Recent Features
‘Atheist Manifesto’ Combines Density with Levity

This brisk study encompasses vast learning, marshaled with much wit, considerable venom and steady argument, all doled out in differing amounts.

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20 Questions: Meg Wolitzer

Bestselling author Meg Woliter's The Uncoupling, a humorous novel about female desire, publishes this month. Wolitzer talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about, among other things, the simple pleasures of having one's own man shirt.

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Excerpt from ‘A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS’

Julia and Paul Child were on the front lines of the Cold War in Europe, though Julia could not help feeling that the chill in the air had its origin in the “rampant right wingery” that had seized their own country… Washington was awash in paranoia and suspicion.

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‘Electric Eden’: A Musical Retelling of the Elusive Past

Rob Young, editor at The Wire music magazine, conjures up the contradictions of sound technology harnessed to rural moods, and an urban audience longing for antiquarian lore.

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The Ferocious Morality of David Foster Wallace

Any relationship with Wallace is destined for generosity, spirituality, and given the honesty and vulnerability of the writer, intimacy. It’s also going to be a serious challenge. It will challenge the reader’s intellect, ideology, and most of all, conception of morality.

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How TV Ruined Charlie Brooker

Everything the media told us we now had to question, because Charlie Brooker showed us the truth. But hearts were broken when television's biggest critic was seduced by the boob tube's charm.

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19 Apr 2011 // 8:01 AM

‘Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling’

“We thought sampling was just a way of arranging sounds,” says Chuck D… Public Enemy wanted “to blend sound. Just as visual artists take yellow and blue and come up with green, we wanted to be able to do that with sound.”

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From the Fringe of Islam: An Interview with Michael Muhammad Knight

Famous amongst orphaned Muslims -- teens and adults trying to find a place in a religion known for stringency -- Knight’s first book, The Taqwacores straddles the line between manifesto and coming of age novel.

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‘The Brothers’ Lot’ Reaches Monty Python’s Heights of Nomenclature

Upon this ethical foundation for an entertaining tale, Kevin Holohan follows a satirical tradition which questions authority, undermines cliché, and upends the social order.

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20 Questions: Jonathan Franklin

Award-winning investigative journalist and Hugh Laurie-kinda lookalike Jonathan Franklin has a knack for finding humor in the funniest places. Hugo Chavez as stand-up comedian we get. But Patrick Buchanan...?

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Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen

'Good on showmanship, but not sure about the singing,’ admitted Brian May, about the future Freddie Mercury. ‘Fred had a strange vibrato,’ chuckled Roger Taylor, ‘which some people found rather distressing.’

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‘The Art of Immersion’: From Frank Rose’s Book on How Digital Generation Is Changing Our World

Alternate reality games such as Why So Serious? are a new kind of interactive fiction, one that blurs the line between entertainment and advertising, as well as between fiction and reality, in ways barely imagined a decade earlier.

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Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love: The Films of Hal Hartley

Hal Hartley's films bridged the world of art school vibes and workplace routines, elite snottiness and pedestrian punches, suburban angst and critical thinking finesse, and mixed-up politics and prolonged personality crises.

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‘Reading Jackie’: When Literary Choices Become Biography

Despite her love of books, Jackie Kennedy Onassis spent a lifetime trying to prevent people from writing about her, sometimes with the accompanying threat of legal action. Her entire life was led with one arm thrust outward, eyes cast downward, keeping the world at bay.

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When Did Trying to Be Good Start Feeling So Bad?

Now don’t get me wrong—of course I believe in saving the planet (at least until scientists determine if there are other inhabitable planets with better mobile phone service), but there's gotta be a limit.

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20 Mar 2011 // 10:00 PM

Banksy’s Bare Wit-ness

Like Aristophanes in Ancient Greece, Mark Twain in 19th century America, or Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes, Banksy’s visual humor chastises power in its multiple manifestations by hauling it before the court of public opinion for a well-deserved flogging.

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Holy Ignorance: When Religion and Culture Part Ways

When halal turkeys sell for Thanksgiving, "Happy Holidays" drowns out "Merry Christmas", Easter egg hunts replace Mass celebrating the Resurrection, and sacred Catholic terms in Quebec serve only as swear words, culture has parted ways with religion.

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‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ at 34: Still Thrilling After All These Years

What makes Close Encounters of the Third Kind stand out to this day is that it isn’t the usual UFO tale of “us vs them”, like Spielberg’s later remake of War of the Worlds; rather, it's very much a story about Earthlings.

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20 Questions: Hal Needham

When they first light that match, hold your breath! If you inhale, you'll suck in the flames. We'd all be wiser to heed the advice of Hal Heedham, author of Stuntman! My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life (February 2011, Little, Brown & Company)

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Strong and Soft Opinions: Tony Judt, Public and Private

Like J.M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year, Ill Fares the Land and The Memory Chalet reveal the diverse cross-pollination of public and private speech. Ill Fares the Land ostensibly contains the strong opinions, The Memory Chalet the "soft" opinions.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Sugar Hill' Breaks Out the Old-School Zombies

// Short Ends and Leader

"Sugar Hill was made in a world before ordinary shuffling, Romero-type zombies took over the cinema world.

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