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Thursday, May 9 2013

‘Spring Breakers’, ‘Pain & Gain’ and Postmodern Folly at the Movies

Rather than exercise judgment or critical perspective on crime and punishment, Spring Breakers and Pain & Gain share their characters’ self-indulgence, making narcissism seem like a palatable or practical means to achieve goals.


Wednesday, May 8 2013

When Everything Changed: Memory, Nostalgia and the Tragic Turning Point

Popular culture creates its own nostalgic image of a time period that is both fact and fiction. When combined with the shaky foundations of our own memories, who can really tell what happened? How will pop culture translate the tragic events of today?


Tuesday, May 7 2013

Pink Floyd: The Prog Rock Archetype

Although they became hugely successful, Pink Floyd championed a type of integrity that seems uniquely associated with progressive rock: they never imitated anyone else or copied their own previous efforts.


Thursday, May 2 2013

Comics-in-Chief: Laughing With (and At) the Presidents—The Scathing Slice of the Satirical Edge

When America chose Nixon over Paulsen at the polls, it ushered in a president that many consider one of the most humor-challenged in modern history.


Sunday, April 28 2013

Join the Underground: Loren Glass’ History of the Famous / Infamous Grove Press

Grove was the hippest and most important publisher of books that broke sexual taboos, plotted revolution, and kept millions of young intellectuals across the US in touch with the avant-garde and revolutionary politics throughout the world.


Sunday, April 7 2013

Gay Dating Sites: Here’s Your Ticket to Crazy Town

With this many local gay men on meeting sites, a quest to meet at least one new friend should be easy, I thought. What I had yet to realize was that the world of online dating is disassociated from reality -- really disassociated.


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?


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