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Probably not quite a fiasco!

Atlanta's Theat(er|re) community is unloading on a local Christmas show. [more inside]
posted by bovious on Dec 11, 2007 - 32 comments

Boy Howdy, what a mess

You'd think news of a Creem Magazine retrospective book would be greeted with cries of glee. You'd be wrong. Occasional staff shutterbug Bob Matheu licensed rights to use the name of the beloved, iconoclastic Detroit rock zine years after it ceased to be relevant, but despite occasional "Creem is back" announcements, only produced a website. [more inside]
posted by Scram on Dec 2, 2007 - 12 comments

Pen point dulled

Stylus Magazine is closed. Home to some of the best writing about rockism, and Rasputin, slsking and The Stranger. Greatest hits/bluffer's guide here.
posted by klangklangston on Nov 2, 2007 - 24 comments

Pencils down, please

National Novel Writing Month (seen before) starts Nov. 1. The goal: complete a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, Nov. 30. If you'd like to start, or are otherwise working on a novel, Sean Lindsay and others would like you to please stop. [more inside]
posted by kurumi on Oct 31, 2007 - 42 comments

The New Comedy of the Sexes

David Denby and Joe Queenan on Knocked Up and the new genre of romantic comedy.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Oct 6, 2007 - 89 comments

Blame it on Bklyn.

'These are a few of my least favorite things.' Melvin Jules Bukiet shares his thoughts on some contemporary writers, some of whom call the borough of Brooklyn home. Writers with names like Foer, Sebold and Eggers, among others. His thoughts are mostly negative. [via]
posted by From Bklyn on Sep 26, 2007 - 123 comments

Going after Gore

Going After Gore "Al Gore couldn't believe his eyes: as the 2000 election heated up, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other top news outlets kept going after him, with misquotes ("I invented the Internet"), distortions (that he lied about being the inspiration for Love Story), and strangely off-the-mark needling, while pundits such as Maureen Dowd appeared to be charmed by his rival, George W. Bush. For the first time, Gore and his family talk about the effect of the press attacks on his campaign—and about his future plans—to the author, who finds that many in the media are re-assessing their 2000 coverage."
posted by chunking express on Sep 4, 2007 - 168 comments

Siskel & Ebert & Roeper & You

On At The Movies this past weekend Richard Roeper announced: 1) The past 20 years of At The Movies (formerly Siskel & Ebert & the Movies) is going to be archived for free download online. That's several thousand reviews -- from Adventures in Babysitting to Zodiac. Unfortunately, the first ten years of of the show was poorly preserved. Ebert writes, "Starting Thursday, Aug. 2, visitors will be able to search for and watch all of those past debates, including the film clips that went along with them, plus the “ten best” and other special shows we did. The new archive will be at www.atthemoviestv.com, and will be the web’s largest collection of streaming reviews." 2) Roger Ebert will be a guest for an online chat Thursday at 8:00 Eastern (7:00 Central). You can submit questions in advance here. The chat will be at this link.  (Until the actual archive shows up online, you can enjoy these links.)
posted by McLir on Aug 1, 2007 - 75 comments

lepidopterist considers literature

Christopher Plummer as Nabokov lecturing on Kafka
posted by vronsky on Jul 5, 2007 - 18 comments

Crawdaddy!

Crawdaddy, one of the first rock criticism magazines, has made a comeback online, including some selected articles by the magazine's founder, Paul Williams. The SF Weekly has mixed feelings about the magazine's return. (via largehearted boy)
posted by sleepy pete on May 30, 2007 - 7 comments

My white block is different from your white block.

What if Apple is bad for design? Or at least not good?
posted by Extopalopaketle on Apr 27, 2007 - 83 comments

Is the 21st century making you miserable?

Is the 21st century making you miserable? This young fellow may know why. Is he right, folks?
posted by wallstreet1929 on Feb 9, 2007 - 51 comments

"When I hear the word 'designer', I reach for my chainsaw."

The backlash against design. Are you Anti-fluff or Anti-stuff?
posted by hydrophonic on Jan 12, 2007 - 82 comments

Where's Walter? Beating a Dead Meme

Where's Waldo? Reflections on Copies and Authenticity in a Digital Environment. Consider for a moment The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction (JSTOR PDF here) by Douglas Davis. Alternatively, of course there is The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction (alternative link) by Robert Luxemberg. Not to be outdone, Charles Alexander Moffat recently added to the discussion with The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction. I hope all of the authors mentioned were able to make it to the ATA's fundraiser last year called The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction. Some people are willing to admit that it's not just all about the Benjamin^.
posted by illovich on Nov 29, 2006 - 12 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

Woo-ooo-ooo yeah yeah yeah

No language, just sound: How writer Ned Raggett came to ignore the lyrics.
posted by klangklangston on Sep 6, 2006 - 79 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

Duuuuuuuude!

Bible Dudes. I'm a Bible Scholar, a Scriptural caller, I got a lot of books but not a lot of dollar. Things from antiquity you know they be ravin', I throw around words like sitz-im-leben, A bazillion languages are cloggin' my head, All of my heroes have been a long time dead. Come on along now, all the Bibledudes' buddies, Cuz Yo! We gonna rap BIBLICAL STUDIES!
posted by ozomatli on Apr 14, 2006 - 34 comments

Love The New World or Die!

"It is nothing less than a generation-defining event.... It is this era’s 2001: A Space Odyssey." Even as the second, shorter cut of Terrence Malick's Pocahontas epic is slinking out of theaters, The New World is dividing and confounding critics, audiences, and bloggers: "The New World is my new religion." - "The New World separates the wheat from chaff." - "The first necessary film of this young year." The Village Voice's J. Hoberman observes the growing cult, Dave Kehr of the New York Times weighs in and gets testy. Matt Zoller Seitz responds. In the meantime, Malick is reportedly preparing a third, longer cut for the DVD.
posted by muckster on Mar 14, 2006 - 55 comments

The Marmaduke-id and the Phil/society-superego combat each other in the person of the Dottie-ego.

Wondermark An Illustrated Weekly Jocularity. While you're there, be sure to check out Malki's Comic Script Doctor columns (in particular his Freudian interpretation of Marmaduke).
posted by brundlefly on Jan 29, 2006 - 15 comments

Textual Criticism and the Reliability of Scripture

Reconstructing Aunt Sally's Secret Recipe. Addressing the Retranslations Fallacy, a common misconception about how the Bible we read has been handed down to us. [via]
posted by brownpau on Jan 23, 2006 - 64 comments

Curse you Mr. Fantastic, and your pal Jesus Christ too!

The Antichrist Checklist : The most recent entry in Slacktivist's extremely insightful and entertaining series on mocking and deconstructing the Left Behind books. Being written from the perspective of a non-fundie Christian just makes it even more powerful. Slacky reveals how manufactured the cooked-up, hacked-together "prophecy," that fuels the series is. If you believe all that nonsense, and can make it through this series with your wacky premillennial dispensationalist beliefs intact, then I'm sorry but there is no hope for you.

Highlights of this week's installment, the best I've seen in a while: the antichrist, the paucity of the biblical evidence for him/it, and this sentence: "The composite sketch derived from all these descriptions yields a portrait that looks a little like Nebuchadnezzar, a little like Antiochus Epiphanes, a little like Nero or Diocletian, and a little like Victor von Doom."
posted by JHarris on Aug 19, 2005 - 24 comments

Confabulate it!

The Confabulators. They Are Confabulators!! They Write About Music!! They Have Come From The Decemberists Board!! Ahhhh! It began on a message board (reg. required). All the latest news about The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, and now, more! Their latest entry: A review of Pitchfork's review of Sufjan's Illinois. That'll teach 'em.
posted by ludwig_van on Aug 8, 2005 - 18 comments

World Socialist Web Site on Film

"Just about anything goes in contemporary cinema and no one bothers too much with what actually took place in the past." The World Socialist Web Site's movie review archive provides a different take on film, both Hollywood and international.
posted by goatdog on Aug 1, 2005 - 27 comments

Music "criticism"

The Shins Will Change Your Life A collection of fawning music "criticism" updated a few times a week. No commentary from the author, just excerpts from reviews.
posted by mlis on Jul 13, 2005 - 106 comments

Poetry Crit

An insightful piece of poetry criticism by Adam Kirsch encapsulates the work of Charles Bukowski, popular poet with MeFi's and others. Camile Paglia has a go at poetry crit in her latest, Break, Blow, Burn. I read the Kirsch piece because I have a passing familiarity with Bukowski, and if I saw someone reading a volume, I'd have some snap insight into what their interests may be. Though I often judge a reader by their book's cover, I could do this with very few poetry books, and I can't remember seeing anyone with a poetry book, or telling me about a poetry book in a long time. While some of us read for pleasure, we probably aren't reading poetry. The slam poetry movement of a few years ago seems to have lost its media fire. The death of poetry is periodically announced, and others disagree. My casual observation is that many poetry lovers actually write poetry, and are not students of the genre. Poems are short, it's easy to call something a poem, and it may make the writer feel better to write one out. Rarely are they good, and rarer still will they find an audience outside of web communities of other poetry writers. Can vigorous and accessible poetry criticism revive poetry readership? Does anyone who does not write poems read poetry, especially unfamiliar poetry? Will anyone cop to writing it but not reading it? And should we care?
posted by rainbaby on Apr 26, 2005 - 39 comments

Free MoMA!

MoMA Free Tomorrow for New York MeFi Readers! Well, everyone, actually. The Museum of Modern Art in New York reopens tomorrow and graciously offers a day of free entrance for all. Your chance to avoid the much-criticized $20 admission (views: con, pro-fessional, mayoral). Even good old free-admission Fridays bear the price tag of aggressive name-branding [paragraph 6] by an image-crazy donor (it's not charity anymore if it's advertising, folks, much less design-heady classiness-by-association). Some reports (scroll) from the press preview.
posted by Joe Hutch on Nov 19, 2004 - 20 comments

"I'm voting for Dukakis!"

Donnie Darko in his mind's eye. (One little boy, one little man) A pretty rad article on Donnie Darko, one of my favorite movies.
posted by hughbot on Oct 27, 2004 - 29 comments

But I've heard President Bush describe his record. His record doesn't match his record.

STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show. Just one tiny bit of a very memorable Crossfire on CNN. Guest is of course, Jon Stewart, one bright spot in our media cesspool, even though they seem to be clueless that he's parodying them.
posted by amberglow on Oct 15, 2004 - 187 comments

America Bashing by Stephane Peray

America Bashing. By Thai cartoonist Stephane Peray.
posted by plep on Sep 27, 2004 - 33 comments

American Idols of the Nineteenth Century

"Your talent is so great that you can expect fruit and vegetables to be thrown at every performance." Long before William Hung haunted the American music scene, there were The Cherry Sisters, a Vaudeville act that people loved to hate. A review that read, in part, "The mouths opened like caverns, and sounds like the wailing of damned souls issued therefrom," so offended the sisters that they launched a lawsuit which resulted in an historic ruling regarding fair comment. Oscar Hammestein II proclaimed them "the worst act in the history of light entertainment." Alas, no recordings exist.
posted by Joey Michaels on Apr 23, 2004 - 12 comments

Biography And Literary Worth

Philip Larkin: Great Poet, Shame About The Man? When is an excess of biography, i.e. high-minded, clumsily-disguised gossip, an impediment to literary appreciation? Nowadays, it seems always. [More inside.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Mar 19, 2004 - 26 comments

How To Deconstruct Almost Anything

How To Deconstruct Almost Anything. An engineer visits the world of postmodern literary criticism.
posted by weston on Jan 9, 2004 - 56 comments

The Matrix Unloaded

This guy has hit the nail on the head. I've been marveling at how it was possible to completely screw up the sequels to what I consider the greatest action movie of all time. Matt Feeney has precisely and eloquently pinpointed everything wrong with the Matrix sequels.
posted by aznblader on Nov 10, 2003 - 49 comments

Film Schools obsessed with theory

Film Schools obsessed with theory David Weddle complains that in film schools "discussions about movie characters, plots and the human beings who created them are replaced by theories such as semiotics, structuralism, post-structuralism, Marxism, psychoanalytics and neoformalism. [More inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Sep 14, 2003 - 45 comments

Depp pulls back ...

Depp: Dumb Puppy Comment Wasn't Anti-U.S. "I am an American. I love my country and have great hopes for it. It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it."
posted by Twang on Sep 5, 2003 - 48 comments

Gigli Sucks!

Critics Gone Wild. Rarely do entertainment journalists have as fine an occasion to cut loose and shower their barbs as the opening of Gigli: "I fought the urge to punch someone once it finally ended." Not that anyone's surprised! Enjoy, if you get a kick out of scalding prose.
posted by scarabic on Aug 1, 2003 - 51 comments

Robot Rock Critic

"It was hard on the ear, and my dog hated it too." The Robot Rock Critic generates album reviews. "Type in an artist name. Pick from a list of ten music genres, from 'teenage pop' to 'frighteningly loud music.' Specify whether it's a band, a male solo artist, or a female solo artist. Then click 'review.'"
[via Easy Bay Express]
posted by kirkaracha on Jul 10, 2003 - 14 comments

Blogs and music critism

Music crticism in weblogs: Chat rooms and vanity sites seem so mid-’90s in internet terms, but the future of music criticism is lurking deep in the blogosphere. An article from Toronto-based free magazine, Exclaim!
posted by hoder on Jul 2, 2003 - 21 comments

*MichaelSavageFilter*

Hey everybody, it's Appropriate Michael Savage's name for your own purposes day! With contributions from Haypenny, über, Neal Pollack himself, and much, much, more, all in response to these threats.
posted by kickingtheground on Jun 26, 2003 - 19 comments

If I had to do it again, I wouldn't read Beowulf

The Worst Book I Ever ReadFinnegan’s Wake is the best example of modernism disappearing up its own fundament.” A Brief History of Time and Iris Murdoch show up twice. Mein Kampf is as interesting as a bus timetable and “JK Rowling is the sub-literary analogue of Tony Blair.” Tolkien appears most foten, making him the most hated of this little group.
posted by raaka on May 25, 2003 - 140 comments

Van Halen, Cult faves

The Best Band in the Land, a report from the alternate universe wherein musical priorities in the 80s were a little bit different. Complete with a reader's guide. One of many pieces of Old Man Grumpus rock criticism at Exiled on Main Street.
posted by COBRA! on Apr 2, 2003 - 13 comments

Rubber Chicken

Dixie Chicks Pulled from Air After Bashing Bush Dude, these Texas people didn't find criticism of the president unpatriotic when Bill Clinton was president. They thought it was a sacred duty...Apparently country stations in Texas and elsewhere are pulling Dixie Chicks albums because their lead singer, while on an overseas tour, criticized Bush, saying she was ashamed to be from the state as him. People who want to criticize the critics of the critical comments are supporting the Chicks by buying their albums and requesting their songs. I never thought I'd buy a Dixie Chicks album, but that's what I'm going to do tonight, and I'm paying full price!
posted by jengod on Mar 14, 2003 - 82 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

Fametracker on the Golden Globes.

You will never have to watch another awards show again.
posted by maudlin on Jan 20, 2003 - 10 comments

Fuck Hip Hop.

Fuck Hip Hop. Title of a block-rockin' essay by dj, filmmaker and cultural activist Pierre Bennu.

I think the time has come to bid a farewell to the last black arts movement. It’s had a good run but it no longer serves the community that spawned it. Innovation has been replaced with mediocrity and originality replaced with recycled nostalgia for the ghost of hip hop past, leaving nothing to look forward to. Honestly when was the last time you heard something (mainstream) that made you want to run around in circles and write down every word. When was the last time you didn’t feel guilty nodding your head to a song that had a ‘hot beat’ after realizing the lyrical content made you cringe.

Tough questions, Pierre. And the whole piece is even tougher. Here's a few responses from Nettime.
posted by theplayethic on Jan 7, 2003 - 142 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

"President Bush is a liar. There, I said it, but most of the mainstream media won't."

"President Bush is a liar. There, I said it, but most of the mainstream media won't."
From an article in The Nation...prompted by all the talk of lies in this thread.
posted by mapalm on Nov 8, 2002 - 57 comments

President Bush is in fact doing just about everything his critics demand:

President Bush is in fact doing just about everything his critics demand: If the administration really had contempt for the UN, it could withdraw its support and let that organization complete its collapse into a Third World debating society. If Bush wanted to lash out at every threat in the world, America's near-$400 billion defense budget could provide the soldiers, tanks, airplanes, and missiles to wage several small wars at a time, from Libya to North Korea (and most places in between). If America were trying to seize the world's oil reserves, we could have swept aside the Saudi sheiks long ago. If we were indifferent to the casualties of enemy civilians—and the only alternative is to be indifferent to the deaths of our own soldiers and civilians—then anti-war academics would have to give up tallying those casualties one-by-one. But none of this is actually happening.
posted by dagny on Oct 23, 2002 - 100 comments

Is modern literature too pretentious?

Is modern literature too pretentious? "In the bookstore I'll sometimes sample what all the fuss is about, but one glance at the affected prose -- 'furious dabs of tulips stuttering,' say, or 'in the dark before the day yet was' -- and I'm hightailing it to the friendly black spines of the Penguin Classics" This essay from B.R. Myers in The Atlantic has been expanded into a book. I thought this defense of Raymond Chandler makes a good point about how literature (or at least its critics) can be exclusionary.
posted by owillis on Aug 8, 2002 - 112 comments

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