Columns > Culture

Wednesday, January 11 2017

Richard Dawkins and the Need for a New Science Populism

Now, more than ever, public intellectual scientists like Dawkins are needed to counter the forces of faith, fiction, and farce dominating our so-called “post-fact” society.


Tuesday, January 10 2017

Amazon Go Is Hacking Away at the “Poetics” of Supermarkets

Grocery shopping is one of the earliest forms of schooling that we experience.


Friday, January 6 2017

Culture and History for the Age of Trump

History doesn’t always tell us how to get it right. It sometimes warns us of the cost of getting it wrong. Art steeped in that history can remind us, if we’re paying attention.


Thursday, January 5 2017

The Galloway Case: Sexual Harassment, Due Process, and Literary Exceptionalism

Steven Galloway's sexual harassment case, and the literary establishment's response to it, reveals a lot about how much work still needs to be done in combating misogyny.


Monday, December 19 2016

Radicalism and the Art of Compromise

Under a Trump Administration, is it better to be a rebel with a cause, or a reformer with a platform? "Red" Ellen Wilkenson's biography gives us some insight into these difficulties.


Thursday, December 15 2016

Trumpaholism, or, Is “Liquor Before Beer, Never Fear” a Piece of Fake News?

How I worry when I drink, and why Distilled Knowledge is diffuse knowledge.


Wednesday, November 30 2016

Was Your iPhone Produced by Slaves? Has It Made You One, As Well?

Media scholar Jack Linchuan Qiu argues that slavery-like conditions, which define digital media workers, mirror the slavery-like obsessions of consumers.


Monday, November 14 2016

There’s This Little Bar Down in New Orleans… Interview With Chris Hannah

Bartender Chris Hannah is an old soul who's perfectly suited for Arnaud's French 75.


Monday, November 7 2016

Are We Gon’ Be Alright?

Crises abound in America, but while complacency won the day before, these times feel different.


Monday, October 31 2016

Nutty Professors? The Case for Scientist-Humorists in the Culture Wars

It's time for the personalities of the science community to emerge from their labs and to get into the ring.


Wednesday, October 26 2016

Is Indian Cinema’s First Chick Flick, ‘Mouna Raagam’, a Hindu Nationalist Fantasy?

The "chick flick" medium doesn't completely obfuscate the espousal of the triumph of Hindu conservatism over secular-liberal institutions and socialist ideology.


Friday, October 21 2016

Pondering Life Post-Capitalism in ‘Four Futures’

Can markets be separated from capitalism? From money? From the disenfranchising effects of equating social power with money?


Wednesday, October 19 2016

No Piano, Please!

Four recent releases demonstrate the stylistic range and power of jazz that isn't hemmed in by chords.


Tuesday, October 18 2016

Harry Belafonte and the Art of Activism

Harry Belafonte's life and work looms large over this moment, when artists of color are exercising their activist voices.


Friday, October 7 2016

The Absolution of Paul Theroux’s ‘Saint Jack’ in a World Lacking Irony

The narrative of Paul Theroux's (and later Peter Bogdanovich's) Saint Jack offers a palliative to the high-priced hedonism taking place in an American-owned compound in Singapore.


Wednesday, October 5 2016

What Are You Laughing At?

LGBT+ comedians are enjoying enough success to offset the barrage of gay jokes that seek to demean. They have Paul Lynde and Jack "Moms" Mabley to thank.


Friday, September 30 2016

A Melancholic Way of Knowing

Melancholy, in its deepest truth, is not bereft of hope but rather relies upon it.


Thursday, September 29 2016

The Mexican Journey That Made One of the 20th Century’s Finest Writers

Sybille Bedford's account of her remarkable year in Mexico is the perfect introduction to one of the 20th century's most remarkable writers.


Wednesday, September 14 2016

Let the Critics Out of the Closet

Anonymity turns restaurant critics into some kind of stealthy ninja with a distant or even adversarial stance, and this benefits no one.


Tuesday, September 13 2016

The Long, Hot Summer of 2016: How We Got Over

Simone Manuel’s winning a gold medal in this particular Olympic swimming event in this particular summer gave the especially besieged among us a chance to take a break from the siege.


//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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