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Monday, July 30 2007

The Boy Who Lives On: Harry Potter’s Place in Popular Culture

Harry Potter flew so high in popular cultural consciousness not by some force of magic, but by the simple, sometimes thrilling machinations of pop culture.


Wednesday, July 25 2007

A Darwin Descends on Dover ID Trial: Conversation and Criticism with Matthew Chapman

Chapman's latest book, 40 Days and 40 Nights succeeds in unearthing optimism in America's roots and finds their original faith: Freedom.


Monday, July 23 2007

A Lost Cause: Tim Weiner’s History of the C.I.A.

Deep down, most of us probably know that the Central Intelligence Agency can't be nearly as cool as our popular media would have us believe.


Monday, July 16 2007

Work, the Sequel

Most people don't have the luxury of choosing to bail from a high-paying job to live the stressed-out, pizza-scarfing life of a grad student.


Wednesday, July 11 2007

Nerdfighter Lit: Interview with John Green

"I would also argue, and no one agrees with me on this but I will argue it anyway, that not all "young adult" novels are about teenagers." PopMatters talks to John Green about literature, pop culture, and all those Katherines.


Thursday, May 24 2007

Redemption Song: On the Other Hand… [1988–1989]

"Music's got shit, Thatcher became God, ninety percent of the papers are right-wing and brown-nosing." -- Joe Strummer to Carol Clerk in Melody Maker interview.


Wednesday, May 23 2007

Redemption Song: Anger Was Cooler [1982-1984]

"(Joe) seemed this sad, lonely figure, confused with life, Hank Williams playing on his ghetto blaster in the background. I felt sorry for him." -- Mark Cooper, Record Mirror


Tuesday, May 22 2007

Redemption Song: Red Hand of Fate [1979]

Johnny Greene and a roadie... found a rehearsal room... (it) was at the rear of a garage, the kind of premises you might see in American gangster films as heists are planned... Here, hunkered together with no visible means of financial support, the Clash would rigorously write and rehearse the new songs that would emerge as London Calling, which time would judge one of the finest rock 'n' roll albums ever made...


Monday, May 21 2007

Redemption Song: Under Heavy Manners [1976-1977]

"... people like Joe Strummer... were like the punk intelligentsia, they were the thinkers... (Joe) knew all the cultural and literary references, all the revolutionary references, and he put it all into context... there's a lot more ideas (sic) in one of Joe's rhyming couplets than there are in some people's entire albums..." -- Don Williams


Sunday, May 20 2007

Redemption Song: Straight to Heaven [2002]

"...I learned that fame is an illusion and everything about it is just a joke. I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all." -- Joe Strummer


Thursday, April 5 2007

Long Zoom: Interview with Steven Johnson

"My editor said, 'Yeah, it's like Emergence if the slime molds started killing people in chapter four.' And that became my mantra as I was writing it: 'Just think Emergence with killer slime molds and you're golden.'" PopMatters talks to Ghost Map author, Steven Johnson.


Wednesday, March 28 2007

The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography

David Sterritt looks at Sidney Poitier's fabulous comeback thanks to Oprah's golden touch.


Wednesday, February 14 2007

Permission to Follow: Interview with Juliet McMains

PopMatters talks to dancer and author Juliet McMains about how the forces driving DanceSport mirror American national identity: desire for both passionate abandon and steadfast rules, obsession with self-improvement and comfortable gender roles, and craving for a little thing called Glamour.


Monday, January 29 2007

Hardboiled to Hardcore: Interview with Walter Mosley

"It's amazing how we strain to maintain our dignity and end up like Colin Powell, the only one who knows what the f**k is going on, but is unable to tell it." PopMatters talks to Walter Mosley.


Sunday, January 14 2007

Readers’ Delight: 2006 in Books

This is not your average best-of list. Showing their pop colors, while maintaining (somehow) their indie, undergroup, hipster cred, PopMatters book reviewers select the best books of 2006.


Monday, November 20 2006

The Fuss About Pynchon

Cast aside synthetic substitutes, junk food for the soul, and take a bite of the pungent, organic mushroom offered up by the man from Oyster Bay, Thomas Ruggles Pynchon Jr.


Wednesday, November 15 2006

Louise Brooks at 100: Interview with Peter Cowie

"One learned to take with a pinch of salt some of her assertions about people from the silent period. Sometimes it wasn't just her memory failing, it was a liberal attempt to build history in her own image." PopMatters talks to Peter Cowie, author of Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever.


Friday, October 20 2006

The Rural Hipster: Why We Need Chuck Klosterman

"Chuck Klosterman's denial of his own iconography merely lumps him in with the dozens of media effigies he's constructed over the years, which says a great deal about the cycles of fame and success." Josiah M. Hesse lets us in on why essayist Klosterman is 100% necessary.


Thursday, September 28 2006

Story Just Wrote With Music: Interview with Doug Hoekstra

"I do believe that, that even when someone is "bothering" the coffee drinkers, you can look around the audience and find folks connecting and digging what he or she is doing, and from those connections, all sorts of good things emerge, immediately or further on down the road."


Tuesday, September 19 2006

Cult Fiction: Ayn Rand, Anais Nin, and the Feminist Backlash

However we choose to approach Nin and Rand, it is impossible to deny that they were both writers of great force, who dared to take on some of the defining issues of their time, and who refused to sacrifice the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of their thought for the relative safety of a party line. In that respect, they both approach the feminist ideal of self-determination and confidence; for that accomplishment, they deserve our lasting consideration.


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