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Call for Blah, Blah Bloggers

Got something to say about pop culture that's worth a listen? Well blah, blah, blog about it!

Informed, intelligent, engaged and engaging writing (ergo, engaged thinking) is the hallmark of PopMatters. Our writers are cultural generalists with a broad range of interests; thus, our scope is broadly cast on all things pop culture. However, you don't always have to write a 2,500-word essay to capture (and keep) our interest. PopMatters blogs, which are very popular with our hip, informed readership, run the gamut of topics in culture, and we're looking for people who love to blog about all the world's cultural offerings. Indeed, we encourage you to explore all mediums, and express most thoughtfully on all that you see, hear, read, play, watch, do.

The World of Pop Culture

You're always trolling the Internet and coming across interesting videos, songs, movie trailers, photos and more that you'd like to share. Welcome to Mixed Media, a newsy forum (and very popular), devoted to showcasing the best and most interesting new media along with your brief commentary. A sense of humor is always good, here.

Music

Whether you shake your butt like a fool, stand still, braced, as your heart pounds wildly, or prefer to be the one making all that beautiful noise, you want to write about music. Sound Affects applies our patented, smart, deep look at culture within the more informal blog format. Here you can critique new videos and songs as well as highlight old favorites; you can select and highlight some of the best music writing on the web and analyze trends and events in the music world. This is your platform.

Television

You know that some of the best entertainment writing is happening in television, and so do PopMatters readers. That's why they go to Channel Surfing to catch our thoughts on all things TV, from highlights to analysis of TV programs to the art (or artlessness) of commercials, from deconstructing a script to scrutinizing a performance, from contrast and comparison of other shows, past and present, to the business behind the scenes.

Film

You stand in a long line on opening night. You catch movies at the matinee price. You see the same film several times, watch anything with (name your favorite actor) in it, anything by (name your favorite director). Film lovers rejoice! PopMatters Short Ends & Leader blog is your platform for waxing poetic about this gorgeous, multifaceted medium and all the world's artists who compose with this complex instrument. What more need be said? Well, you tell us…

Books, Magazines

You inhale, with eyes closed, as you fan the pages of a newly published book. You get goosebumps as the light of a (you name the electronic device) hits your retina with all those little symbols loaded with such meaning. You prefer the company of a really good book to an evening at a noisy bar. Gawd, you love books and people really should hear what you think about this author, that genre, that publisher, this series. Now push your reading glasses up your nose and dive in to Re:Print. We're all eyes.

Games

You know that games are enormously popular throughout the world and have created entire virtual communities unto themselves. Like complex puzzles? RPGs? First-person shooters? Action games? Geek out with fellow gamers and adventurous readers who wonder what all the fuss is about on Moving Pixels.

Comics

You also know that comics often convey cultural meaning and artistic merit of a depth and breadth that make the best of them far too sophisticated for just any kid. Your platform on PopMatters is our Graphic Novelties blog, where kindred spirits of the medium mingle.

Exhibits / Lectures / Performance

Whether you've had the privilege of traveling to a major cultural event in another country or simply walked down to the corner bar and caught a surprising new band, Notes from the Road is the venue for commentary on virtually all forms of creative expression available to the public; concerts (stadium rock / orchestral / polka bands at ethnic fairs), art exhibits, dance from Swan Lake to Stomp!, lectures on topics in culture -- whether it appears in a tiny theatre or on the grandest of stages -- here is where we cast our spotlight on such things.

Media

Question Authority. Scale the walls of the 'fourth estate'. Challenge this incestuous medium. Sources Say is the place to shine a light on the dark places of that which we assume to be true, because we heard it in the news. It's also a place to praise the mighty deeds of good reporters, and respect the struggle -- present and past -- which allows the media to survive to this day (in all its permutations) when so many in power would like to silence it forever, or at least mold it to fit their needs.

PopMatters Blogger Benefits

Your byline and your voice published on this prestigious magazine with an international readership of 1 million monthly. Furthermore, many of our writers are called upon for their opinion by notable members of the media such as the BBC, NPR, MSNBC, Radio Australia, and VH1. Major newspapers, TV shows and respected web sites regularly pick up links to PopMatters articles and post quotes from PopMatters writers. Our articles are also indexed by all English language Google News sites and by NewsNow in the UK.

To Apply

We're looking for people who can commit to at least two posts per week of varying lengths. Some posts are essays and wind up getting feature treatment on PopMatters, while some are several paragraphs and others just the briefest, but smart commentary and/or curation. If accepted, you are free to write for any of the blogs that you wish and, indeed, we are always looking for the sort of cultural generalist who can write on a range of subjects.

Please send a e-mail describing your background, along with two recent writing samples that display the depth of your thinking and the best of your abilities, and two posts that would be your first published PopMatters blog posts if you are accepted, to:

Sarah Zupko, Editor & Publisher editor at popmatters dot com and Karen Zarker, Managing Editor,zarker at popmatters dot com, Subject line: PopMatters Blogger Application.

Deadline: None. This is an open call.

To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

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Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

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This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

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Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow shines on her impressive interpretation of Fontella Bass' classic track "Rescue Me".

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow pays tribute to the classic Chicago label Chess Records on her new album Playing Chess, which was produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini, and the legendary Betty Wright. Unlike many covers records, LeGrow and her team of musicians aimed to make new artistic statements with these songs as they stripped down the arrangements to feature leaner and modern interpretations. The clean and unfussy sound allows LeGrow's superb voice to have more room to roam. Meanwhile, these classic tunes take on new life when shown through LeGrow's lens.

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