Recent Features

3 Aug 2010 // 8:59 PM

Feeding an Addiction

Call me a romantic, but after watching so much of that wet and messy business, I crave a less-is-more, simpler, sexier rendition of food porn. Instead, of grotesque, I prefer burlesque and have found that the good stuff isn’t on reality TV.

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2 Aug 2010 // 9:00 PM

Playing the Numbers: Gambling in Harlem between the Wars

Those who controlled the numbers game in Harlem possessed a license to print money. And there, of course, was the rub... Desperately outnumbered and outgunned, she used every conceivable stratagem at her disposal.

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Partial to His Abracadabra: A Discussion of Ian Dury with Biographer Will Birch

On the release of his new book, Ian Dury: The Definitive Biography, Will Birch discusses the complicated glory of the “Upminster Kid".

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Future Shock, Postmodern Nostalgia, and Uncanny Technologies

The speed of technological change is unprecedented. Author Anna Jane Grossman finds that it has imbued her "with a kind of odd nostalgia for right now.”

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22 Jul 2010 // 9:30 PM

A Fierce Radiance

"... the man on the stretcher was dying. His lips were blue from lack of oxygen. His cheeks were hollow, his skin leathery and tight against his bones. His eyes were open but unfocused, like the glass eyes in a box at a doll factory she’d once photographed."

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Manly Love: Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg’s Letters

Kerouac and Ginsberg are cosmic twins borne from Whitman’s Universal skull, bonded as comrades, cerebrally-joined as poets -- but it will sour for Kerouac when Ginsberg uses his poetic voice as a political trump card.

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Lucky Numbers: Economist Simon Johnson Explains the Importance of ‘13 Bankers’

To fix the banking sector, economist and author Simon Johnson is recommending some common sense regulations: “We need to put constraints on the size of our largest banks, we need to force them to hold a lot more capital, we need to properly regulate derivatives." So why has that proven so hard to do?

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20 Questions: Gene Weingarten

Gene Weingarten, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing, nationally syndicated humor columnist and writer for The Washington Post, and now one-half cartoonist, has a new book out. More importantly, he answers PopMatters 20 Questions.

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15 Jul 2010 // 9:00 PM

Pearl Buck in China: Journey to the Good Earth

As a small child lying awake in bed at night, Pearl grew up listening to the cries of women on the street outside calling back the spirits of their dead or dying babies. In some ways she herself was more Chinese than American.

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‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’: A Child of Israel and the Children of Palestine

Reading narratives of the seemingly intractable Arab-Israeli conflict is like trying to follow the plot of a novel that has had every other page ripped out. Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness has fewer missing pages than most.

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13 Jul 2010 // 9:00 PM

Fooled by Skepticism

Skepticism has been fueling pop culture for decades. Just ask John Lennon or Pete Townshend. Lately it’s just been fooling pop culture about science.

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The Atlantic and Its Enemies: A History of the Cold War

The Americans might be the strongest military power, but they would be powerless if western Europe fell naturally into Communist hands, and in any case there would be an economic crisis in America should Europe collapse.

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20 Questions: A. J. Jacobs

He coos, he digerdoos, he pole dances, he plays harmonica – without a harmonica -- and he’s funny, too. In his latest book of bold experimentation, My Life as an Experiment, A. J. Jacobs, Editor-at-Large for Esquire, lives as a woman, becomes a human guinea pig, and otherwise provides an edutaining look at things we humans tend to hold dear – and then he turns it all askew.

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How Does One Beat the Heat? Try Descending Into Icy Madness

To cope with the heat wave, advisories suggest visiting 'cooling centers' or public pools. To achieve a truly chilled-out state of mind, however, why not open the door to your mind and let the iceman cometh inside?

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Every Man in This Village Is a Liar: An Education in War

Legend was he was ruthless in war, killing enemies with his bare hands. He said he knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding. And now he was petting me like a puppy.

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Confessions of a Political Romantic: Christopher Hitchens’ ‘Hitch-22’

Hitchens often remarks here on his being a late bloomer, and so it is that some will see the core of Hitch-22 as the story of the author’s inner journey in adulthood from firebrand '60s campus radical to geezery Tory of the Anglo-American variety.

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20 Questions: Sloane Crosley

Satirist Sloane Crosley’s How Did You Get This Number regales with hilarious tales involving amateur clowns, a kleptomaniac roommate and a black bear. PopMatters 20 Questions found her at a seemingly safe and quiet spot, for the moment, someplace with contemplation-inducing bathroom tiles…

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The Screwball World of Nathanael West and Eileen McKenney: A ‘Suspicious’ Literary Biography

Marion Meade's new book begs the question: Are literary biographies necessary? Somewhere in the afterlife, Nathanael West is having a good chuckle.

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Raisin’ Cain: The Wild and Raucous Story of Johnny Winter

“There was always a line outside the Scene and lots of celebrities,” says Johnny. “Jimi Hendrix and all of the English bands who came to New York—once they left their gigs, they came to jam…"

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Funny Enough: An Interview with Tony Martin

Memoirist and comedian Tony Martin talks about commercial radio dumbasses and explains just what it is that makes Running with Scissors so darned unbelievable.

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More Recent Features
//Blogs

Is Black Widow Still a Hero? Dissecting the Misogynistic Outrage Against the Avengers

// Short Ends and Leader

"Black Widow may very well be the pinnacle of the modern action heroine, so why is there so much backlash about her role in the new Avengers film?

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