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Friday, October 24 2014

The Commandments of Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce made the stage his pulpit, the audience his parishioners, and stand-up the sermons for his alternative secular faith.


Friday, October 17 2014

The Persistence of Mockery: Garfield and Surrealism

Goofing around with Garfield on The Garfield Randomiser and Garfield Minus Garfield evokes the poetic Surrealism that arose from Dadism.


Thursday, October 16 2014

A Dark Rapture: The Rise of Punk in Spain

Spanish punkers came swinging harder than ever, screaming not for the sake of inducing change, but screaming for the sake of screaming – because now they could.


Monday, October 13 2014

Neither Here Nor There: ‘The Institute’, the Game, and the Thread to Elsewhere

The trend in alternate reality gaming fits a traditional definition of hyperreality; the condition where fiction and the real become indistinguishably blended together.


Wednesday, October 8 2014

Katha Pollitt on Reclaiming Abortion Rights, Rejecting Shame and Renewing America’s Potential

Pollitt’s new book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights is both a call to arms and a call for honest reflection.


Tuesday, October 7 2014

Beats, Rhymes and Jihad

Hip-hop appeals to those who feel powerless and disenfranchised, which is why ISIS looks to hip-hop communities as potential recruiting grounds.


Thursday, October 2 2014

In Defense Of ... Well, You’re Not Going to Believe This One ‘Til You Read It

Regarding the Ray Rice saga, TMZ not only forced the NFL's hand, it put domestic violence back in the spotlight, where it should be.


Tuesday, September 30 2014

Reinventing Scotland, Reinventing Ourselves: After the Referendum

To be in the minority is the natural condition of artists. The referendum gave Scotland's creative community a brief respite from its sense of isolation.


Friday, September 26 2014

Singing Across Continents: An Interview with Somi

Somi is a not-exactly jazz singer with roots in Africa and the American midwest, and she has made the year's most amazing record, evoking the spirit of Lagos, Nigeria.


Thursday, September 18 2014

Mr. Mencken Went to Dayton and the Culture Wars Began

Long before Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher, H.L. Mencken was America's most notorious satirist of religion. And thus began the battle for the soul of America.


Wednesday, September 10 2014

Great Sex and No Worries: The Myth of Drug Use

Drugs. We LGBT folk certainly seem to like them. We use them at higher rates than heterosexuals, and we really like to mix them with sex. What a shame they're killing us.


Thursday, August 28 2014

The Gunman on the Unemployment Line: Masculinity, Professionalism, and Ethical Bankruptcy

Surely even Dirty Harry needs a break from cinematic violence, some time off at Walden Pond. Though I doubt its tranquility would deter him from picking off the sparrows.


Thursday, August 21 2014

From the Soul to the Hills: The Music of the Caucasus

The music of the Caucasus is powered by national ardour and ritual. All that's needed is an open and willing audience to accept the undisclosed gifts it brings.


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.


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.


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.


Friday, July 11 2014

Singing the Low-Down, Down-Low Blues

Women in jazz can sing about their same-sex experiences, while men tend to stay deeply in the closet. Odd, considering the genre once embraced such dalliances.


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.


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.


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