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

Columns

Monday, August 18 2014

The Sonny Rollins / ‘New Yorker’ Controversy and Jazz’s Image Problem

Why do jazz folks always sound so defensive about the music they love? Why can’t they take a pie in the face from Django Gold?


Thursday, August 14 2014

From Nietzsche to Hegel: Perspectives on Humanity in ‘Dark Souls’

Despite putting on display both the virtues and vices of man, Dark Souls does not make a judgment call about humanity, but rather leaves that up to the player.


Wednesday, August 13 2014

Everything You Think You Know About Human Rights Is Wrong

Human rights movements, says Samuel Moyn, have done a poor job protecting and fighting for social and economic rights.


Tuesday, August 12 2014

In the Shadow of the Shadow of the Bat

It's common knowledge that the 'best' superhero is the one in cape and cowl. And that's true. It's just not the one you think.


Monday, August 11 2014

Origin of the Species: ‘Planet of the Apes’ from Laughing Stock to Box Office Gold

After the best-selling novel La Planète des Singes and the hit film Planet of the Apes, the series found itself in hairy times. How did the saga regain its glory?


Friday, August 8 2014

Wond’ring Aloud: A Conversation with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson

As the creative mastermind behind Jethro Tull, Ian Anderson is often considered one of the most distinct musicians of the past 50 years.


Thursday, August 7 2014

‘The Purge’: Lawful, But Not Helpful

By grounding the violence of his barely veiled speculative fiction in the here-and-now, James DeMonaco risks inciting an audience beyond the walls of the cinema.


Wednesday, August 6 2014

Blast Shadows

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima forever altered popular culture, and the earliest traces of that tectonic shift can be found in an obscure government report and newsreel about the event.


Tuesday, August 5 2014

Films for Fans of Visionary Directors

In film, "visionary" has become a marketing adjective, like "iconic". Here, on the matter of visionary directors, we separate the claret from the beaujolais, if you will.


Monday, August 4 2014

Origin of the Species: ‘Planet of the Apes’ from Page to Screen

Humankind once laughed at The Planet of the Apes -- until it became a critically acclaimed artistic endeavor and had an Academy Award category created for it. Now who amongst us is laughing?


Thursday, July 31 2014

When the Man in Black Went to Bat for Native America

A recasting of Johnny Cash's most controversial album, Bitter Tears, raises questions about the inclusiveness of American music.


Wednesday, July 30 2014

The Assassins’ Propaganda

Black Flag isn’t interested in breaking the world into two opposing ideologies. It’s interested in how those ideologies sell themselves to a broken world.


Tuesday, July 29 2014

Living and Dying for Silent Film

Home video companies such as Kino Lorber, the Criterion Collection, and Flicker Alley have been instrumental in meeting the changing methods of distributing silent film.


Monday, July 28 2014

‘Shutter’, ‘Saga’ and ‘The Private Eye’ Showcase the Best of What Comics Can Do

The best creators will find ways to make the best use of whatever medium they are working in.


Friday, July 25 2014

On Those Who Must Work as Whores, and Those Who Can Afford to Just Play at It

The debate about sex work is usually about the spectacle that accompanies “sex”, rather than about the sex workers and the work of sex. That needs to change.


Thursday, July 24 2014

Ripe with Rich Attainments: Jethro Tull’s ‘A Passion Play’, Reassessed

A Passion Play tends to draw the most resistance from even prog-rock aficionados; it obliges time and attention to let it work its charms.


Wednesday, July 23 2014

The Music That Sprouts Between Empires: Ukrainian Culture Amidst Conflict

Ukraine was once considered the musical heartland of the Russian Empire, its culture thriving between the cracks of various powerful and competing empires.


Tuesday, July 22 2014

The Caging of an American Revolutionary

American Revolutionary wants to offer the appearance of revolution while anesthetizing any deeper understanding of the forces involved.


Monday, July 21 2014

The Myth of the Global Brown Messiah in Kollywood Cinema

Recent films from the action-masala genre project India as a global sheriff, replacing a toothless West as an expression of muscular nationalism.


Thursday, July 17 2014

The Benefits of Not Really Living: On Let’s Plays in Videogaming

With Google looking to buy Twitch, we take a look back into an early form of videogame spectating and what it means in the context of that acquisition.


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