Columns > Culture

Monday, September 14 2015

“Sound Is Our Weapon”: Protest Music and Black Lives Matter

"Hell You Talmbout" and "Cry No More" are a new kind of protest song that reintroduces traditional minimalism and congregational singing into this contemporary moment.


Thursday, September 3 2015

Bingham Prize Winner Jack Livings on Imagining China

Award-winning fiction writer Jack Livings discusses his new book, The Dog, and the importance of writing with moral purpose.


Thursday, August 27 2015

George Carlin: Philosopher, Poet, Preacher

Few comedians have aimed for the mind over the funny bone (while still reaching both) quite like George Carlin has.


Monday, August 24 2015

Contemplations on the Nature of Truth: True Crime and Dark Empathy

How well can one digest murdertainment's darkest elements?


Wednesday, August 19 2015

What About the Victim of the Victim of Homophobia?

Recent televisions shows are focusing attention on the plight of the spouses of gay men and lesbians. But is it enough to make their lives less traumatic?


Monday, August 10 2015

No Apologies: A Critique of the Rockist v. Poptimist Paradigm

Both rockists and poptimists treat music as not much more than a social commodity, a consumerized product within the spectacle of American capitalism.


Thursday, August 6 2015

What Is the Real Story of the Atomic Bombings?

America claimed the atomic bomb ended World War II and saved American lives. Journalist and historian Paul Ham calls that “a pack of lies”.


Monday, August 3 2015

A Public Service Announcement From Your Future AI Overlords

Perhaps what worries Stephen Hawking and his fear mongering colleagues is not some hostile Other like Agent Smith from The Matrix, but the more pedestrian Other that is other people.


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.


//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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