Recent Features
20 Questions: David Anderegg

David Anderegg's 'Nerds: How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America' (Tarcher / Penguin, now in paperback) calls for embracing the socially awkward yet intellectually gifted among us.

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Marxism: The Music Theory That Never Goes Out of Style

How fitting that a post-punk band from the late '70s, fascinated by the Marxist metaphysics of modernity, would re-emerge to remind us that nothing new has happened in rock in decades. Of course Thom Yorke might disagree...

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In the Oft-Reviled Genre of Memoirs, Here are Some Memoirs to Love

A subgenre has emerged that should placate memoirphobes and please memoirfiles: the artist-teacher memoir.

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The Librarians and Barbarians of Laura Bush’s Memoir

Laura Bush largely avoided the public slanderings that Nancy Reagan endured and that, to a lesser extent, Michelle Obama is now enduring, even though George W. Bush himself was perhaps the most excoriated President in recent American history. The reasons have something to do with Laura Bush's literary sensibility.

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Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City

The essays included in this fine, wide-ranging, thought-provoking volume take pains to remind the reader how every instance of urban dystopia – whether in Mexico, India, Africa or the United States – is shadowed by the particular history and legacy of its geography, culture, and society.

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16 Feb 2011 // 10:00 PM

Solarian Absurdity

In his classic SF novel Solaris, Stanislaw Lem composes an ode to the absurdity of the human struggle for knowledge. No better is this struggle encapsulated than in the infinite expanse of space and in the discovery of new worlds.

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Across the Yucatán with a Ragtag Carny Crew

A Mexican dispatch, by the sea and on the road with students, musicians, actors, wild children, and juggling LSD dealers. On the backpacker trail from Cancún to Mérida, we discovered we were not the only ones on a global prowl.

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20 Questions: Kim Edwards

'Labyrinth walker' and award winning author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about allowing oneself to head out into uncertain territory -- be it in the middle of a lake or the middle of a story -- and see where the journey takes you. Her latest, The Lake of Dreams published in January.

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Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America

While Disintegration contains its share of frank, bracing, straight talk that dispels long-held notions about black Americans, one of Eugene Robinson’s underlying assumptions — that America persists in seeing black people as an experiential monolith — is not the defining absolute it used to be.

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Punk Rock? It’s a Black, Jewish, Southern Thang

Punk is no vacuum, no airtight, sealed white music form. It's a repository of culture -- magnetized, manifold, and chock-full of merit – that was, and is, impacted by Jewish, black, and Southern experiences.

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Life, The Universe and Everything

Like Richard Feynman before him, Dr. Leonard Mlodinow has a gift that’s all too rare in physicists – he speaks Normal Person. The physicist and author of the New York Times best-seller The Drunkard’s Walk, Mlodinow has a knack for making the complicated issues that crop up in quantum physics understandable to everyday readers.

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20 Questions: Ariel Sabar

Before award winning author Ariel Sabar begins his book tour for Heart of the City this Valentine’s Day, he tells PopMatters 20 Questions about the lasting influence of an excellent newspaper editor he once knew.

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Lynd Ward and Walt Disney: Illustrators of America’s Tumultuous History

Much as Walt Disney would do with his famed television programs of the '50s and '60s, Lynd Ward used his talents with watercolor, oil, brush and ink, mezzotint, and lithography to illustrate hundreds of inspiring historical biographies of true-life American heroes for children to admire and emulate.

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Walk This Way: The Commodification of Hip-Hop

Now here's a little story, we've got to tell, about the business of hip-hop, you know so well. It started way back in history, from Alexander Hamilton down to Jay-Z.

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Ammon Shea Is Not In the Phone Book, But He Read It, Cover to Cover

I’ve finally met somebody who possibly loves books more than I do, and certainly knows more about them.

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31 Jan 2011 // 10:00 PM

Que Pasa, New York?

How do artists get their work done in other cities of the world? Where is it viable to live? It's probably silly to begin our investigation in New York. Just 30 years ago, New York was still opening its arms to the tired, poor, huddled masses of creatives. But now?

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24 Jan 2011 // 10:00 PM

The Best Fiction of 2010

Tucked into this wide-ranging list of comics collections, retro-inspired literature and cross-overs, are glimmers of something sweet, something to temper the usual Literary Drearies we all love and appreciate. And that’s just the way it should be.

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The Best Non-Fiction of 2010

PopMatters' writers (a margin-friendly, iconoclastic bunch, for the most part) cast their nets far beyond the world of culture-production to capture some of the best non-fiction books published in 2010.

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A is for Axe: The Filmic Butchering of ‘The Scarlet Letter’

As is often the case with classics, what could have been a brilliantly updated film adaptation of The Scarlet Letter was consumed by the Hollywood machine that instead spits out a shallow and action-packed romp with a glossed-over ending.

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13 Jan 2011 // 10:00 PM

Rescripting the Western in ‘No Country for Old Men’

How the Coen Brothers' ostensibly faithful award winning adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men diverges from its creator's rather questionable politics.

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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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