Recent Features

24 Aug 2010 // 10:00 PM

The German Genius: Europe’s Third Renaissance

In 18th century Germany, new beliefs, new tempers, new ways of thinking were taking place. Many of the new ideas transformed Europe and would also transform North America.

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Cults of an Unwitting Oracle: The (Unintended) Religious Legacy of H. P. Lovecraft

A horror writer, self-proclaimed atheist, and "mechanical materialist" who spent most of his life ridiculing religion, H.P. Lovecraft invented one of the most absurd and terrifying pseudomythologies in the history of modern literature. So, how is it that some of his audience came to take his cosmology seriously?

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20 Questions: Vikas Swarup

Slumdog Millionaire author Vikas Swarup's latest, Six Suspects, is out in paperback this month. He confesses to PopMatters 20 Questions that he's sometimes stopped on the streets of the various countries he works in because people mistake him for James Bond.

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Freedom Summer: The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy

Two groups met that summer: The first – mostly white – had just finished another year at Harvard, Yale, Oberlin, Berkeley… Guitars slung over shoulders, idealism lifting their strides. The second group – mostly black – brought no guitars and had little idealism left to pack. They arrived with stories of being beaten, targeted, tortured.

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Globish: How the English Language Became the World’s Language

The making of a recognizable Englishness, the painful transition to Anglo-Saxon ‘Englaland’, is a history of four invasions and a cultural revolution… English was a mirror to its island state, an idiosyncratic mixture of splendid isolation and humiliating foreign occupation.

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3 Aug 2010 // 9:59 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 // 10:00 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 // 10:30 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 // 10:00 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 // 10:00 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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More Recent Features
//Mixed media

Blindspot: Season 1, Episode 3 - "Eight Slim Grins"

// Channel Surfing

"Secret codes, shadowy organizations: is Blindspot piecing together the riddle wrapped in the mystery of the enigma that is Jane Doe?

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