Columns > Culture

Wednesday, August 16 2017

“To Penetrate the Fug of Things”: On Trump’s Response to Charlottesville

Rationality, in the moral sense, is an act of love because it is an attempt to bring the world closer, not drive it away. Rationality is not an inherent human trait, it is a choice.


Tuesday, August 15 2017

Dancing the Tango Through Mao’s Cultural Revolution With Argentinian Pancho and His Orchestra

On Shanghai dance halls of the late '30s and a vinyl tango artifact that survived Mao’s Cultural Revolution.


Tuesday, August 8 2017

You May Be Black or You May Be White But in Africa You’re an American First

David Peterson del Mar explores a creation myth for a nation of black people still searching for personal and collective terra firma.


Monday, August 7 2017

Lost Chords, Major Chords, Minor Chords, Dissonant Counter-melodies: ‘Dreaming the Beatles’

This biography of the Beatles illustrates how their personality dynamics served as both a necessary elixir and an addictive poison in the creation of their music.


Friday, August 4 2017

Remembering (and Reliving) the Bombing of Hiroshima With Keiji Nakazawa’s ‘Barefoot Gen’

The seminal manga of Hiroshima's atomic bombing and aftermath remains an essential reminder of the horrors of war and atomic bombs.


Wednesday, August 2 2017

Small Beauty, Big Ideas: A Conversation with Lambda Award Winner Jia Qing Wilson-Yang

‘Best Transgender Fiction’ winner’s work challenges Can-Lit and the representation of identity.


Monday, July 31 2017

On ‘Art Sex Music’ and Working as an Avant-Garde Artist With Genesis P-Orridge

Throbbing Gristle and COUM Transmissions' Cosey Fanni Tutti's autobiography reminds us that the destructive forces of misogyny and exploitation infiltrate even the most admired of forward-thinking movements.


Thursday, July 27 2017

How to Ruin a University Without Really Trying

As Stefan Collini discusses in Speaking of Universities, none of the things universities aim to do -- from educating people to achieving research breakthroughs -- can be achieved under the conditions they’re increasingly being made to conform to.


Tuesday, July 25 2017

The Teddy Charles/Teddy Cohen Jazz Map of Random Finds and Significant Directions

I take a chance on the unknown used records of Shenzhen and Los Angeles and unwittingly connect the dots, opening up the wide but previously obscured vistas of post-bebop history.


Wednesday, July 19 2017

Everything Was Fake: ‘Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris’

In the wake of the 'Terrible Year', Flaubert railed against the "stupidity" of his fellow citizens. Are we any smarter 150 years later?


Tuesday, July 18 2017

Our Times of Political Turmoil and Upheaval Call for Grace Paley’s Astute Criticism

A Grace Paley Reader is a powerful, captivating, and extremely relevant survey of Paley’s work from the field. It's a fine example of the personal as political.


Monday, July 17 2017

Algiers and the Political Structures of Noise

How can there be a political movement if we're unwilling to move? Algiers connects past and present for the sake of the future.


Poetry, Art, and the New Spirit of Capitalism

Poet and critic Jasper Bernes seeks nothing less than a complete reconsideration of poetry and art over the past 50 years in this book, which heralds the appearance of an important new voice in criticism.


Monday, June 26 2017

China Mieville’s ‘October’: The Bolsheviks Are Back in Vogue

What was the secret of the Russian Revolution? What lessons -- both positive and negative -- does it hold for the present day?


Friday, June 23 2017

From Amar Akbar Anthony to Baahubali: Whither Indian Cinema’s Secularism?

A retrospective of Manmohan Desai’s Bollywood classic Amar Akbar Anthony, and the films it has influenced, 40 years on.


Tuesday, June 20 2017

‘Flavor’: It’s Not on the Tip of Your Tongue

Do you think cilantro tastes like soap? Do you ever get a hit of barnyard off a fine Bordeaux? Flavor will end up taking wine snobs down a peg while lifting up everyone else.


Monday, June 19 2017

Life in the Time of Outrage: We’ve Drawn So Many Lines in the Sand That We’ve Eroded the Beach

The ad hominem argument, traditionally considered a logical fallacy, has gained a cultural acceptance and a widespread tacit approval that boggles the mind.


Tuesday, June 13 2017

One Nation, Divided by Humor

We may be one nation in America, but today we appear to be living on different planets.


Friday, June 9 2017

Fried Green Tomatoes in the Rubyfruit Jungle

Although their writing styles and life experiences differ greatly, Fannie Flagg and Rita Mae Brown each has illuminated what it means to be a woman -- and a lesbian -- in contemporary American society.


Wednesday, June 7 2017

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the Continuing High Cost of Fashion

The poor workplace conditions that led to this tragedy have been outsourced to places like Bangladesh, where similar factory tragedies happened as recently as 2013.


//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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