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Thursday, November 15 2012

A View Out: The Search for Identity in ‘Cléo from 5 to 7’

In the works of many New Wave auteurs, a sense of alienation often leads to disillusionment. Unlike the pessimism of many of her contemporaries, Agnes Varda views alienation as a quest for identity, one that offers hope and freedom, no matter the uncertainties.


Wednesday, November 7 2012

Let’s Tip Our Hats to Those Who Have Joined the Sequined and Flanneled Front Lines

Among the things that members of the LGBT community should be most grateful for are those straights who have joined in the fight to ensure our equality and recognition under the law, from Avan Jogia to Zach Wahls.


Tuesday, October 16 2012

How to Be a Film Snob: On ‘High’ (as in Getting) Culture

I was expecting Frederick Wiseman's cinema verite masterpiece for this column. Imagine my surprise when I was served up John Stalberg Jr.'s sophomoric High School, instead.


Sunday, October 14 2012

Political Humor and Its Diss Contents

Political humor brings a lot of joy and laughter into our often humdrum lives, but is our national laugh fest a good thing for the nation at large?


Wednesday, October 10 2012

Woe is Us: ‘What’s the Matter with White People?’

Salon editor Joan Walsh’s half-brilliant and half-confused memoir / manifesto posits that many white Americans have historically taken out their frustration over declining opportunities on minorities … and Democrats.


Monday, September 24 2012

We’re All Don Quixote Now: The Betrayal of Tomorrow’s Artists

There are those who hate art, hate youth, and hate the poor. As the Occupy movement marks its one year anniversary, its protests have highlighted how a global recession is being used by to beat the creative dreams out of a betrayed generation.


Hope and Change Still Matters

Call it “hope and change”, call it pride, call it any number of things, but the feeling boils down to this: I’m rooting for President Obama.


Tuesday, August 14 2012

Movie Toilets: Women and the Politics of Defilement

The toilet, and its spirit ally, potty humor, has come to be associated with a kind of strength—both at the box office and in terms of a cultural defiance.


Monday, July 30 2012

The Bonds of Marriage: Requiem for Omegapan

I once heard someone say that losing a same-sex partner wasn't the same as losing a marital partner, because there weren't the bonds of marriage tying the two together.


Sunday, July 22 2012

Piercing the Shell of Portland’s Hype

As America’s pop culture boomtown, Portland may be held hostage to its own ever-expanding clichés. Or not.


Tuesday, July 10 2012

Lost In Translation, or, Why ‘The Hangover’ Can’t Just Be ‘The Hangover’

Thanks to translation, the cult '60s British show The Avengers is known to French viewers as Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir, literally "bowler hat and leather boots", a title which could be misconstrued for a show about bondage tips and foot fetish.


Tuesday, June 26 2012

Twitter and the Borscht Belt Connection

140 characters? Sounds like my sister's wedding reception!


Monday, June 25 2012

The Mute Generation: How Gen-X Lost Its Voice

The whole “voice of a generation” concept is pretty ridiculous to begin with, but in the case of my cohort, the so-called Generation X, it’s downright laughable.


Wednesday, June 13 2012

Post-Black, Post-Racial… Post-Trayvon

The sense that a cohesion of group identity was no longer a defining factor of black life had taken a firm hold in America. Then Trayvon Martin was killed.


Thursday, May 31 2012

No Contract for Old Men: 5 ‘Old Folks’ in Pop Culture That Are 5Xs Tougher Than You

It'd be a shame if the endless emphasis on youth results in a lack of "grown-up" concerns in pop culture. Here are five examples of the old kicking ass and refusing to give way to the young in mainstream pop culture.


Tuesday, May 1 2012

Shemekia Copeland and Ronnie Baker Brooks Take a Class

Copeland and Brooks infected my classroom with the ‘existential freedom’ that allows each person to stare into the darkness, yet somehow and someway, find the words, the voice, and the courage to sing a sweet song. That is, they gave us all the blues.


Thursday, April 12 2012

Yes, It’s Genocide: Armenian Artists and the Obligations of History

For many artists of Armenian descent, engaging with the legacy of the 1915 genocide is more than dutiful; it's of crucial importance to how we understand and confront the modern world and its troubles.


Tuesday, April 3 2012

The Future is Female

Sometimes, the prism of the future can be envisioned in the kitchen and playground, in unexpected forms of empowerment.


Sunday, April 1 2012

When Politicians Hit Wrong Notes

From Reagan in the '80s to Limbaugh in 2012, Republicans have an uncanny knack for linking themselves to musicians who don’t support them. Just ask Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and John Mellencamp.


Wednesday, March 21 2012

In Defense Of… The HBO Television Series, ‘Luck’

In light of a third animal death on set, HBO swiftly canceled its promising new racetrack drama. But considering the latest obsession with television nostalgia, was immediately axing the show the right move? Or even better, was it the least bit hypocritical?


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