Recent Features

20 Jun 2011 // 9:00 PM

In Praise of Silliness

They say you gotta laugh to keep from crying. A simple dose of pure silliness taken on a regular basis is much needed, these days.

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Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright: The Role of the Asian American in American Pop Culture

From New York magazine to Punk Planet, Audrea Lim shows us how recent Asian American writing sensations Wesley Yang and Amy Chua get it wrong in their interpretations of what it means to be of Asian descent in American at the dawn of the 21st century.

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Zombies, Like Punks, Have Been Sedated & Sold, Prepackaged As Pitiful Empty Signifiers

Dr. Logan of Day of the Dead says that zombies can be domesticated and conditioned to behave – that’s exactly what some parents of punks believe, too.

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Did Tennessee Williams See Bugs Bunny Kiss Elmer Fudd?

It may seem a stretch to connect the work of Tennessee Williams with that of a slapstick cartoon character, but both pushed sexual boundaries and allowed viewers to consider sexuality outside of the conventional heteronormative values prevalent under the restrictive Hayes Code.

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The Changing Nature of the Nature of Art

As artists have become less concerned with telling stories and more concerned with creating emotional connections and mimicking experiences, art has shifted from creating beauty to expressing the heady nature of 'truth'.

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Zoot Suit: The Enigmatic Career of an Extreme Style

Los Angeles’s 1943 “zoot suit riot” may be the only time in American history that fashion was believed to be the cause of widespread civil unrest.

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German Bands & Cat Designs: An Interview with Katie Gallagher

Whether basing her fashion designs on cats or collaborating with German electronica groups for her shows, Katie Gallagher is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world.

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“Kill Yourself for Recognition”: The Odd Future of Young Celebrity

When anticipation of death combines with the cult of celebrity, stars are pressured to literally give up the ghost -- or at least produce the effect through artistic means.

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Socially Valuable Knowledge: An Interview with Louis Menand

Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard Professor Louis Menand diagnoses some of the problems in the American university system and makes some proposals for what can be done, all without the alarmism of many of his colleagues.

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25 May 2011 // 9:00 PM

When Superheroes Die

The death of Randy Poffo, aka Macho Man Randy Savage, once again revealed the dark history of professional wrestling. A history replete with drug abuse, murder and suicide. In this essay a writer and fan explores the varied reactions to Savage's death; a death which created more questions than answers.

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After Fukushima: An Interview with Dr. Robert Jacobs

Last week, PopMatters sat down with Dr. Robert Jacobs of the Hiroshima Peace Institute at Hiroshima University to discuss the impact, toll, and future that Japan faces following the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. His insights shed much light on what has happened and what will take place in the near future ...

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Jalen Rose and Bernard Hopkins: The Miseducation of the Black Athlete

Bernard Hopkins, Jalen Rose and any other athlete that is confused about black male identity, might want to spend a few hours at their local public library and read up on Muhammad Ali and Duane Thomas.

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The Civil War and the Uneasy Fabric of American Identity

America's obsession with the Civil War reveals not-so-invisible wounds that linger to this day in the landscape and the nation's psyche.

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Dy(e)ing to be White: Whiteface Performance in Postracial America

On the surface, whiteface performers often exaggerate widely recognized and aesthetically pleasing aspects of white people and culture from a minority viewpoint: light eyes, light colored hair, swanky clothes, snobbish attitude...

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Shoot the J!: Negotiations of Blackness and Normalcy in The Fab Five

Looking back at the Fab Five’s reign in the early '90s, it was framed by numerous moments in blackness, including the burgeoning crossover of hip-hop music and culture into mainstream “white” America, Rodney King’s beating, the ‘hood genre in film, and Michael Jackson’s vitiligo.

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Martyrdom and the Marketing of the Afterlife

Considering the Afterlife as an eternal baseball game illuminates why 72 virgins might not be the ideal final reward.

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From the Fringe of Islam: An Interview with Michael Muhammad Knight

Famous amongst orphaned Muslims -- teens and adults trying to find a place in a religion known for stringency -- Knight’s first book, The Taqwacores straddles the line between manifesto and coming of age novel.

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In the City of Friction and Frisson: Street Art and Urbanism

All the illegal art, if taken as a combined unstable code and signature, are like short-lived tattoos on the municipal skins of cities.

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Making a Living in—and of—Lisbon

From the fado taverns of Alfama to the legendary cafes of Chaida, the Global Prowlers explore Western Europe´s most welcoming city. "What a happening, undiscovered city," I said to Clare as we walked back to our hostel. "Do you think we could move to Lisbon?"

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De-Normalize Your Brain: Charlie Sheen as Prophet

Sheen is the new psychic outlaw. He is a psychopathic prophet warning of the dangers, lunacy, and criminality of the mainline media and everything they stand for. No wonder he looks so crazy.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

'Wanted' Is a Spaghetti Western That Will Leave You Wanting

// Short Ends and Leader

"The charisma of Giuliano Gemma and some stellar action sequences can't save this sub-par spaghetti western.

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