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Culture

Love at a Socially-Isolating Distance

In one sense, life in the time of Coronavirus clarifies an essential element of love: love always occurs at an ontological distance.

Recent
Television

In Nickelodeon's 'Rocko's Modern Life', Corporations Steal Our Souls to Enchant Their Commodities

In a society of things, social responsibility requires a recognition of the influence of commodities upon our most foundational spiritual experiences. Nickelodeon's animated series, Rocko's Modern Life, puts it simply.

Books

'Being and Neonness', Capitalism and Creativity

If neon was an icon of mid-century capitalism as Luis de Miranda puts forth in Being and Neonness, what does it represent in our period of late capitalism?

Sports

Sense and Sensibility at the World Cup

I've sworn, after learning about the latest kleptocrat billionaire to buy a club, or scrambling from the clash between hooligans and riot police, or hearing a homophobic chant rise up from the stands, I would give up on the game. Anyone with sense would.

Books

Is Progressive-Populism Our Best Option in These Troubled Times?

When order ruptures it leads to a state of crisis manifest in many ways, as we see emerging throughout the world. What can we do?

Books

Will a New Form of Socialism Rise? On Bhaskar Sunkara's 'The Socialist Manifesto'

Socialists need to do better in fighting against identity-based discrimination, as editor of Jacobin Bhaskar Sunkara notes in The Socialist Manifesto, but that struggle will only be effective if waged as part of a larger struggle against neoliberal capitalism.

Books

'Aquinas and the Market' and the Possibility of a "Truly Humane Economic System"

With Aquinas and the Market, economist and theologian Mary L. Hirschfeld begins a necessary conversation between economic and theological sectors, in the academy and, one hopes, outside the ivory towers and seminaries, to calculate our ultimate worth.

Film

At the Crossroads of Pity and Revolt: Intensity and Time in Lino Brocka's 'Manila in the Claws of Light'

Lino Brocka's Manila in the Claws of Light seethes with rage against colonial oppression without ever becoming overt agitprop.

Film

NYFF 2018: 'Diamantino' Beautifully Satirizes Ugly Politics from the Ethers

Diamantino's astounding surrealistic introduction soon unfolds into an ethereal genre-mashup.

PopMatters Picks: the best new cultural offerings

'Talking to My Daughter About the Economy', and Putting Economists In Their Place

Yanis Varoufakis treats with disdain the idea that economics is a real science – it's more like a contemporary form of religion, propped up by ruling elites to make gullible everyday people remain subservient and go along with the elites' bad and self-serving ideas, he says.

Books

Has 'Creativity' Become a Dirty Word? On Oli Mould's 'Against Creativity'

'Creativity' in today's corporate speak requires a familiarity with the popular culture that's admired by the white and the well-to-do. It has nothing to do with actual creativity.

Film

'Generation Wealth' Turns Too Soft a Light Upon America's Nouveau Riche

Flamboyance and bombast prove to be Generation Wealth's most common thread, which serves as an upsetting indictment of the American Way.

Film

Killing Is Killing: Logan's Enduring Excellence

In a competitive sea of superhero films, Logan continues to stand out with its tremendous performances, thematic complexity, remarkably critical take on violence, and deeply stirring pathos.

Books

Everybody Wears Streetwear, So Everybody Should Read About It in 'This Is Not Fashion'

Beyond utility and good looks, perhaps the most essential feature of streetwear is that it always says something. It's in this area of ideology that King ADZ and Wilma Stone excel.

Film

Do We Dream of Electric Sheep Like Blade Runner's Corporate-produced Replicants?

The isolation of Blade Runner 2049's inhabitants continually reinforces and enlivens their deep need for genuine connection, communal relationships, which the divisive effects of global capitalism actively undermines.

Books

Poetry and Economics in 'Everything is Broken Up and Dances'

A passionate first-hand account from two Italian writers depicts the ravages of neoliberal capitalism in poignant, poetic prose.

Books

'Chronicles of a Liquid Society' and the Best Dinner Companion for End Times​

The significance of Umberto Eco's work as collected here is found not in his astonishing foresight but in his reasoning.

Books

Graphic Fiction 'The Smell of Starving Boys' Inverts Images and Expectations

Loo Hui Phang emphasizes the nature of image-making from the first panel: an upside landscape as viewed through the inverting lens of the protagonist's camera.

Books

In Today's Intangible Economy, Not Seeing Is Believing

Yet another form of inequality has emerged, and solutions are evasive. But to solve a problem one must first define it. To this end, with Capitalism Without Capital, Haskel and Westlake have begun a necessary conversation.

Books

Don't Google It! How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

Algorithms of Oppression addresses the growing concern about the consequences of commercial control over information and the harm it does to communities.

Books

What's Wrong with Our Food System? Capitalism.

Our food system is working exactly as it should under capitalism.That's the problem. An interview with Food First Director Eric Holt-Gimenez.

Film

Alexander Payne's 'Downsizing' Is No Small Misfire

The new social satire from normally reliable director Alexander Payne is a well-meaning premise in search of a story.

Film

In 'Downsizing' Shrinking Means Big Money and Bigger Problems

Being the size of a dog's chew toy might not be to everybody's taste, but it's certainly a shortcut to a kind of upper middle-class luxury unobtainable for most of humanity.

Books

'Ants Among Elephants' Is a Riveting Account of Left-wing Politics and Casteism in India

Sujatha Gidla's memoir is an example of history as told from down below, by the people who were involved in the labour and caste protests and the women who did the reproductive labour for the revolutionaries.

Film

McDonald's Story 'The Founder' Illustrates Yankee Ingenuity’s Fall and American Innovation’s Rise

Though the word "innovative" is spoken only once in The Founder, this plot point is just one example of how the film deftly skewers the hollow nature of American Innovation, a meretricious form of late capitalist creativity that currently exerts outsized influence on American society.

Books

Dead Man Counting: An Economic Ghost Story

Peter Fleming's new book Homo Economicus attempts to lay zombie capitalism to rest.

Reviews

'A Little History of Economics' Provides a Charming Overview of the Dismal Science

Niall Kishtainy, writing for a general audience, provides a breezy stroll through economic thought, from Plato to Thomas Piketty.

Culture

Football in the Age of Late Capitalism: Field Notes From the 2016 Euro

Behind a veneer of youthful glamour, the Euro all but groaned under the weight of excess global capital, merciless media scrutiny, hyperprofessionalization, domestic French anxieties, and geopolitics.

Politics

How to Save the Media (and Democracy)

The system of media and journalism on which our democracy relies is under threat. French economist Julia Cage surveys the scale of the crisis and proposes a unique solution.

Reviews

And: Phenomenology of the End by Franco Berardi

Imagine orienting yourself on a map, scratching a red "X" to mark your location, and then realizing how precarious your position is, how perilously far you are from where you want to be.

Books

On the Aggressive, Hilarious Theorizing in 'Censorship Now!!'

Ian F. Svenonius' is a refreshing voice amidst the irony-addled sad-sack defeatism of postmodernity.

Reviews

Rounding Up the Gang: 'The Left Hemisphere: Mapping Critical Theory Today'

Razmig Keucheyan's expansive, global survey of critical theory provides an ideal primer for anyone willing to risk diving in to the eddying flows of anti-capitalist thought.

Film

Fascism Is Not Fun: Katniss, Capitalism and Media Blindness

The German silent film classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) eerily displays the same ideological ground as The Hunger Games (2012). In fact, they may be similar cultural markers of the consciousness of these respective civilizations, although they appeared during distant epochs.

Scott Thomas Smith
Film

Are You in a Film or in Reality? Jean-Luc Godard's 'Weekend' Will Have You Wondering

Criterion's splendid edition of Weekend gives insight into the mind of visionary director Jean-Luc Godard, who aimed at nothing less than challenging the dominant social and cinematic paradigms of his time.

Music

Stop Look and Listen: An Interview with Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins is embarking on tour, but this time it's more than music: this time out, Henry Rollins is talking about the joys of capitalism, and why we need to remember how important it is leading up to the election. He tells PopMatters all about his venture ...

Technology

The Survival of the Industrial Sonic in a Deindustrialized West

In the '90s, industrial music crossed over into the mainstream with heavy guitar and massive personalities, but blue collar labor itself was disappearing...

Reviews

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

Joyce Appleby chronicles the development of capitalism (something she sees as far from inevitable) while acknowledging both its lamentable vices and undeniable virtues.

Reviews
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