Columns > Culture

Tuesday, July 21 2015

When Do Misogynistic Lyrics Become Hate Speech?

Hip-hop, free speech and misogyny at North by Northeast.


Thursday, July 9 2015

The Thunderbolt of Change: ‘Angels in America’ and the Marriage Equality Victory

Complicated, fabulous and deeply progressive, Angels in America may be more pressing and relevant in the time of SCOTUS' decision on marriage equality than it was during the height of the AIDS crises.


Wednesday, July 8 2015

Afropunk Is Officially a Brand and That’s a Good Thing

There is a large community of alt-black folks out there, and Afropunk has given them a big tent to party under.


Tuesday, June 30 2015

Is Gender Out of Fashion?

Sex and Unisex, a history of fashion trends offers insight into changing notions of gender – and raises the possibility that the concept has outlived its usefulness.


Friday, June 26 2015

What’s So Funny About Atheism?

Since New Atheists have done a stand-up job of elucidating the illusions of religious belief, why not point out some of the logical absurdities of atheism?


Wednesday, June 17 2015

Before Charlie Hebdo: The Cartoon Wars

Why is it that cartoons, more than any other expressive form, have incited the wrath of religious backlash?


Monday, June 15 2015

Can I Say That? Stand-Up Comedy in the Age of Political Correctness

For all the alarmist propaganda about political correctness in the US, insensitive speech is still protected by the First Amendment. The complaints about PC are BS.


Wednesday, June 10 2015

SCOTUS Is On the Verge of a “Defeat for Humanity”, Thank Goodness

Lessons from Europe and history help show the impact of a United States Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage.


Monday, May 18 2015

Ubiquitous Grooves: A Vinyl Obituary

Perhaps these days our real choice is not between buying vinyl or digital, but between listening and not listening.


Monday, May 4 2015

Deconstructing the Star Beast: How the ‘Alien’ Saga Went Wrong

Alien was a planned B-Movie that transcended its genre and spawned the rare sequel that is neither imitation nor complete deviation. Then the saga went to hell.


Thursday, April 23 2015

Diss-Illusioned! Magic and the Supernatural

A new breed of magicians are self-consciously aware that their toolbox of trickery enables them to wield the potential power to affect beliefs—and thus behavior.


Wednesday, April 22 2015

Beyond Record Store Day: Digging Up Some Choice Used Americana Vinyl

There are plenty of good reasons to visit an actual record store besides that one hyped day in April.


Monday, April 20 2015

America Hears a Hoosier at the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference

A college conference is helping train students to battle the idiocy of laws like Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.


Wednesday, April 8 2015

Bill O’Reilly’s Rock & Roll Machine

Nostalgia has its uses, its benefits. But is it useful and beneficial when it obscures the reality of the past and present, usually in the service of power, prestige, and making a buck?


Tuesday, April 7 2015

Billie Holiday at 100: Still an Inspiration

On Billie Holiday's centennial, her influence remains everywhere in music. Jazz singers Cassandra Wilson and Jose James, have new tributes out on Blue Note.


Wednesday, March 18 2015

Power and Possibility in Political Satire: 22 Years of ‘22 Minutes’

Canada’s hit comedy news program offers a provocative example of the role political satire and popular culture can play in defining and even changing a nation


Thursday, March 12 2015

The ‘80s Jazz Fads Return!

Two unique jazz phenoms of the Reagan '80s -- tapping guitarist Stanley Jordan and falsetto scatting legend Bobby "Don't Worry, Be Happy" McFerrin -- are back.


Wednesday, March 11 2015

Uncovering Queer History in ‘Gay Berlin’

Gay Berlin reveals a vibrant gay rights movement that flourished in Germany a hundred years before Stonewall.


Thursday, March 5 2015

Searching for Value in All the Wrong Places, Or How to Put Away Childish Things

More than fetishizing his prizes, the collector fetishizes his own obsessiveness and glorious blindness to the machinations of what non-collectors call “real life”.


Monday, March 2 2015

‘Who We Be’ and the Optics of Culture, in Living Colors

Jeff Chang's cultural history tackles how race has played out across the last 50 years, and counting, of American culture.


//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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