Recent Features
Vanessa Veselka on Giving a Voice, at Least a Little Bit, to a World that Has No Voice

The world around us is the world of the book, says Vanessa Veselka. In Zazen, there's a highly fetishized identity politics world that someone is getting lost in.

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The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century

Using the life and career of her father, an early Hollywood actor, New Yorker writer Margaret Talbot tells the thrilling story of the rise of popular culture through a transfixing personal lens.

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Claire Vaye Watkins Walks the Tightrope Between Chaos and Control

Claire Vaye Watkins' first short story collection, Battleborn is winning well-deserved rave reviews. Here, she discusses monkeys in chinaberry trees, Yo La Tengo, and what it's like to be a putter-inner.

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Michael Chabon Grows Up with ‘Telegraph Avenue’

Michael Chabon writes with empathy, with earnest reflection and self-consciousness, pervaded by sepia-daubed nostalgia.

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1 Nov 2012 // 11:10 PM

Instant: The Story of Polaroid

Instant tells the tale of a one-of-a-kind invention-from Polaroid's first instant camera in 1948, to its meteoric rise in popularity and adoption by artists such as Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, and Chuck Close, to the company's bankruptcy in the late '90s and its unlikely resurrection in the digital age.

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In Defense of the Marriage Between Music and Television

One wonders if Elvis, the Beatles, the Who, et. al. would have gained such importance had TV not been available.

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‘Something Wicked this Way Comes’ Is Both Creepy and Confused

Is Ray Bradbury's classic a horror film? Well, not exactly. Is it a family film? Nah, it has too many genuine scares for the kiddies. Is it perfect for Halloween? Well, Mr. Dark is delightfully wicked...

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The Last Witch Hunt: The Legacy of the West Memphis Three

Teenage outcasts often feel like the world is against them; in 1994, three adolescents in West Memphis, Arkansas, experienced proof that it actually was. Now, despite being freed after 18 years of wrongful imprisonment, the battle of the West Memphis Three is not concluded.

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The Ladylike-Defying, Guitar Playing Debra Devi and ‘The Language of the Blues’

For aficionados of American history, music and etymology, the blues is the ideal confluence of all three fields. Devi's book is a roadmap for observing how their paths overlap.

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25 Oct 2012 // 11:10 PM

Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween

Halloween has spread around the globe to places as diverse as Russia, China, and Japan, but its association with death and the supernatural and its inevitable commercialization has made it one of our most misunderstood holidays.

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In Praise of Black Minstrelsy’s Happy Darkies on Parade

Is black minstrelsy a celebration of noxious stereotypes or an important part of American culture? Or both?

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Fit to Be Tied: An Interview with Philippe Petit

Best known for being the subject of Man on Wire, wire-walking, knot-tying, street-juggling, magician Philippe Petit talks to PopMatters about his forthcoming book Why Knot?.

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Micro Frustrated, Macro Happy: An Interview with Demetri Martin

Dropping his usual punchline-a-sentence persona, comedian and author Demetri Martin speaks to PopMatters all about his influences, his frustratingly unfinished projects, and how he can never drift from stand-up for too long ...

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18 Oct 2012 // 11:15 PM

The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies

At first, film was a waking dream, delivered for a nickel to huddled masses sitting in the dark. But soon movies began transforming our societies and our perceptions of the world.

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Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat

Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious—or at least edible. Tools shape what we eat, but they have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food.

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Woe is Us: ‘What’s the Matter with White People?’

Salon editor Joan Walsh’s half-brilliant and half-confused memoir / manifesto posits that many white Americans have historically taken out their frustration over declining opportunities on minorities … and Democrats.

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Before Occupy Wall Street rattled the money merchants, Herman Melville and the Beats shook the city's foundation with gumption and glee.

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Waves of Grain: How World War II Created Our World

World War II changed the way we eat, live and work on such a fundamental scale that to those in the West it seems like there has never been anything other than the globalized world it created.

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The Missile Next Door: The Minuteman in the American Heartland

How rural Americans of all political stripes were drafted to fight the Cold War by living with nuclear missiles in their backyards—and what that tells us about enduring political divides and the persistence of defense spending.

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20 Sep 2012 // 11:09 PM

The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns

Armed with research from behavioral psychology and randomized experiments that treat voters as unwitting guinea pigs, the smartest campaigns now believe they know who you will vote for even before you do.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

//Blogs

Stevie Wonder Takes a Knee as Green Day and Others Also Speak Out at Global Citizen Festival

// Notes from the Road

"The 2017 Global Citizen Festival's message for social action was amplified by Stevie Wonder and many other incredible performers and notable guests.

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