Monthly Archives: October 2015

The co-optation of populism.

In the past, ideas dangerous to those with cultural influence have been subject to direct and purposeful exercises of redefinition. It’s not so easy to see that this has in fact happened in the past outside of inherited folklore: a ‘fog of lore’ settles down over history, which is constantly unfolding under a blanket of […]

On the Limitless Joys of Awfulness

Sometimes in truckstop diners or restaurants geared toward tourist or transient one sees those games with the wooden board and the pegs. Sometimes the game’s called “baseball”, sometimes it’s called something else. Sometimes it’s called “baseball” but it’s a different game. It consists of a bunch of plastic pegs in a wooden triangle. Waiters and […]

The Germaine Greer Controversy: A Drive-By Man-On-Mansplaining for Our Reading Dudebros

In high school my Social Studies teacher, who also happened to coach the football team, showed us a TV documentary on the 1980 USSR vs. US Olympic hockey championship game. This was the only event that got across “how the Cold War actually felt” he claimed. I don’t remember much of the documentary now, but […]

I’ve got the juice

I will take my name and leave it in the sun. It will become dry and porous. I will bring my name in, I will soak it. I will pack it and pack it, more and more. Then I’ll squueeeeze it out, wring it out with gloved hands. And I’ll sell the juice, tiny bottle […]

Kitsch and the Uncanny Valley

Driving along the main stretch of North Conway, New Hampshire this past weekend I passed a “theme hotel”. My girlfriend and I discussed tackiness. I’d transcribe our conversation here but I think a picture of the place will suffice. Driving through the country I saw several of these types of buildings in tourist downs dotting […]

More Than a Record, Less Than Your Soul: On the Preservation of Culture

A good friend of mine owns a 1985 Plymouth Voyager woody. It was one of the first mini-vans ever produced or so he tells me. I don’t know enough about cars to say. Perhaps someone can enlighten me in the comments section. It has a nice look; I’ve always liked woodies. But the paneling is […]

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm Take 1 (1968)

Many fairly awful foreign films have nonetheless gained a large cultural cache in foreign countries simply for their being foreign; and as the process of orientalizing another culture obscures the particulars of the culture orientalized, so does the naming of the process “orientalizing” obscure the particularities of how different cultures orientalize. In an incident that […]

Indigènes (2006): The Betrayal of Charles de Gaulle’s Muslim Soldiers

In the closing minute of the classic Hollywood film Casablanca, the American saloon owner Rick Blaine, and the opportunistic Vichy police captain Louis Renault, walk off into the mist to join the Free French garrison at Brazzaville. If you’re an ignorant American like me, you probably had to look that one up. Where the hell […]

Thoughts on the Democratic Debate Having Not Seen It and Only Read the Press Coverage Afterwards

Political debates are, for me anyhow, a bit like the movie Napoleon Dynamite. Let me explain. Some of you might be too young or too old to fully appreciate the empty momentum with which Napoleon Dynamite swept the cultural landscape of the young suburban idlers at the time of its release. Maybe you were in […]

living with him

face like cloth stretched around a stone shining pale pleading white all winter in my room with the sound, smoke, and sarcasm. skin, like, tunnels on its glow creeps through the room like winds, glowing. glows like cloth around a light. five months like skin crawling i stay in the room. the glow reminds me […]