Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past


Tuesday, November 9 2004

8th Annual Texas Book Festival

Ah, the legacy of S.E. Hinton, young adult fiction writer extraordinaire. Her books will forever be associated with adolescence for scores of readers.

Monday, November 8 2004

I Went to Ozzfest So You Don’t Have To

Follow our own Stephen Haag inside the leather clad suburban subculture for a day of dehydration, S&M whippings, hatemongering tee shirts, topless women, violent physical confrontations, and, oh yes, music.

Friday, November 5 2004

Emigration Dreaming

Give us your tired, hungry, oppressed and downtrodden. Of course we mean Canada. Can we convince them to take us?

Everyday Existentialism: The Next Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan's films are both a little grounded and a little weightless.

Wednesday, November 3 2004

Portrait on the Artist as a Young Eccentric: Devendra Banhart in Person

Say the name Devendra Banhart and many adjectives may come to mind, but normal isn't one of them. But has the folk singer been unfairly pigeonholed? PopMatters investigates.

Tuesday, November 2 2004

Real News

Perhaps Stewart and the Daily Show faux journalists offer something more like a traditional Fourth Estate's resistance to spin and message. Occasionally, they even push boundaries of what 'news' might do, encourage consumers to be skeptical and pissed off.

Monday, November 1 2004

The Place Where Winners Live

'The House that Ruth Built' has been through some changes, over the years. Like a grand ballroom in a mansion where the wealthy once came to dance, Yankee Stadium is now less imposing, more friendly, and open to the general public for viewing, providing one has a ticket.

Masses in Transit

Sometimes, the best way to really see a city clearly is through a bus window, smudged by the sticky hands of the toddler in his mother's arms, or through the crowd of people waiting with you on a non-descript platform at the light rail station. If you really want to know what Denver is like, leave the car behind, walk to a bus or train stop, make sure you've got change for the fare, then hop on board.

Three Miles of Bad Road

No matter that the coast is a mosquito-infested swampland and the region a well-worn corridor for house-destroying hurricanes, newly-created communities along this strip of eastern North Carolina attract wealthy retirees from the northern states. They come with their large sailboats, Lincoln Towncars, and an insatiable desire for golf. But when they emerge from their gated communities they rub elbows, so to speak, with the people who have lived here for generations; many accustomed to working 12 hours a day for minimum wage and no benefits.

My Tohoku Epoch, This Japanese Life

Tohoku was forged into a regional empire by an audacious, 17-year-old warrior king: the perfect stage for a foreigner arriving with little more than vigor and passion, and the unrealistic hopes and uncertain certainties of youth. Yet characteristic of Japan, the people of Tohoku tend toward modesty and shun pretension; they tend to keep their place in the constellation of power and cultural relations well rehearsed throughout the archipelago. Or do they? No longer guaranteed a career, a way of life long known to their elders, Tohoku's youth show a robust affinity for individuality; for free-lancing in sport, and, at times, for pursuing a private, bohemian dream.

Suburban Life, A Pretty Wife, I Think I’ve Got It Made

In 'The Wizard of Oz', a tornado acquaints the characters. In South Norfolk, a hurricane provides the introduction for the new folks in the neighborhood. Much like the girl in Oz's Emerald City, the fellow in South Norfolk, with his emerald-green, mysteriously self-mowing lawn, learns that there really is no place like home.

Saturday, October 30 2004

More of the Same: Bush, Kerry and the War on Terror

Distinctions between stopping terrorist organizations and disarming 'rogue' nations are glossed over in favor of ever-shifting rhetorical positions which seem to follow the polls in a vertiginous ballet of double-speak.

The Gremlin Assist: On the Last of the 2004 US Presidential Debates

The Presidential debates are no supposed to be like the Special Olympics; everyone is not a winner for simply trying.

The Sounds of Fear

From symphonic to choral, electronic and progressive rock, these very different scores reveal innovation that is rarely found outside the horror genre.

Wednesday, October 27 2004

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad 527?

The reality is that while speech, assembly, and petition are guaranteed 'free' that does not mean they do not have a cost.

Tuesday, October 26 2004

The New Violence: An Interview with Death From Above 1979

Sure, they're aggressive and look dangerous, but they're just writing pleasant little pop songs.

Where There Had Been Something, There Was Suddenly Something More: John Peel 1939-2004

John Peel was the man. For the past 40 years he made sure that Britain didn't just listen to over-produced throwaway one-hit-wonders.

Monday, October 25 2004

Breakfast of Champions

Washington, DC ain't for the faint-hearted. This is the school of hard knocks, baby. In DC, they eat politicians, lawyers, and other movers-and-shakers for breakfast. New York has nothing over DC.

Now That I’m Home I Never Stay Home

Austinites live with a sound track to their lives: music for almost every occasion is heard in virtually every location. It is a city full of tastemakers who care little for style, but display it in spades.

The City in the Mountain

The imposing high-rises of Gulf Canada Square, Energy Plaza, and Petro-Canada, among others, tower over the tiny commuters who come downtown to earn their wage at these brawny monuments to Canada's oil industry. But take another look: the casually dressed population is hardly bullied by all this might. No, the only thing that ruffles this hardy bunch is the wind blowing down from the mountains.

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