catalogue.


Wednesday, June 11 2014

Ai Weiwei on Truth, Beauty and Futility

Truths and beauties grapple throughout According to What?, a retrospective of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.


Eve Babitz, with Los Angeles at Her Feet

As the cynosure of the counterculture, Eve Babitz knew everybody worth knowing; slept with everybody worth sleeping with and better still, made herself felt in every encounter.


Tuesday, June 10 2014

Pronounced Dead: The Art of Cultural Assassination

Two critical catfights are claiming to have buried art-forms which have shaped our civilisation for decades and centuries apiece. Are they entitled to do that?


Monday, June 9 2014

The Rise Fall and Rise of Marvel Comics on Film Part 2: The Road Out of Development Hell

The story is far from over for The Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, but what of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? What of the incredible saga of all of those also-ran comic book films?


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