Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past


Wednesday, October 2 2002

Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz

The only real analogy for Capt. James Cooke, who resolutely explored the Pacific between 1768 and 1780, is Capt. James Kirk, captain of the starship Enterprise.

Monday, September 30 2002

Various Artists: Sounds Eclectic Too

In quiet and unassuming fashion, Santa Monica, California’s KCRW has kept the faith in promoting good music. Their morning show, Morning Becomes Eclectic, is

Various Artists: The Bottle Let Me Down:  Songs for Bumpy Wagon Rides

For a while now, I’ve been concerned about my niece, recently turned five. Don’t get me wrong: Her parents have done a great

The Telescopes: Third Wave

In high school, my friends and I would organize music buying trips to Detroit as badges of our disaffection from the choke chain constraints of

Jason Moran: Modernistic

“I have always enjoyed playing solo piano and I always think that it is important for every instrumentalist, regardless of what they play, they should

Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um

This is the most difficult decisions any music critic could ever make . . . and one of the stupidest ways to waste time that any human could

The Kaisers: Shake Me!

Knowing Merseybeat enthusiasts everywhere must have breathed a sigh of relief upon the release of the Kaisers’ fifth studio album earlier this year. While the

Kekuhi: Honey-Boy

In truth, to a European living on mainland USA, Honey Boy is not an easy album to listen to, at least initially. Hawaiian vocal styles

The Kickovers: Osaka

What happens when you get a bunch of musicians from big name groups who feel the need to carry on in their own way and

Without a Trace

Insofar as it depicts agents who think and verify before acting, Without a Trace unexpectedly provides an antidote to the current media crime-fighting frenzy.

The Twilight Zone

The most recent tales from the Zone suggest it can again become a venue for investigating contemporary cultural and moral dilemmas.

Survivor: Thailand

Ever helpful, Jeff Probst reminded everyone that, on Survivor, assumptions are always wrong.

Presidio Med

Diverges from ER in that it is, oddly, more conservative.


It's life-changing redemption all the way, at the hands of a flawed saint who can instruct us all.

Half and Half

Dealing with complicated familial history, rather than relying on man-chasing for every plot, will set Half and Half apart.

Good Morning, Miami

Focuses on an irresistibly cute couple whose lives are complicated by their hormones and their over-the-top coworkers.

8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter

What makes the show slightly twisted is the knowledge that only a few years ago, John Ritter would have been playing one of his daughters' sex-obsessed suitors.

C.S.I.: Miami


Thursday, September 26 2002

Various Artists: Pure 80’s: The DVD

Blame MTV. On August 1, 1981 MTV went on the air, changing music (marketing) forever. Punk was still making parents everywhere cringe, and new wave was in

Various Artists: Secret Ellington

The title’s a bit of tease, really. These aren’t hitherto undiscovered Ellington recordings nor are they a side of the great composer that

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