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Monday, September 20 2004

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of “Cool”-ness

The Real World shot a segment in Philadelphia, thereby christening this city 'cool' to those who partake of such artificial takes on 'reality', but that show can't even come close to what is really cool about this city. Leaving no stone unturned, Reynolds explores every aspect of this place deemed the 'Cradle of Liberty' -- its history, its music, its politics and people -- but it was the death of one little boy that showed him the real spirit of Philadelphia.

Capital of Chaos

In Cairo nothing seems to work that well, and yet everything seems to work out. The city is rotting as much as it is growing. The dead and the living commingle. Seeming always on the verge of collapse under its own weight, Cairo is perpetually reborn.

The Land of Bananas and Boom-Boxes

This tiny sliver of Ecuador rocks: with the waves of the surrounding ocean; to the beats at the Saturday night discoteca; and under the teetering mass of the world — its weight unrelenting as the pull of gravity — and industry. This essay is presented in four parts.

Imperial Bristol Forever?

Bristol's racial history is as complex as that of any other city, but in England, this city is a site of struggle over how exactly the nation's complex racial history will be managed in the future. Bristol may be picturesque, with its old stone buildings and plentiful parks, but its contemporary street names, such as 'White Lady' and 'Black Boy', proffer constant reminders of Bristol's relationship to its racial and imperial past.

A Very Public Private Affair

December 2005 will mark the 100th anniversary of one of the fundamental principals of French republican ideology: the separation of Church and State. By way of preamble, and in conjunction with celebrations for the 60th anniversary of its liberation, Paris declared 2004 its "Year of Secularism". But one of France's paradoxes amongst its bourgeoisie seems to be that it is publicly a secular republic, but privately a Catholic state; simply professing the secularism of the Nation-State in no way guarantees religious tolerance. These are ideologically worrying times in France.

Tuesday, July 6 2004

Don’t Call Me Mule, Jackass

mulatto. An ugly word. Give me a basketful of racist, sexist, homophobic epithets over this word any day. Many such mean-spirited words have fallen out of use, and others have been 'reappropriated,' as they say.

Monday, June 21 2004

Root Root Root For Your Own Team

To be a baseball fan, you are asked to attend games, buy products that signify your team, watch games on TV, and always 'root, root, root for the home team' -- in short, to spend money.

Monday, June 14 2004

Attack of the Killer Fashionistas

With outsourced private security forces, i.e., corporate mercenaries, conducting interrogations and protecting business interests in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Prada installation in Soho, NY, looking much like a community-based paramilitary organization, can be read as playing on our fears of terrorist activities and our longing for protection from them.

Monday, May 10 2004

America: Dressed to Kill

Camouflage chic is 'in' again, but not as some form of protest, this time. Rather, it's like the American civilian landscape has been carpet bombed with the imagery and rhetoric of war -- and we're buying it.

Friday, May 7 2004

Hey Godzilla, Why Are You Such a Giant Cultural Symbol?

Distilling the actions of Godzilla to their most basic, one finds only an overgrown playground bully. What drives our love for this thuggish brute that annihilates our cities?

The Importance of Being Godzilla

Godzilla . . . is a mutable symbol, changing to suit the needs of the moment. He has become all things to all people.

A Giant Lizard’s Home Companion

Mystery Science Theater 3000 is in full farcical bloom to drown the entire Godzilla mythos in necessary lizard libel.

Sandy Frank: Behind the Monster

An aging, embittered Godzilla begrudgingly grants a rare interview. His rival, Gamera (and other monsters who have peopled his past), tell all.

Imperial Monsters: A Political Analysis of Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Daikaiju Sogougeki

Whereas the original Gojira warned against militarism, this movie, Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Daikaiju Sogougeki, goes out of its way to celebrate it.

Run! I Hear Godzilla Coming!

To fend off the American, Godzilla-like threat, nations and private groups around the world scramble to acquire nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction.

Of Mutations and Messages

Godzilla's transformation from an ordinary lizard into a hulking monster was an uncanny predecessor to the environmental disease that first manifested itself in the cats of Minamata Bay.

Lizards and Mushroom Clouds: A Personal Account

A survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima tells us that after the bomb exploded, the damage could not be surveyed because people were blinded; calls for help could not be responded to as ears had gone deaf.

Godzilla vs. Godzilla

We have become dazzled with the illusion and the high-tech gadgetry that makes the monster move. As we gaze at Godzilla, this splendid embodiment of our modern might, we forget who he really is -- and we forget what we are proven capable of becoming, ourselves.

Sister Mary Mothra: A Speculative Biography of Nunzilla, Bride of Godzilla

The mighty beast moves in mysterious ways. Hayes finds the spirit of Godzilla in the body of a raging plastic nun.

godZ and Me

Me and godZ -- fraternal twins of different mothers -- we have tried to curtail the anger within and, despite all odds against us, we feel we have made a positive impact.

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