1203 posts tagged with Culture.
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the saddest song I've ever heard

The Streets of Laredo: The Cowboy's Lament was originally written as the Irish drover balled Bard of Armaugh (or Armagh), which later mutated into A Handful of Laurel, about a young man dying of syphilis in a London hospital, musing back on his days in the alehouses and whorehouses. Immigrants settling in the Appalachians brought their own version, The Unfortunate Rake, sung as early as 1790, about a young soldier dying of mercury poisoning, a result of treatment for venereal disease, who requests a military funeral - a slight but important evolution from the previous version. The current lyrics are most popularly attributed to cowboy Frances Henry "Frank" Maynard, who copyrighted them in 1879. While various versions of the song were popular in the US before Maynard took pen to paper and needle to wax cylinder (under such titles as Locke Hospital, St. James Infirmary Blues, Tom Sherman's Bar and Way Down in Lodorra), his version is the one with which we are most familiar today.

beat the drum slowly, play the fife lowly / sound the death march as you carry me along / cover my body in sweet-smelling posies / for I'm the young (rake, soldier, man, girl, lass, etc) cut down in (his/her) prime (or and I know I've done wrong)

The song has been recorded by pretty much every country, western and folk-identified musical artist since recording music became practical, although the most popular versions must be those by Arlo Guthrie (who once said it was "the saddest song I know," and who sings it on his album Son of the Wind) and Johnny Cash (who added a few verses to his 1965 version, improving the song a bit and making it more emotionally complex). Roger McGuinn's creative commons-licensed version is one of my personal favorites, as is Bobby Sutliff's version.
posted by luriete on Aug 3, 2005 - 26 comments

Today's fear, uncertainty, and doubt brought to you by the internets.

Internets: Serious Business! These last few months have seen an increase in the attacks on the participatory culture of the web. The mainstream establishments, both political and corporate, have been looking with a cautious eye towards this new developing place. So far we've established that blogs can get you fired, keep you from getting a job, give pedophiles a place to ruminate on snatching your children, threaten journalistic integrity *snicker*, endanger the marketing , product planning, and product life cycles for automobile manufacturers, can infect your computer with virii, and have all sorts of negative consequences. The internets (both of them) can cause your children to be charmed, seduced, and addicted by readily available porn, and can also provide access to extremist radical and fundamentalist groups, prompting Congress to discuss more restrictive legislation (NSFW), but only for the porn. It has even been claimed that the web has given "Al Qaeda wings". P2P is blamed as causing record loses by the music industry, despite their investments in local station marketing payola. The FEC has held public hearings attended by both hemispheres of the blogosphere (amazingly in near-agreement) discussing the regulation of political speech online. The figureheads of a certain political party fear that their affiliated slice of the blogosphere may be too far-left. Newspapers and TV are leading the charge, with the internet standing in for pharmaceutical scares, yo-yo diets, and missing white women. The question is, how will the libertarian-minded digerati respond to this very real attack on the essence of web culture?
posted by rzklkng on Jul 29, 2005 - 34 comments

Giant Woman Licks Man

Post No Bills. At the intersection of life and advertising one may unexpectedly find art, or at least humor. Henry Ho shines a light on it. (42 pages. Or view all thumbnails together)
posted by taz on Jul 29, 2005 - 15 comments

Smart gateway to black lit

Zora Neale Hurston's Glossary of Harlem Slang. Profiles of black writers including Audre Lorde, Chester Himes, The Last Poets and Linton Kwesi Johnson. The complete list of Coretta Scott King children's book award winners. Lots of informative off-site links. A lively forum filled with juicy gossip, among other pleasures. Just a few things you'll find at the African American Literature Book Club.
posted by mediareport on Jul 27, 2005 - 11 comments

Not for veggies..

The best American hamburgers? The American Hamburger is one of those things that I truly miss about the US and one of those things that we Brits try to copy but, for some reason, just never seem to get right.

Forget the golden-arches, we need some proper hamburger joints serving up half-pound burgers, real milkshakes and endless refills...
posted by Nugget on Jul 26, 2005 - 119 comments

Only the best ideas win.

The common desk. [huge quicktime movie]
posted by gwint on Jul 18, 2005 - 22 comments

Of matrícula accounts and ITIN loans

Embracing Illegals: Companies are getting hooked on the buying power of 11 million undocumented immigrants - The Underground Labor Force Is Rising To The Surface [pdf]
posted by kliuless on Jul 11, 2005 - 30 comments

Stanton K. Pragmatron!!

Hey, Soba has a website! Is what I thought when I finished Joe Sacco's War's End -- a heartbreakingly frank, lovingly illustrated snapshot of life during the Bosnian War . Naturally, I had to see this S(h)oba fellow's work. Of them all, I dig this one most, prolly.
posted by undule on Jul 7, 2005 - 9 comments

God Bless Americana.

God Bless Americana. This 4th of July, celebrate the true America with Charles Phoenix, who's been collecting found slides of other Americans' vacations from the 50s and 60s.
posted by herc on Jul 4, 2005 - 4 comments

FOOT FETISH FRIDAY

Do you want to know what the great tennis players wore on their feet? I mean, do you like sneakers? Do you really like sneakers?
posted by Rothko on Jun 24, 2005 - 7 comments

I'm naked under this burka...

They hate Flickr for it's Freedom. An ISP (and government controlled monopoly) in the United Arab Emirates has decided to ban access to Flickr for it's citizens, apparently due to the complaints of a couple of UAE expats in the UK and Canada. Of course, said blockage won't apply to them. Most interestingly, they blame the rest of the world's non-flesh-fearing photographers as opposed to their ISP (and by proxy their own oppressive government.) Now Flickr joins Skype, AtomFilms, Friendster, AOL, and anything from Israels top-level domain, as outlawed content and services in the UAE (related study here). Well, if they don't care, why should we? Via linkfilter.
posted by rzklkng on Jun 22, 2005 - 28 comments

Ohayoo gozaimasu!

Tokyo Times is an insightful, well-written blog dedicated to Japanese culture, books, current affairs, news, sex, random images and observations of life, as seen through the eyes of an English expat living in Tokyo.
posted by darkstar on Jun 18, 2005 - 13 comments

All you need is love.

The Art of Loving.
What is the problem with modern man? In 1956, psychologist Erich Fromm questioned Western society's ability to foster love: "If we speak about love in contemporary Western culture, we mean to ask whether the social structure of Western civilization and the spirit resulting from it are conductive to the development of love. To raise the question is to answer it in the negative."
Almost 50 years later, what can we say about our culture now? Valentine's Day spending totaled $13 billion this year, but it seems modern man has not yet found love. Instead he fills it with "entertainment" and forms of pseudo-love which ultimately alienate him from others. Media from dawn to dusk: Media consumption averages ten hours per person per day in America. What's more, Americans are “media multi-tasking”: using different media at the same time. Ritalin Sales have soared. Americans carry an average $8,562 in debt on their credit cards. Hummers. Bling bling. Crunk juice. Hooking up. Baby mamas. Tweens. Obesity. Binge Drinking. Depression.
posted by MarkO on Jun 14, 2005 - 61 comments

Billboards

Billboards by Ron English.
posted by jikel_morten on Jun 12, 2005 - 17 comments

Starbucks and the Revolution

Coffee Starbucks and the Revolution PDF
The Tatler. First post: April 12, 1709.
...wherein I shall from time to time report and consider all matters of what kind soever that shall occur to me, and publish such my advices and reflections every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday in the week for the convenience of the post. I have also resolved to have something which may be of entertainment to the fair sex...
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 11, 2005 - 10 comments

The web is California, writ large.

The web is California, writ large. This is about to change.
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 8, 2005 - 54 comments

Soldiers of Christ

Soldiers of Christ : "Have you ever switched your toothpaste brand, just for the fun of it?" Pastor Ted asks. Admit it, he insists. All the way home, you felt a "secret little thrill," as excited questions ran through your mind: "Will it make my teeth whiter? My breath fresher?" In this sharp article from Harpers Magazine, Pastor Ted Haggard, head of New Life Church and the World Prayer Team, describes the delirious thrill of deciding upon which brand of worship is right for you. We also meet some of the members of his flock, including one lady with big, brown eyes, eyes with which she claims to have seen "gay sex demons." (A belief more common than you might think.)

Who is this Pastor Ted, who speaks with the White House weekly? He writes books about "free market theology," he oversees the World Prayer Center, and as head of the National Association of Evangelicals, he leads the most powerful religious lobbying group in the United States.
posted by JHarris on May 30, 2005 - 36 comments

sexual politics

Sexuality, politics, and memory in Twentieth-Century Germany. The introductory chapter of Dagmar Herzog's brilliant, deeply researched, and beautifully written book, and an informative review by Thomas Laqueur. (via nextbook)
posted by semmi on May 27, 2005 - 7 comments

Where America Meets the World

Foreign Exchange TV with Fareed Zakaria - I'd heard about it, but thought it was only showing on OPB; checked again and lo and behold all the episodes are online! Watched a couple episodes so far; they're pretty good, esp if you're into foreign policy and stuff :D
posted by kliuless on May 26, 2005 - 4 comments

After all, it's the wave of the future, wave of the future, wave of the future, ...

Steven Levy and Mark Pesce on the future of television. Oh and Conan O'brien! :D [via]
posted by kliuless on May 23, 2005 - 6 comments

Chautauquas & Nascar

Chautauquas, and (as early as the 1830's) Lyceums, were perhaps America's first experiments in a truly Mass Culture. Everyone from this guy to this guy took the stage.
These days? Budweiser and Home Depot continue this fine American tradition.
Hey, at least its not a Medicine Show.
posted by gilgamix on May 22, 2005 - 9 comments

The ransack of Italy

The ransack of Italy is finally becoming big news. The Getty had a reputation for buying Italian antiquities of "uncertain provenance". It recently returned some treasures, but has remained in the market; it also kept the Morgantina Aphrodite. But, perhaps, not for much longer. Marion True, a senior curator there, has just been indicted by the Italian authorities "on criminal charges involving the acquisition of precious antiquities".
posted by andrew cooke on May 20, 2005 - 10 comments

SAMMY: "That's democracy?"

"I am an American, so that is why I make films about America. America is sitting on our world, I am making films that have to do with America (because) 60% of my life is America. So I am in fact an American, but I can't go there to vote, I can't change anything. We are a nation under influence and under a very bad influence… because Mr. Bush is an asshole and doing very idiotic things."
Lars Von Trier introduces his new film at the Cannes Film Festival: «Manderlay» picks up where «Dogville» left off, with the character originated by Nicole Kidman -- now played by Bryce Dallas Howard -- stumbling onto a plantation that time forgot, where slavery still operates in the 1930s. The film (5 MB .pdf file, official pressbook) ends, as Dogville did, with David Bowie’s Young Americans played over a photomontage of images that range from a Ku Klux Klan meeting to the Rodney King beating, George Bush at prayer and Martin Luther King at his final rest, American soldiers in Vietnam and the Gulf, the Twin Towers. More inside.
posted by matteo on May 16, 2005 - 69 comments

Modernist design and architecture

Design Observer and the New York Times (reg. req'd) on modernism.
posted by Tlogmer on May 16, 2005 - 4 comments

Evangelicals in America

Earthly Empires: How evangelical churches are borrowing from the business playbook - "The triumph of evangelical Christianity is profoundly reshaping many aspects of American politics and society... This year, the 16.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention plans to 'plant' 1,800 new churches using by-the-book niche-marketing tactics. 'We have cowboy churches for people working on ranches, country music churches, even several motorcycle churches aimed at bikers', says Martin King, a spokesman for the Southern Baptists' North American Mission Board... Many of today's evangelicals hope to expand their clout even further. They're also gaining by taking their views into Corporate America. Exhibit A: the recent clash at software giant Microsoft."
posted by kliuless on May 15, 2005 - 35 comments

video killed the video star

The Found Footage Festival is a live comedy event and screening featuring odd and hilarious clips from videotapes found at thrift stores and garage sales and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout the country. [note: quicktime, profanity, accidental mutilation, bad advertising, burger joint rap music, mullets] main page
posted by crunchland on May 10, 2005 - 21 comments

Editor of Jesuit Magazine Leaves After Complaints

Articles of Faith "By inviting articles that covered different sides of disputed issues, Father Reese helped make America Magazine a forum for intelligent discussion of questions facing the Catholic Church and the country today." Thomas J. Reese's policy -- to present both sides of the discussion -- apparentlly "did not sit well with Vatican authorities". Reese, a Jesuit and a political scientist, had made a point of publishing both sides of the debate on a range of subjects, some of them quite delicate for a Catholic magazine -- gay priests, stem-cell research, the responsibility of Catholic politicians confronting laws on abortion and same-sex unions and a Vatican document (the Dominus Iesus declaration) which outlined the idea that divine truth is most fully revealed in Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular.
Reese, who had described last month the Vatican as behaving like the cranky owner of a good restaurant, resigned yesterday as editor of the magazine. More inside.
posted by matteo on May 9, 2005 - 17 comments

Photoshop, and our increasingly mundane reality.

Greg's Digital Portfolio Here's the way to make everybody unhappy with their own life. With Photoshop and other imaging tools, the advertising industry has implanted images of such impossible perfection that the things we encounter in our lives seem somehow tawdry and inqdequate. Greg is a "digital pre-press" artist that manipulates images to make them prettier, smoother, and more appealing--he makes the imperfect look perfect. On one hand, I am in awe of the command he has of his craft. But just as waxed apples make real apples seem uhealthy and crappy, what do such images of digitally mediated reality do for our relationship with the real world?
posted by curtm on May 9, 2005 - 41 comments

Vote For The Worst

Vote For The Worst American Idol contestant and be a foot solider against cornball programming. In the battle between an Internet movement and television producers, so far the rouge site has the lead. But as we get closer to the show's finale, can the contrarians keep the worst contestants in the mix?
posted by herc on May 7, 2005 - 23 comments

Singularity

According to the developmental spiral we are heading towards an unfathomable point in time known as singularity. Could the futurists and science fiction writers such as Vernon Vinge be right?
posted by ttopher on May 6, 2005 - 57 comments

Is it their hair?

What's the matter with Liberals? An article by Thomas Frank, author of What's the Matter With Kansas, and previously linked here. Well researched, and worth arguing over. via MoFi
posted by klangklangston on May 5, 2005 - 48 comments

Whatcha doin' tonight?

Whatcha doin' tonight? Me, I think I'll mosey over the block and a half to the Pit and take in the vibes at the Gathering of Nations Pow-Wow. Might even try to score some peyote. No, I'm not trying to reinforce a stereotype; I'm truly interested in the experience. Besides, I'm descended from Sequoyah - we're on the Dawes Rolls and everything. Ha! Who am I kidding? I'm just another stupid white girl.
posted by postmodernmillie on Apr 29, 2005 - 10 comments

Pakistani truck art

Trucks for those who like art that moves.
posted by TimothyMason on Apr 27, 2005 - 11 comments

Open Source Culture

Culture by the people, for the people. We all know that there are a gazillion blogs out there, with people talking about anything and everything, frequently to an audience of one. Those same text based blogs are incorporating video as well. People are beginning to organize their internet not through search engine algorithims, but by their own tags. There's also a dedicated cadrey of partisan and non-partisan "amateur journalism" sites. Then you have full fledged communities focused to specific subjects, holding an unbelievable depth of knowledge and opinions. With entire encyclopedias available online, and with smaller topic-centric wiki's available, can the creation and dissemination of audience authored content be far behind? Witness the growth of Flickr, the probable success of Vimeo, people programming their own radio stations and/or shows, the increasing awareness and use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by plain ol' citizens, the courting of TiVo by Google and Yahoo (to share homemovies and pictures, perhaps?), open source news sites like Take Bake the News, NowPublic (for royalty free images to accompany content), Downhill Battle, Our Media ( a place to store your content), and open-source sounds and sights. Could there eventually be enough worthwhile content to break us free of a corporate-delivered culture?
posted by rzklkng on Apr 25, 2005 - 35 comments

Gwen Stefani's appropriation of Japanese stuff

Salon (with letters) on Gwen Stefani's clueless appropriation of Japan-ness.
posted by Tlogmer on Apr 13, 2005 - 71 comments

Bare NESessities

I am 8 bit is a celebration of the pixelated graphics of 80s videogames, at LA's Gallery Nineteen Eighty Eight. A hundred artists have produced paintings, sculptures and designs inspired by the two-dimensional imagery of the pre-PlayStation era. The exhibition runs from April 19 until May 20. More information, including highlights from the gallery, appear at Game Informer. It remains to be seen if the other ninety-nine artists can match the quality of Sean Clarity's exceptional reworking of the cover to NES classic Excitebike.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 3, 2005 - 18 comments

Indian Arranged Marriages

A look at arranged marriages for Indian-Americans.
posted by daksya on Mar 30, 2005 - 26 comments

Thoroughly Rehearsed Human Combustion

Crispin Sartwell is a cryptic and sensational man. The Chair of Humanities and Sciences at the Maryland Institute College of Art, he has translated the Tao Te Ching, published philosophy papers and books, maintained pages on hip hop, founded the American Nihilist Party (and gave a speech to young Democrats urging them to reconsider their votes for John Kerry), taught courses on conjuring and illusion, etc. etc. See also his essay on the pagan cult of mathematics and his thought experiment on music.
posted by painquale on Mar 26, 2005 - 17 comments

dark ages coming back to get ya

"In the end, it's the audience that counts." Imax theater chains take imaginary sides in the pretend controversy over evolution.
posted by all-seeing eye dog on Mar 25, 2005 - 126 comments

Just say charge it!

It came from the 1971 Sears Catalog!! Child models of the damned! Tacky bedspreads. Gracious women.The Nursery of Death. Lamps and awful paintings. At home wear - you wouldn't be caught dead outside the house wearing these. Pages and pages of incredibly yucky things people bought and put in their homes. I know, I was there. (Underwear links questionable at work, maybe.)
posted by pyramid termite on Mar 20, 2005 - 64 comments

Piles of Polish Posters (Plakaty) Posted Presently.

Freedom on the Fence: The Polish Poster. While we're at it: The history and culture of the Polish poster and an analysis of American Films in Polish Posters. Or, if you'd prefer, The Classic Polish Film Poster database (where the Disney/Children's film posters are quite lovely). Also, The Wallace Library at the Rochester Institute of Technology has a fantastic searchable and browse-able database, with many hi-res images. Finally, some other Polish Poster Galleries. (What's that? You want more? You want artist-specific galleries? Okay. Here's work by Mieczyslaw Gorowski, Piotr Kunce, Wieslaw Walkuski, and Jan Sawka. Oh, you wanted Communist-era Polish propaganda posters? Fine. Here ya go.) [previous MeFi discussion on Polish film posters; also, some of the images from these links may be NSFW, depending on how S your W environment is.]
posted by .kobayashi. on Mar 13, 2005 - 10 comments

Precariously balanced atop Öolong

People of the pancake: "I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self—evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the 'instantly available'. A new self that needs to contain less and less of an inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance—as we all become 'pancake people'—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button." Writing on the Edge, Richard Foreman and George Dyson speculate on a 'thin-client' view of the self where most cultural processing occurs not only somewhere else, but by something else! [reality checks provided by Kevin Kelly, Jaron Lanier, Steven Johnson, Marvin Minsky and Douglas Rushkoff, among others :]
posted by kliuless on Mar 13, 2005 - 10 comments

We eat ham and jam and spam a lot

We're Knights of the Round Table
We dance whene'er we're able.
We do routines and chorus scenes
With footwork impeccable.
We dine well here in Camelot.
We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot.
We're Knights of the Round Table.
Our shows are formidable,
But many times we're given rhymes
That are quite unsingable.
We're opera mad in Camelot.
We sing from the diaphragm a lot.
In war we're tough and able,
Quite indefatigable.
Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable.
It's a busy life in Camelot.
posted by terrapin on Mar 11, 2005 - 43 comments

same time, different channel

Sometimes it's hard for me to conceive that other contemporaneous people on this planet lead lives so dramatically different from my own. What if this or this or this constituted your daily commute? Or if this or this were among the challenges you faced in your daily job? The native people and arctic wildlife galleries offer a glimpse of the past preserved. More wonders at Bryan & Cherry Alexander Photography.
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 5, 2005 - 14 comments

Collect Britain

Collect Britain 'presents 90,000 images and sounds from the British Library, chosen to evoke places in the UK and beyond.' Dialects, gardens, sketches, stamps, and all kinds of stuff.
posted by plep on Mar 4, 2005 - 4 comments

Ties Can Play at Spat's Game

A Loosening of Ties by Willy J Spat. "For over two thousand years... the necktie... has been the most widely used, and the most multicultural of all phallic symbols." Neckties throughout the ages from invention to rebellion.
posted by nthdegx on Mar 2, 2005 - 20 comments

The ultimate in punk-appropriation

Not hip to to new trends? Avril Lavigne's music sounding terrifyingly alien? APM ("Music Solutions for Business™") explains Punk (and other current trends), with helpful original music.
posted by Tlogmer on Mar 2, 2005 - 29 comments

The End Of Sexual Taboos: Erotic and Pornographic Cinema

The End Of Sexual Taboos: Erotic and Pornographic Cinema. Not safe for work.
posted by nthdegx on Feb 26, 2005 - 9 comments

Don't get my sympathy, Hanging out the 15th floor

The best music videos ever produced. A list, for those that like to watch.
posted by five dollars worth of thank you cake on Feb 23, 2005 - 60 comments

Pico Project

Pico's Brain. The "Discourse on the Dignity of Man" (1486) by Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) is considered the "Manifesto of the Renaissance" and a key text of Renaissance Humanism. The Discourse merits attention today precisely on account of its affirmation that human nature, which is in itself indeterminate and weak, comes alive and obtains its identity through the plurality of human cultures, each representing customs that, though distinct, are essentially identical. Hence the possibility of harmony and grounds for "peace" among cultures. The Pico Project makes accessible a complete resource for the reading and interpretation of the Discourse within its own context, from an initial encounter through direct contact with the original text, presented here in its first printed edition (Bologna 1496) of which there exist no extant manuscripts. Of course, Pico was also a Kabbalistic scholar (Umberto Eco is not a fan of Pico's kabbalistic work .pdf file). More inside.
posted by matteo on Feb 19, 2005 - 8 comments

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