Columns > Culture

Monday, June 19 2017

Life in the Time of Outrage: We’ve Drawn So Many Lines in the Sand That We’ve Eroded the Beach

The ad hominem argument, traditionally considered a logical fallacy, has gained a cultural acceptance and a widespread tacit approval that boggles the mind.


Tuesday, June 13 2017

One Nation, Divided by Humor

We may be one nation in America, but today we appear to be living on different planets.


Friday, June 9 2017

Fried Green Tomatoes in the Rubyfruit Jungle

Although their writing styles and life experiences differ greatly, Fannie Flagg and Rita Mae Brown each has illuminated what it means to be a woman -- and a lesbian -- in contemporary American society.


Wednesday, June 7 2017

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the Continuing High Cost of Fashion

The poor workplace conditions that led to this tragedy have been outsourced to places like Bangladesh, where similar factory tragedies happened as recently as 2013.


Tuesday, June 6 2017

‘Bop Apocalypse’: What Happened When the Beats and the Boppers Set Out to Change the World

Fifites' jazz and the Beat Generation are often linked. Aside from the drug use, however, this new book on the history begs to differ.


Monday, June 5 2017

A Clean-up Worker’s View Inside Fukushima’s Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Ichi-F is rich in detail and strikingly perceptive in analysis, and yet it oddly supports the nuclear industry even as the radiation continues to take its toll.


Tuesday, May 30 2017

By Wonka, for Wonka, Against Wonka: The Eugene J. Candy Co.

Fickelgrubers, Prodnoses, and Slugworths: modern candy "freak" Eugene J. reflects on the science behind the literary legend, Willy Wonka.


Monday, May 22 2017

Asta Nielsen and Fatma Girik’s Hamlets: Old Mysteries, New Problems

Wherein Hamlet is no longer a neurotic male in princely guise but a woman invested with an identity crisis.


Friday, May 19 2017

The Perfectly Suitable, Perfectly Silly Comedy of Harry Hill

Harry Hill pulls funny faces and he does stupid things. But these are things I like in a comedian (as opposed to, say, a US president).


On Norman Mailer, Jack Henry Abbott, and the Legacy of Going Too Deep Into the Belly of the Beast

How Norman Mailer, while preparing 1979's The Executioner's Song, collaborated with Jack Henry Abbott and opened doors that should have remained shut.


Monday, May 15 2017

Power Play: Brian Williams, Leonard Cohen, and “First We Take Manhattan”

In "First We Take Manhattan", Leonard Cohen recognized the shared appeal of extremism in politics and art as the allure of power.


Tuesday, May 9 2017

Performing Bestiality: Beauties and Beasts in Tamil Cinema

Middle of the road Kollywood’s strange obsession with bestiality through the ‘Stockholm syndrome’ demands attention.


Resist, Artfully: On the Subversive but Compromised Role of Art

In a world stripped of enjoyment -- a fractured existence broken on the wheel of pointless progress, determined domination, and wasteful and wasted work -- pleasure becomes the most determinate form of rebellion and liberation.


Thursday, May 4 2017

Fyre Festival Is an Argument for Higher Taxes—on the Rich

Every day elite policymakers throughout America make the same arrogant blunders as the Fyre Festival organizers did, and their mistakes can be seen in a drive through most inner cities.


Wednesday, May 3 2017

On Wanting Sly Stone to Take Us Higher Yet Again

Sly Stone was one of the first audacious badasses of modern black pop music, a hero and then an anti-hero to millions.


Wednesday, April 26 2017

Joy Kogawa’s Latest Asks: Is There a Limit to Our Capacity to Forgive?

From the atomic bombing of Nagasaki to her father's pedophilia, Kogawa embarks on a brutally honest and personal exploration of the nature of guilt and forgiveness.


Thursday, April 20 2017

Detachment and Re-attachment: The Mind of a Hermit No More

Christopher Knight disappeared into the woods at the age of 20 and returned at 47 without a masterpiece, without a testimony of life’s greater purpose, without anything profound to convey.


Wednesday, April 19 2017

What Defines the Line Between Inclusivity and Queerbaiting?

It was the year of the African American, not the LGBTQ, at the Academy Awards -- we can't have both. Perhaps the new hashtag should be #Oscarsoblackandwhite.


Tuesday, April 18 2017

Eleven Madison Park vs Alinea: The Ultimate Restaurant Grudge Match

On the comparative merits of Eleven Madison Park versus Alinea, on the occasion of Eleven Madison Park being named the best restaurant in the world.


Monday, April 17 2017

Can We Say the F Word Yet? On Fascism and Humor

In light of the decrees and executive orders signed thus far by Donald Trump, we might reasonably ask: is fascism relevant to America's current political state?


//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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