Columns > Books

Tuesday, December 6 2011

When the Music’s Over: Greil Marcus on the Doors

Apparently seeking to account for every important rock act of the '60s, Greil Marcus turns his critical attention to the Doors.


Monday, December 5 2011

Showing My References: On Reading Too Much About TV & Watching Too Much TV

I still yearn for a hefty volume of pages to take down from the shelf, to leaf through at my leisure or to zero in on that relevant fact.


Thursday, December 1 2011

‘Caligula’s Ghost: Why Cinema Needs Epic Failure More than Mediocre Success

Obscene, grandiose and artistically worthless -- such is the monstrous reputation of the 1979 art-porn blockbuster Caligula. Is this most shocking of Roman epics worthy of reappraisal?


Tuesday, November 29 2011

Cold Wars End, Betrayal is Forever: ‘Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy’

What is espionage if not getting into bed with people -- physically or ideologically -- for purposes of betrayal?


Sunday, November 27 2011

Simon Reynolds Redux: A Conversation from the Past About Post-Punk

Simon Reynolds discusses Joy Division and The Ramones, sex and politics, and punk's blatant localism and latent racism around the time of the release of Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984.


Sunday, November 13 2011

Symbolic Weight & the Def Jam Aesthetic

A coffee table book about rap does not sound too "hardcore" or "gangsta", does it? Well, that's because it's not. What it just might be is sincere.


Tuesday, November 1 2011

Before There Was ‘The Exorcist’, There Was ‘The Possession of Joel Delaney’

Once again, the film industry came in and took a perfectly creepy book and upped the sensationalism because nothing can ever be too shocking in Hollywood.


Sunday, October 23 2011

Michael Moore vs. Jon Stewart: The Self-Destruction of the American Left

Michael Moore is a populist and Jon Stewart is an elitist. The blind liberal embrace of the superficial smugness of Stewart and detachment from the heroism of Moore is the most powerful and convincing illustration of the suicidal tendencies, moral bankruptcy, and spiritual decay of the American left.


Thursday, October 20 2011

The World’s Favourite Parlour Game: The Quite Interesting Brilliance of ‘QI’

We rarely equate television game shows with admirable life philosophies, but the BBC's QI with host Stephen Fry pulls it off by making us think as well as laugh.


Wednesday, October 19 2011

Geniuses Are People, Too

Creative geniuses don’t succeed despite their flaws, they succeed because they are flawed.


Monday, October 17 2011

Pavement Art: When Destruction Is as Important as Creation

While some celebrate art through its destruction, we can ponder the impetus to buy, sell, own and store art away.


Tuesday, October 11 2011

Mohawks and Korans: Taqwacores Punk Mash-up

The Taqwacore movement seizes space in the punk narrative and social fabric, which allows Muslim voices to take root and explore their own version of rebellion.


Thursday, September 29 2011

Chuck Eddy Will Piss You Off with ‘Rock and Roll Always Forgets’

Buy this infuriating and brilliant book. But get it in softcover. You'll be throwing it against your wall.


Thursday, September 15 2011

Epistolary Rex, The Sharp Hunger for Letters: Conversations with Peter Case

A poetic series of ruminations between a journalist and his subject, a folk-hero rebel rocker, who celebrate years of friendship by exploring the rocky, jolting, and quasi-spiritual experiences that shaped both of their lives.


Monday, September 12 2011

Transforming the Metamorphosis

While Atanes's film comes across as somber and unintentionally funny, and the Capaldi film is bizarre and outright amusing. Both do a brilliant job of capturing the surreal, dark mood that The Metamorphosis is cocooned in.


Sunday, September 11 2011

We Piss Anywhere: ‘Sympathy for Mick Jagger’

Mick Jagger is the devil; the avatar for the swaggering, fatally self-assured hedonist who will piss anywhere with a cocky smirk written all over his face that only confirms there is nothing you can do to stop him.


Thursday, September 8 2011

Connect the Dots: Transgender Narratives in Pop Culture

Transgender representation in modern film, television, and literature blurs the lines of gender, class, race and sexuality, which is precisely why trans narratives are still considered dangerous.


Wednesday, September 7 2011

Trickster-Heroes in ‘Buffy’ and ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’

While Spike represents a moral alternative to Buffy’s heroism, the Arthurian Green Knight's tricks -- including a gruesome beheading -- end as mere a parlor game. Spike is the superior trickster.


Thursday, August 11 2011

‘Red Shambhala’: Telepathy, Mental Powers, Electronic Surveillance & Mysticism in the U.S.S.R.

While the practical experiments of laboratories bent on superhuman creations failed as surely as did the subversive aims to spark revolt on the Mongol plains or in the Tibetan monasteries, the lesson of this unbelievable plot lingers in this thoughtful, instructive, and sad testament of grand hopes and puny fates.


Sunday, August 7 2011

Steve Earle’s ‘I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive’

A been-there-lived-it-attitude and street-level redemption, all propelled by a songwriter's/storyteller's lyrical and narrative knack.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

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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