Tag Archives: Culture

Interview Room

Benjamin Lowy

On assignment, photojournalist Benjamin Lowy has survived roadside bombs, gunfire, and brutal beatings to capture the unrelenting realities of war.

Benjamin Lowy began his career as a photojournalist in 2003. His first assignment was covering the war in Iraq, and since then his work has taken him to Haiti, Afghanistan, Darfur, and dozens of other destinations across the globe.…

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Adventures In Modern Music

The Art House of Kanye West’s ‘Runaway’

In usual fashion, Kanye keeps his every move loaded with theatrics. In the most recent example, he takes a stab at art house cinema. His film version of “Runaway,” the song he debuted live a couple months back during the MTV VMAs, takes the notion of cinematic and art inspiration and mashes them together. The film is Stanley Kubrick meets…

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Adventures In Modern Music

Die Antwoord: Straight From The Horses Piel

Admittedly, I’ve mostly ignored Die Antwoord and the obsession many have had with the South African hip-hop trio the last year and a half. So when Kobus Holnaaier’s short film Straight From The Horses Piel (video below) made its rounds a few weeks back, I paid little attention. I finally took in the film this morning however, and holy shit.…

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Cash Rules Everything

George Carlin on the Ills of Advertising, Culture of Bullshit

“Whoever coined the phrase, ‘Let the buyer beware,’ was probably bleeding from the asshole.” -George Carlin

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Journal

The Lessons of Glenn Danzig

In 1990, I bought my first guitar. It was a black Ibanez RG560. I paid for it with money earned from my paper route, delivering the Pittsburgh Press. But I forgot about sales tax. I always forgot about sales tax when buying things as a kid. My parents covered the difference. I took the guitar home and had nothing…

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Made You Look

Hills Department Store

Hills Department Stores always smelled like mustard and overcooked hot dogs. The snack bar at the front of each location was instant customer repellent, a concession stand teeming with health code violations. But as a kid, that store was like drugs. So many toys, so many toys. Pictured above: Al Leko and Jim McCollough, managers…

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Culture Broke

M.I.A. Talks BP Oil Spill, Arizona Immigration Law, Other Stuff

Last week M.I.A. was interviewed by DJ Skeet on the KIIS FM morning show out of Los Angeles. They talked about stuff, important stuff. And when he wasn’t fawning over her, Skeet even managed to eek out a question or two, mainly focusing on how she’s known for being controversial and political and outspoken, and other stuff like that.…

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Journal

Phil Collins And The Legend of Drowning Man

For years now, rumors have swirled that the Phil Collins song, “In The Air Tonight” from his Face Value album, is based on a real event. Supposedly Collins wrote the song after witnessing an incident in which an unknown man refused to save a swimmer who was drowning. It all seems fairly absurd. However, there’s a full chronology of…

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Journal

Walter White’s Fulminated Mercury Bomb

“What is it?” Tuco asks about the explosive crystal. “Fulminated mercury,” replies Walt. “A little tweak of chemistry.” (via Mister Honk)

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In The Land Of Believers

The Hopeless Sermons Of Pastor Steven L. Anderson

“We got a bunch of leaders who don’t stand up and piss against the wall like a man.” -Steven L. Anderson

After spending five years in a Catholic school, hellfire sermons are old hat. In fact, I used to be able to gauge the skill level of the priest at the pulpit by how quickly I fell…

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Adventures In Modern Music

Isao Tomita’s ‘Firebird Suite’

Isao Tomita is a pioneer in the field of experimental electronic music. In the 1960s, he was an early adopter of synthesizers (specifically the Moog III) after being inspired by the work of composer/electronic musician Wendy Carlos. This past Saturday, I stumbled across a copy of Tomita’s Firebird Suite (1975) on vinyl and had to pick it up. Included below…

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Interview Room

Boogie on the Life and Death of the American Dream

For nearly 20 years, Serbian-born photographer Boogie has documented the lives of people marginalized by society, and those living on the fringe. He has photographed gang members and drug addicts in Brooklyn’s housing projects; neo-Nazi skinheads in Serbia; and transsexual prostitutes in Sao Paulo, Brazil, gaining unfettered access into worlds where outsiders are normally greeted with violence, suspicion, or a…

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Personal Essays

Notes From the Kitchen of the Holiday Inn

For the last several months, I’ve been reading through a clutter of essays and story ideas that I’ve left for dead. Some were abandoned for good reasons. Other pieces, however, just never got my full attention (and probably never will). The other day I found this (read after the jump). It was part of an essay I was writing…

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Cultural Notebook

The Psychedelia, Redemption of Baseball Iconoclast Dock Ellis

Though he was an accomplished all-star pitcher, Ellis had a reputation on and off the field as a shit-talker who thrived on the adversarial relationship between pitcher and batter. As a result, his reputation preceded him — often playing out in vivid drama each time he took the mound.

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Adventures In Modern Music

Clipse debut “Freedom” from Til The Casket Drops

The new Clipse single/video for “Freedom” picks up where Hell Hath No Fury left off. Malice and Pusha-T’s execution in craft remains, as it has for over a decade, some of the best in hip-hop. The Virginia Beach duo consistently releases powerful, resonant hip-hop. They unapologetically rap about women, cars, clothes, and jewelry. But they then counterbalance their swagger…

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Journal

Fear & Self-Loathing In America’s Rust Belt

A new series of personal essays about job loss, mental health, and the undying pursuit of art.

When we drove out of the mountains that morning it was hot, the sun climbing higher in the sky, heating up the plants and the air around us and the metal of our car as it barreled down a neck of Lincoln…

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Burn Hollywood Burn

The Steve-O Files: Celebrity narcissism is seducing America

After a suicidal freefall that landed him in the Cedars-Sinai psych ward last year (following an eight-person intervention that included Johnny Knoxville), post-millennial stuntman Steve-O is attempting to put his life back together. I only learned of Steve-O‚Äôs addiction-fueled meltdown after flipping through the current issue of Spin magazine and stumbling across this article ‚Äî ‚ÄúThe Last Temptation of Steve-O‚Äù…

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Interview Room

Patton Oswalt Talks Media Culture, Corner-Cutting Celebrities

Comedian, actor, and writer Patton Oswalt talks media culture, fame, and the less-than-favorable legacy of American Idol.

It seems lazy to describe Patton Oswalt as an “everyman,” but that image is central to the appeal of his comedy. The laid back demeanor he espouses‚ often punctuated with a pleasant, cherubic smile‚ channels the familiarity of a neighbor or longtime…

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