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Sunday, March 24 2013

On Ladies Men and the Ladies Who Love Them: An Interview with Betsy Prioleau

Betsy Prioleau's Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them provides an enjoyable and eminently readable portrait of consistent and effective themes in seduction throughout human history.


Monday, March 18 2013

I Read the News Today, Oh, Boy

Listening to the NRA's Wayne LaPierre speak around the massacring of children without missing a beat, it's easy to agree with Lewis Black that this century is starting to look just as physically dangerous as the last one—even if, as Steven Pinker claims, it's actually more peaceful.


Sunday, March 17 2013

Anatomy of a Viral Smash: Bauuer’s ‘Harlem Shake’

So are you ready to gouge out your eyes and slice off your ears if forced to endure one more version of “Harlem Shake”? With 700 million views and counting, someone’s paying attention. The question is: What made it into such a viral smash?


Wednesday, March 13 2013

In Defense Of ... Reveling in the Heady Feeling That Is Spring

Summer is too icky, Winter is too heartbreaking and Autumn is too depressing. With the vernal equinox right around the corner, let's revel in that feeling that the sap is finally rising, again.


Monday, March 11 2013

‘How to Survive a Plague’: Critical Lessons for a New Era

How to Survive a Plague portrays an important era in LGBT history, a time when the gay community banded together in a way that politics or prejudice could never have fostered.


Thursday, March 7 2013

Everyone Lost: Protest Art and the Iraq War

While people were killing and dying, what did it matter whether there were decent songs being sung, insightful films being produced, appropriate art being inspired? When did poetry ever stop a war?


Sunday, March 3 2013

I Write, Therefore I Am

Black people had plenty to say about slavery -- especially slaves themselves -- and as soon as they learned to write, they did.


Sunday, February 3 2013

‘Pray the Gay Away’: On Being Beaten with the Bible Belt

A mother attempting to stab her own daughter, an exorcism, a school suspending a student -- author Bernadette Barton describes growing up in the religious South.


Thursday, January 31 2013

Comics-in-Chief: Laughing With (and At) the Presidents - The Growth of Democracy & the Flow of Humor

“Greatest” and “worst” president surveys continue to reveal what is surely not just a coincidence: we have always and still continue to revere our wits in the White House.


Monday, January 28 2013

What Is the Stereotypical ‘Real American?’

Picture such a creature in your mind and see how it compares to the one in mine: White. Well-fed. Armed. Christian. I’m seeing Boss Hogg in Bermuda shorts, Foghorn Leghorn in a business suit, Britney Spears in a monster truck.


Sunday, January 27 2013

Abandoning the Ear? Punk and Deaf Convergences Part II

Deaf and punk cultures seem to share a similar outsider status, and Deaf clubs and social media, like punk bars and fanzines, offer refuge and regeneration, community-building and cures for boredom.


Wednesday, January 23 2013

Violence Unchained

There’s a fine line between showing violence and fetishizing it. Have we crossed it?


Monday, January 21 2013

Chicago—The Other Black Renaissance

The biggest difference between the Black Chicago Renaissance and the Harlem Renaissance is brand awareness. The fact is, from roughly the early ‘30s to the ‘50s, Chicago was black America’s most fruitful cultural capitol.


Thursday, January 10 2013

In America, Imagination is a Third Party: The Presidency in Fiction

Fiction lets us to explore our weirdest speculations and darkest fears about the person who sits in the White House. Is reality, under America's current president, worse than fiction?


Monday, January 7 2013

2012: Another Year the World Should Have Ended

The end of the year is a time for festivities, joy... and naysayers to lament the end of cultural artifacts. The naysayers needn't fear. The world hasn't ended, again. It's just different, now.


Sunday, January 6 2013

Wishing for the End

Our culture is on a deathtrip. Do we secretly wish for the end of the world?


Thursday, December 20 2012

What Happens When Humans Go a-Hobbiting?

More than 100 “hobbits” journeying from a half dozen countries to celebrate the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the Middle of Middle-earth (aka Wellington, New Zealand). They developed a unique fan fellowship—and along the way, met Peter Jackson.


Thursday, December 13 2012

And in the Fifth Grade, We Teach Fellatio

Do we need to teach kids about LGBT people in our schools? Well, it's only normal that kids will have questions about such things, especially when Uncle Dan suddenly insists on being called Aunt Dana and is borrowing earrings from Mommy.


Tuesday, December 4 2012

In Defense Of… Hoping Chris Brown and Rihanna Don’t Work Out, Again

The recent news of the reconciliation between pop stars Chris Brown and Rihanna highlights how upsetting it is that no lessons were learned from that fateful night in 2009.


Monday, November 19 2012

Color Television: What Diversity Looks Like in America Today

The buzz word from the 2012 presidential election is "diversity". It's a good story. The look of the Obama crowd had both the structure and randomness of a Jackson Pollock painting. It was the ol' melting pot writ large.


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