Columns > Culture

Wednesday, June 29 2016

Must We Sacrifice the Beasts at the Altars of Our Fierce Gods?

Like the Aztecs before us, and despite the sheen of humane treatment, zoos continue to be sites of ritual animal sacrifice.


Tuesday, June 28 2016

Lick Your Fingers. Bite Your Nails. Now How’s That Appetite?

You’ll really feel like you’re in a KFC when those 11 herbs and spices waft up your nostrils on a wave of ethyl acetate.


Friday, June 24 2016

Dark Knight of the Republic: The Terrifying Monsieur Pasqua

As hatchet man and master of dirty tricks for Charles de Gaulle, Pasqua operated under the ethos that "democracy ends where the interests of the state begin."


Tuesday, June 21 2016

Why Is Opera So Derided in America?

Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel offers everything movie goers seek: debauchery, religious obsession, exorcisms, devilish abuses, graphic sexual assault, and a variety of horrific effects both musical and visual.


Monday, June 20 2016

Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave Re-team in the Almeida’s Excellent ‘Richard III&#8217

Rupert Goold’s spare, intense production divests Richard III of any pantomime associations and boasts an astounding performance from Ralph Fiennes as the treacherous monarch.


Who’s Better Than Mark Twain at Bible-bashing?

Sounding more like Christopher Hitchens than a lapsed Presbyterian from the 19th century, Mark Twain rips apart Testaments Old and New.


Thursday, June 16 2016

Packing Bags and Hittin’ the Road: A Look Back on Music Gatherings of Yore

Remember when Mumford and Sons spent their pre-show hours swinging from tires in a lake crowded with fans?


Friday, June 10 2016

Helen McCrory Captivates in the National Theatre’s Revival of ‘The Deep Blue Sea’

Carrie Cracknell delivers a beautiful, sensitive and measured production of the Terence Rattigan masterpiece.


Tuesday, June 7 2016

Perhaps Prince Really Did Die 4 Us

On what would have been the groundbreaking musician's 58th birthday, a reflection on his final chord.


Friday, June 3 2016

Faintly Androgynous and Pathologically Disturbed

Montgomery Clift and Clifton Webb were both gay actors. One embraced his sexuality, while the other denied it, which made a huge difference in how their careers played out.


Island Life: Alexi Kaye Campbell’s ‘Sunset at the Villa Thalia’, National Theatre

Personal and political tensions surface between two couples in Alexi Kaye Campbell’s absorbing Skiathos-set play at the National Theatre.


Wednesday, June 1 2016

Sexing Up Brecht: The National Theatre’s New Version of ‘The Threepenny Opera’

Some fine performances bring Brechtian bite to Rufus Norris’s otherwise disappointing new production of The Threepenny Opera.


Thursday, May 26 2016

Consider the Troll

The pressing question isn't so much what a troll is and how he came to be, but what to do when confronted with a troll.


Friday, May 20 2016

‘Til Human Faces Wake Us: Don DeLillo’s ‘Zero K’

For all that it is cold and disquieting, DeLillo's latest is also his most sincere -- his most human -- meditation on death yet.


Wednesday, May 18 2016

Stephen Colbert’s Consumption of Junk Food Is Deeply American—and Catholic

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert examines food in a manner that is Catholic. But also, it engages with food in a manner that is catholic.


Tuesday, May 17 2016

Slain Journalist’s Open Letter Tackles Racism, Islamophobia, and Free Speech

For all its infamy, few outside of France really understand what Charlie Hebdo is all about. A manifesto posthumously published by its editor, offers insights.


Wednesday, May 11 2016

The Object Withdraws in Obduracy: Thoughts on Richard Tuttle’s ‘The Critical Edge’

What's critical about cast-off pieces of fabric? Is Richard Tuttle's The Critical Edge merely ironic hyperbole?


Thursday, May 5 2016

Socialist Solutions for America’s Problems

A growing array of America’s leading thinkers and activists have gone from critiquing the excesses of capitalism to charting the future of American socialism.


Monday, May 2 2016

How to Save the Media (and Democracy)

The system of media and journalism on which our democracy relies is under threat. French economist Julia Cage surveys the scale of the crisis and proposes a unique solution.


Wednesday, April 27 2016

We Have Never Been Human

Within our bodies, single-celled organisms outnumber cells that we identify as human DNA ten to one. We're merely a colony within a colony within a colony.


//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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