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15 posts tagged with criticism and culture. (View popular tags)
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on literature and elitism

These days, the idea of being a “good reader” or a “good critic” is very much out of fashion — not because we believe that such creatures do not exist, but because we all identify as both. The machine of consumerism is designed to encourage us all to believe that our preferences are significant and self-revealing; that a taste for Coke over Pepsi, or for KFC over McDonald’s, means something about us; that our tastes comprise, in sum, a kind of aggregate expression of our unique selfhood. We are led to believe that our brand loyalties are the result of a deep, essential affinity between the consumer and product — this soap is “you”; this bank is “yours” — and social networking affords us countless opportunities to publicise and justify these brand loyalties as partial explanations of “who we are”.
posted by latkes on Feb 12, 2014 - 68 comments

"The truth is that I intend never to write a negative book review again"

The very fact that reading and writing are in jeopardy, or simply evolving, means that to try to put the brakes of old criteria on a changing situation is going to be either obstructive or boring. In our critical age of almost manic invention, the most effective criticism of what, in the critic’s eyes, is a bad book would be to simply ignore it, while nudging better books toward the fulfillment of what the critic understands to be each book’s particular creative aim.
Lee Siegel buries the hatchet-job.
posted by RogerB on Sep 26, 2013 - 50 comments

"I was highly suspicious of this book when I first started it."

V.V. Ganeshananthan at The Margins on writing outside of what you know and the literary establishment's willingness to suspend disbelief and praise authenticity of narrative. As Gracie Jin put it, "In a society masquerading as post-racial, it is still only the white man who can speak authoritatively for every man."
posted by spamandkimchi on Sep 22, 2013 - 14 comments

International Art English

"The internationalized art world relies on a unique language. Its purest articulation is found in the digital press release. This language has everything to do with English, but it is emphatically not English. It is largely an export of the Anglophone world and can thank the global dominance of English for its current reach. But what really matters for this language—what ultimately makes it a language—is the pointed distance from English that it has always cultivated. " - Triple Canopy magazine on why do artists' statments and press releases sound so utterly odd and confusing.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 26, 2013 - 45 comments

LOLHEHHEHHELLLOOOOO, WORLD

10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (a collaborative book by Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost (previously, previously, previously), Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas (of Facade), Casey Reas, Mark Sample and Noah Vawter) uses a single line of code as a basis for pontificating on creative computing and the impact of software in popular culture. 10 PRINT's content is available as a PDF (50 MB). Pictures via Casey Reas' Flickr.
posted by mrgrimm on Nov 29, 2012 - 47 comments

Žižuku seems simple, but in fact it is supremely complicated.

Let’s play Žižuku! Vaguely similar in theory to the Postmodern Text Generator, but practiced individually, rather than Markov-chain-generated text. The creator, Julian Baggini, describes Žižuku thus: "The rules are simple: pick on any widely received idea and find the most clever-sounding way to invert it, so as to create a paradox, or at least the semblance of one." [more inside]
posted by exlotuseater on Nov 17, 2012 - 21 comments

Evening the Odds

Evening the Odds: Is there a politics of inequality? (Nicholas Lemann in New Yorker)
posted by davidjmcgee on Apr 24, 2012 - 18 comments

"Poetic excess takes the devil’s side, in the Anglo-American mind, of the Artificiality/Authenticity binary, and thus is highly suspect."

Cultural critic Mark Dery discusses his new essay collection. Interview by R. U. Sirius. Dery has previously written on the cultural influence of Edward Gorey, the effects of social networking, the popularity of cephalopods, dead malls, and Surrealism and the Visual Unconscious.
posted by Kitty Stardust on Apr 9, 2012 - 3 comments

"My greatest regret is that I'm not a sociopath."

"The fantasy of the sociopath, then, represents an attempt to escape from the inescapably social nature of human experience." Adam Kotsko on Why We Love Sociopaths.
posted by Kitty Stardust on Apr 4, 2012 - 56 comments

J. Hoberman Fired by Village Voice

Yesterday, the Village Voice fired J. Hoberman, long-time champion of independent and experimental film (and its senior film critic of 24 years). Hoberman promises that there's a blog in his future. The Voice has an archive of his writing for them since 1998. Here are his Top 10 lists for the years 1977 to 2006, and here they are for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Here is a compilation of his advice for aspiring film critics. A critic who came of age in an era when the lines between "film critic" and "film scholar" were blurrier, Hoberman has also written books about American movies and the Cold War and the forgotton history of Yiddish cinema. Here are some interviews with him about his work.
posted by bubukaba on Jan 5, 2012 - 42 comments

Let's Get Critical

Let's Get Critical is "a new Longform.org partner site dedicated to surfacing the best cultural criticism on the web."
posted by Ahab on Sep 1, 2011 - 13 comments

the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon; the moon is beautiful

What Good Are the Arts? asks John Carey’s recent book of the same name. The New Criterion think Carey’s thesis is informed by cynical political motives rather than earnest convictions, and accuses Carey of dabbling in the risky art of aesthetic relativism: Obviously, art is ultimately about “the search for truth” (a lesson we’d do well to remember before society falls apart). But as Carey and others point out to the contrary, the Third Reich was all about art—and yet, art under the Third Reich had precious little to do with “searching for truth.” So just what good are the arts? Here’s what a few others have to say on the subject.
posted by saulgoodman on Oct 4, 2006 - 45 comments

Writing "the girl"

Eight rules for writing a female comics character worth reading Karen Healey lays a cursory path for avoiding the major pitfalls of women in comics. Part of the larger Girl Wonder site (previously). Also good is Designated Sidekick's takedown of IGN.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 21, 2006 - 59 comments

CTHEORY, the international journal of theory, technology, and culture

CTHEORY the international journal of theory, technology, and culture.
Recent articles:
The Ambiguous Panopticon: Foucault and the Codes of Cyberspace
Posterchild for the Future: Living with Michael Jackson
The Post-Cyborg Path to Deconism
posted by signal on Mar 14, 2003 - 22 comments

Cultural Commentary in 10 Easy Lessons

Cultural Commentary in 10 Easy Lessons "....there's an astonishing abundance of cultural criticism these days -- in magazines, newspapers, web sites, blogs, television....if you removed the five or 10 most abused forms of criticism, there would be a deafening silence. Or perhaps room for other kinds of commentary to grow..." With so much published and available these days. it's damn near impossible to sound original.
posted by Voyageman on Dec 15, 2002 - 16 comments

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