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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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If space is time—and space is literally time in the comics form—the world of the novel is a temporal cage. Manuele Fior pushes at the formal qualities of that cage to tell his story.

Manuele Fior's 5,000 Km Per Second was originally published in 2009 and, after winning the Angouléme and Lucca comics festivals awards in 2010 and 2011, was translated and published in English for the first time in 2016. As suggested by its title, the graphic novel explores the effects of distance across continents and decades. Its love triangle begins when the teenaged Piero and his best friend Nicola ogle Lucia as she moves into an apartment across the street and concludes 20 estranged years later on that same street. The intervening years include multiple heartbreaks and the one second phone delay Lucia in Norway and Piero in Egypt experience as they speak while 5,000 kilometers apart.

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Featuring a shining collaboration with Terry Riley, the Del Sol String Quartet have produced an excellent new music recording during their 25 years as an ensemble.

Dark Queen Mantra, both the composition and the album itself, represent a collaboration between the Del Sol String Quartet and legendary composer Terry Riley. Now in their 25th year, Del Sol have consistently championed modern music through their extensive recordings (11 to date), community and educational outreach efforts, and performances stretching from concert halls and the Library of Congress to San Francisco dance clubs. Riley, a defining figure of minimalist music, has continually infused his compositions with elements of jazz and traditional Indian elements such as raga melodies and rhythms. Featuring two contributions from Riley, as well as one from former Riley collaborator Stefano Scodanibbio, Dark Queen Mantra continues Del Sol's objective of exploring new avenues for the string quartet format.

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