Recent Features
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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Viewing the World at the Level of the Snail’s Lowly Trail

"... I have crawled most of the way through life. I have crawled downward into holes without a bottom, and upward, wedged into crevices where the wind and the birds scream at you until the sound of a falling pebble is enough to make the sick heart lurch."

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Dreamers of a New Day: Women Who Invented the Twentieth Century

The future was revealed by a ‘radiant’ woman ‘in flowing, graceful robes’, who explained that in a hundred years’ time, no one would be tramping the streets without a home, or be unemployed. By then the world’s labour would be shared equally, so that each individual only worked five hours a day.

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Infinite Gesturing?: James Wood Takes on David Foster Wallace

“Reading Wallace,” says literary critic James Wood, “is like playing a reed instrument. When do you take a breath?”

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Race in America, Race in Music: Different Trains,  Same Two Tracks

It's an American pop music creation myth: that blues and folk music developed along two distinct tracks, with their own distinct traditions, divided along racial lines. The truth is, of course, far more slippery and complicated.

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23 May 2010 // 10:08 PM

The Invisible Bridge

Men and women in evening dress descended, but Andras saw only architecture: the egg-and-dart molding along the stairway, the cross-barrel vault above, the pink Corinthian columns that supported the gallery.

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20 Questions: Sarah Silverman

The satirical, taboo-busting, notoriously potty-mouthed Sarah Silverman has written a book about … well, pee – among other things. “Big S” talks with PopMatters 20 Questions about her affinity for Bugs Bunny, an affection for Mr. Rogers, and how, with the help of a time machine, she might have helped steer Hitler from his destructive course.

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We Are Fueled by the Fat of Their Land

The "monstrous steel molochs" of industrialized civilization are fueled by petroleum and not literally by the "fat of the natives", though for the Achuar people, the subject of this classic narrative, that might be a distinction without a difference.

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Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour

In the chaos-filled days of June 1940, with their future bordering on the calamitous, the British hoped the United States would pay more attention to them than they had to Europe.

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20 Questions: Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow tells PopMatters 20 Questions about how an indulgence from a librarian and an insult at a sci-fi writing workshop were the best encouragement – and advice -- he ever received. The latest result from those prods, both gentle and not so: For the Win (May 2010).

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Barbara Ehrenreich and the Brahmin Fantastic

In Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait and Switch, she experiences an exclusive corporate culture in America that is disturbingly similar to India's privileged genetic intelligentsia; also know as the caste system.

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2 May 2010 // 10:00 PM

The Pope of Satire

Judging from the worried silence that met Stephen Colbert’s satirical comments about the current president, it seems he stepped over the line from his trademark truthiness that entertains to plain-old truth (or perhaps taboo) that his audience did not want to hear. As comedy routines go, this one died fast.

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20 Questions: Dave Barry

Dave Barry was born in Armonk, New York, in 1947 and has been steadily growing older ever since without ever actually reaching maturity -- a condition which he struggles with in heart-rending detail and bare-his-breast honesty in his newest book, I'll Mature When I'm Dead.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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