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


Wednesday, May 26 2004

The Real Significance of Kurt Cobain

It's been 10 years since Kurt Cobain's death. So what? Don't get me wrong. I love genuine musical talent. But when artists are dead, no amount of memorializing will change that fact.

Friday, May 21 2004

Morrissey: Why Do We Still Love Him Like We Used To?

Smiths fans have always been among the most fanatical fans of them all. They make Deadheads look uncommitted. To those infected with the Morrissey disease, the Smiths were never just another band: They were everything. They were more important than family and friends, than fortune or the plans for the future.

Tuesday, May 18 2004


For all the fluff and blunder and dare I say 'brilliance' of Sean Combs, it's easy to forget why the cat is the very essence of hip-hop branding.

Thursday, May 13 2004

The 18th Annual Washington, DC International Film Festival

This year's Filmfest DC, the 18th, was mild cause for excitement among locals and hardly at all for international cinephiles. Thus, it seems, it will always be for a film festival located in the capital, where the national soap opera invariably drowns out everything in its radius.

Wednesday, May 12 2004

An Open Letter to My Friend Chris Regarding The Mountain Goats’ “We Shall All Be Healed”

I'm on the subway, trying to listen to The Mountain Goats' We Shall All Be Healed on a disintegrating Discman (it stutters inexplicably, plus it slathers everything in a this weird static) through a pair of headphones with a right channel that's constantly cutting in and out. It's kind of fitting for what John Darnielle's up to here.

Monday, May 10 2004

America: Dressed to Kill

Camouflage chic is 'in' again, but not as some form of protest, this time. Rather, it's like the American civilian landscape has been carpet bombed with the imagery and rhetoric of war -- and we're buying it.

Friday, May 7 2004

Hey Godzilla, Why Are You Such a Giant Cultural Symbol?

Distilling the actions of Godzilla to their most basic, one finds only an overgrown playground bully. What drives our love for this thuggish brute that annihilates our cities?

The Importance of Being Godzilla

Godzilla . . . is a mutable symbol, changing to suit the needs of the moment. He has become all things to all people.

A Giant Lizard’s Home Companion

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is in full farcical bloom to drown the entire Godzilla mythos in necessary lizard libel.

Sandy Frank: Behind the Monster

An aging, embittered Godzilla begrudgingly grants a rare interview. His rival, Gamera (and other monsters who have peopled his past), tell all.

Imperial Monsters: A Political Analysis of Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Daikaiju Sogougeki

Whereas the original Gojira warned against militarism, this movie, Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Daikaiju Sogougeki, goes out of its way to celebrate it.

Run! I Hear Godzilla Coming!

To fend off the American, Godzilla-like threat, nations and private groups around the world scramble to acquire nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction.

Of Mutations and Messages

Godzilla's transformation from an ordinary lizard into a hulking monster was an uncanny predecessor to the environmental disease that first manifested itself in the cats of Minamata Bay.

Lizards and Mushroom Clouds: A Personal Account

A survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima tells us that after the bomb exploded, the damage could not be surveyed because people were blinded; calls for help could not be responded to as ears had gone deaf.

Godzilla vs. Godzilla

We have become dazzled with the illusion and the high-tech gadgetry that makes the monster move. As we gaze at Godzilla, this splendid embodiment of our modern might, we forget who he really is -- and we forget what we are proven capable of becoming, ourselves.

Sister Mary Mothra: A Speculative Biography of Nunzilla, Bride of Godzilla

The mighty beast moves in mysterious ways. Hayes finds the spirit of Godzilla in the body of a raging plastic nun.

godZ and Me

Me and godZ -- fraternal twins of different mothers -- we have tried to curtail the anger within and, despite all odds against us, we feel we have made a positive impact.

A Kinder, Gentler Godzilla

Certainly, for me, Godzilla was a buddy . . . not unlike a favorite teddy bear.

Godzilla, Friend to the Children of the World

It was much easier to sleep at night knowing that Godzilla was out there patrolling the Pacific, dealing out serious beatings to any monster that dared disturb the world order.

The Curse of Godzooky, or If I Should Fall From Grace With Godzilla

At a low point in his career, Godzilla debases himself. Meanwhile, Godzooky and other distant, so-called

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