Columns > Culture

Thursday, April 22 2010

Neurocriticism and Neurocapitalism

The cutting-edge of literary studies uses brain scans and evolutionary psychology to fashion a science of reading, but these techniques have already been at work crafting the latest and most invasive phase of capitalism.


Monday, April 19 2010

Buckling up for KFC’s Double Down

I wanted to feel like a poor man’s Andrew Zimmern, a poorer man’s Anthony Bourdain, bravely about to embark on an edible adventure by eating KFC's bunless Double Down sandwich.


Thursday, April 15 2010

Backyard Fiction a.k.a. the Great American Myth of Suburbia

Suburban discontent in Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road, John Updike's Couples and Richard Ford's Independence Day. The idea or myth of suburbia is just as real as the actual shopping centers, schools, etc.


Wednesday, April 7 2010

Butch Dyke or Earth Mother or Something Else Entirely?

For years, society had two perceptions of what lesbians look like. Today, high fashion and lesbians aren't such strangers -- and it's getting harder to tell, Is She or Isn't She?


Tuesday, March 30 2010

Bad, Bad Girls

Sexual stereotyping reached a fever pitch this month; call it March Madness.


Wednesday, March 17 2010

Born This Way

Imagine inhabiting a body that was completely contradictory to what your mind said was right for you. How far would you go to make your body reflect who you really are?


Tuesday, March 16 2010

The Nonchalant Brilliance of John Pizzarelli, Jr.

John Pizzarelli is cool enough to be modern but hot enough to be 'old' -- and he knows what he's doing with that voice, even if he's no Sinatra.


Wednesday, March 10 2010

Percy Sutton: A Peoples’ Aspirations Personified

Sutton's life as a soldier, lawyer, politician and businessman left a vast legacy not only to Harlem, but to all of America.


Sunday, February 21 2010

Howard Zinn: The Dying of a Light

A tribute to the signature interwar polymath: the historian, activist, dramatist, dockyard worker and teacher Howard Zinn.


Thursday, February 18 2010

The Digital Surplus and Its Enemies

While we are building identity in social networks, our online behavior generates a plenitude of information, meanings and content that constitutes a "cognitive surplus" generated by the "hive mind".


Wednesday, February 10 2010

Loser!

There will come a time, inevitably, where nearly every fan will find themselves backing a loser.


Tuesday, February 9 2010

For Your Consideration: Trophies for Queers

Latins have the ALMAs, African-Americans the NAACP Image Awards, Christians the Dove Awards, so why isn't there a serious awards show given by the LGBT community for LGBT artists?


Wednesday, January 27 2010

The Ice Storm: America Out in the Cold

Ang Lee captures the '70s on film the way Rick Moody captures the era in the book The Ice Storm. It's the midst of the sexual revolution, the Watergate scandal is erupting, and the country's social consciousness is changing.


Tuesday, January 26 2010

Just Drawn that Way

Like their straight counterparts, LGBT comics offer a wide range of world-views. Were they to gain more attention in traditional media, they could help convince that there is no such thing as a "typical" gay or lesbian.


Thursday, January 21 2010

Designing Consent

Industrial design aspires to the commanding heights of consumer society, building its policy prescriptions and dogmatic assumptions about what makes us happy directly into the objects available to us.


Curse Ye, Orwell!

Orwell declared that there are “four great motives” for writing: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose. As for the rest of us...


Wednesday, January 20 2010

Pop Culture’s IQ: The Downward Spiral

How can you explain the difference between Julia Child and Rachael Ray without acknowledging the elephant in pop culture's living room? We're getting dumber.


Thursday, January 14 2010

Obsessing About Black Beauty Never Goes Out of Fashion

The year 2009 saw no shortage of jumping-off points for wrestling with how black folks regard their visages, how everyone else regards black visages, and how we all negotiate the distance between the two.


Sunday, January 10 2010

The Mods: A Very British Coup

PopMatters debuts our new fashion column. Swinging London’s Mods were at the cutting edge of the fashion world, setting a trend of rebellious dress that altered practically nothing from the standards of contemporary British society.


Thursday, December 17 2009

The Big Nowhere: Rudy Wurlitzer’s Rediscovered Trilogy and Bob Dylan Revisited

The myths of unspoiled frontiers and the freedom of the open road, lives played out on the margins of society, attachment and detachment, wrestling matches with the ghosts of Samuel Beckett and Louis L’Amour…


//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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