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Wednesday, February 25 2009

Blind Man with a Pistol: Ishmael Reed’s Misguided Pow-Wow

Anyone who has witnessed affirmative action policies in play can tell you that bad apples are chosen to fulfill a quota, not unlike a cop who harasses every citizen who bears a vague resemblance to a wanted suspect.


Thursday, February 5 2009

Conversing with Rudy Wurlitzer: ‘A Beaten-up Old Scribbler’

My conversations with Rudy Wurlitzer were not unlike a road journey itself with plenty of unplanned side trips along the way.


Thursday, January 29 2009

Art Imitates Death

One of the misconceptions that Graeme Thomson deals with in his book I Shot a Man in Reno is that music about death is somehow out of the norm. In fact, death finds its way into pretty much every type of music.


Monday, January 26 2009

Where the Frak is All My Money?

Battlestar Galactica is like Wall Street—it’s hard to tell Cylons from humans, especially when it comes to galaxy-size Ponzi schemes.


Thursday, January 15 2009

Linton Kwesi Johnson and the Eloquence of Rioters

This poetry, symbolically violent in its choice of literary form and symbolically subversive in its choice of Creole, reveals the literacy of rioters.


Wednesday, January 7 2009

Bret Hart: A Real Life in a Cartoon World

In a surreal world dedicated to a uniquely haphazard and comically inept breed of pretense, Bret Hart’s appeal was simple: he made everything seem 'real'.


Twilight Takeover

The film is a successful adaptation of the book not only because Pattinson is so talented and dreamy, but also because Hardwicke knows a thing or two about filming adolescents.


Tuesday, January 6 2009

Dave Zirin: A Sportswriter with Real Punch

"We can pretend sports isn't political just as well as we can pretend there is no such thing as gravity if we fall out of an airplane."


Thursday, December 18 2008

The Vast Immensity of it All: Fear and Loathing on Sunset Boulevard

Faces of Sunset Boulevard is, without a doubt, one of the strongest statements about man’s dark fate in the West ever committed to paper in the author and photographer’s chosen form.


Thursday, December 11 2008

The Politics Inside Black Pop

Will black pop artists still see themselves as outsiders now that a black person is President? Will they use their cultural platform to criticize him if need be, just as they did to help elect him?


Shameful Exposure

A fiery Kate Winslet saves morality tale in 'The Reader' while a similarly powerful Meryl Streep can't do the same for the overly certain 'Doubt'.


Tuesday, December 2 2008

Hughes Oughta Know

The British Library bought Ted Hughes' literary archive, further inspiring film and literary speculation into his life with Sylvia Plath.


Monday, December 1 2008

There Was No Way to Tell This Man Was a Monster

Scott Keith's Dungeon of Death is a confused, unfocused, meandering account of the most gruesome death yet in an industry known for killing off its performers at startlingly young ages.


Sunday, November 23 2008

Fresh Squeeze with Pulp

The dimestore novels of the '50s and '60s helped foster the gay rights movement. And many of them aroused their readers while inspiring them.


Thursday, November 13 2008

The Hardest Work Imaginable: Bukowski’s Wine-Stained Notebook

Fear, one must understand, is the lubricant that keeps the wheels of human progress greased. Charles Bukowski understood this concept all too well.


Sunday, October 26 2008

Our Zombies, Our Selves

Zombies, politicians, and consumers alike seek immediate gratification. But can they be happy?


Wednesday, September 24 2008

Retelling the History of Black Music: Bert Williams, Godfather of the Black Stage & Studio

Bert Williams in blackface started a conversation about representing blackness within a mainstream context that has continued through virtually every crossover moment in black American life.


Sunday, August 24 2008

He’s Lost Control

The kids who grew up in the '90s had the haunted Kurt Cobain; my generation had the tormented Ian Curtis.


Monday, July 28 2008

Rebel Rebel

The time is ripe for revisiting One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, as we're all aware that individual freedoms are still being suppressed by governments around the world.


Sunday, July 20 2008

Samuel Fuller, “The Poet of Potboilers”

Fuller was a playful but hard-bitten cynic who imposed his sometimes weary, whistling-past-the-graveyard worldview on all those people sitting in the dark.


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