Columns > Culture

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…

Wednesday, December 16 2009

The Best of Slugging Santas and Fightin’ Father Christmases

Sliding down chimneys in the middle of the night is not without its risks, which is why Santa needs to be one tough elf with survival tactics and fighting skills.

Sunday, December 13 2009

Troublemakers: Adam Lambert and Will Phillips

Adam Lambert and Will Phillips have a lot in common. Both have publically pushed boundaries of what is deemed socially allowable.

Wednesday, December 9 2009

Santa Claus: Super Hero Icon and Religious Figure

Kris Kringle has flesh-and-blood status and is a religious secular figure. He is Superman, Peter Parker, Bruce Wayne, Gandalf the White, James Bond, Dr. Who and James T. Kirk all rolled into one.

Thursday, December 3 2009

On the Sixth Day God Created Man…chester, Part Four.

Doves and Elbow register in the 9-to-5 tradition of working class Manchester, where respect is earned through hard work, and character is assessed by true-to-self authenticity and true-to-others selflessness.

Monday, November 23 2009

Squanto: The Ultimate Guide

Even anglers like myself yearn for guides with fishing IQs as rich as Squanto's, a Patuxet Native American who taught the Pilgrims how to fish.

Thursday, November 19 2009

We All Know the Way to Sesame Street

In the 2008 presidential election, America crossed the Henson Point -- the point where we are a post-Baby Boomer society. The Rockist calls for a champagne toast.

Monday, November 9 2009

Nobel Prizes and Nobel Promises

President Obama probably rattled and hummed in disbelief when he got his Nobel Prize. Ask Bono.

Wednesday, November 4 2009

Neil Patrick Harris: The Other Sort

Neil Patrick Harris is riding high these days. But in years past, if the average person sitting in his or her Barcalounger knew a TV star was gay, it would have been disastrous for both series and star.

Monday, November 2 2009

After the Rapture: Passing the Saving on to You

The Rapture may whisk the Saved up to Heaven ... leaving all of their corporeal assets untended. For the business-minded, earth-bound heathen, there’s money to be had in the leavings.

Thursday, October 29 2009

Can Tyler Perry’s ‘For Colored Girls’ Resurrect BAM?

Film adaptations from black masterpieces -- and the Chitlin Circuit -- are rejuvenating America's Black Arts Movement.

Sunday, October 18 2009

Nobody Puts Twitter in a Curation Corner

Twitter has fast become a land of curators. But where does curation go from here, and do we really want it to go there?

Wednesday, October 14 2009

Sitting on the Mountaintop

Did Obama calm the rash of criticism regarding his inaction on gay rights with his recent speech to the Human Rights Campaign?

//Mixed media

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.

READ the article