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9 posts tagged with culturalcriticism. (View popular tags)
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John Barnes hates snark

Snark is the universal solvent of cultural conversation. Someone mentions Hemingway; you mention cross-dressing, drinking, and short choppy sentences. Not only did you not have to read Hemingway, you have one-upped the other person by not having read it; you know more about it than they do because you know the important thing, that Hemingway doesn't need to be read. Star Wars has a plot straight out of a comic book, the indescribable beauty of an athlete's best moment is just ritualized combat, any given religion is a collection of three or fewer especially silly-sounding superstitions, all academic subjects are useless hazing intended to keep the wrong people from being hired, all peace protestors are just trying to get on television and soldiers are all unemployed hillbillies whose masculinity feels threatened so they've enlisted for a chance to commit war crimes. Occupy Wall Street is rebels without a clue (itself a plagiarized phrase), the Tea Party is scared old people, and nothing in the wide world matters compared to the general wonderfulness of the observer. [Some 3700 words from a science fiction writer deriding and analyzing the emptiness of snark as a rhetorical mode. Might need to click through Blogger's NSFW warning, though it's just text.]
posted by cgc373 on Aug 31, 2012 - 114 comments

a Disney princess besides Mulan whose mother is alive, let alone named

Just Another Princess Movie. Lili Loofbourow on Brave. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Jul 13, 2012 - 106 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

Coming Up Like A Flower

" Thus in today’s China one confronts the paradox of a communist regime that is at ideological loggerheads with left-leaning intellectuals, but which finds pro-Western, liberal intellectuals on the whole quite congenial." Richard Wolin is Dreaming In Chinese...
posted by artof.mulata on Mar 26, 2012 - 12 comments

Christmas Classics: Horrible Misogyny or Social Commentary?

"Baby It's Cold Outside" is known as the Christmas Date Rape Song. Bitch Magazine wonders: does She & Him's gender-reversed version make it less creepy and less rape-y? Meanwhile, Persephone Magazine's "Listening While Feminist" has an alternative take on the holiday classic.
posted by asnider on Dec 6, 2011 - 385 comments

a vague nostalgia for a benevolent, quasi-modernist English bureaucratic aesthetic

Lash Out and Cover Up: Owen Hatherley in Radical Philosophy on "Keep Calm and Carry On," manufactured nostalgia for austerity, and modernist kitsch, in its authoritarian and ironically adapted forms. [more inside]
posted by RogerB on Sep 16, 2009 - 31 comments

On popular music.

"The theories and opinions of the German philosopher Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (1903-1969) on popular music and the culture industry are still highly influential in the domain of media studies. His thoughts about these subjects were very critical, pessimistic even. Adorno analysed the workings of the culture industry in terms of 'standardization' and used the concept of 'pseudo-individualization' to describe its effects on the listeners.
posted by j-urb on May 30, 2006 - 14 comments

Vonnegut Weighs In

Vonnegut Weighs in on the State of the Union. As a writer and artist, have you noticed any difference between how the cultural leaders of the past and the cultural leaders of today view their responsibility to society?

Responsibility to which society? To Nazi Germany? To the Stalinist Soviet Union? What about responsibility to humanity in general? And leaders in what particular cultural activity? I guess you mean the fine arts. I hope you mean the fine arts. ... Anybody practicing the fine art of composing music, no matter how cynical or greedy or scared, still can't help serving all humanity. Music makes practically everybody fonder of life than he or she would be without it. Even military bands, although I am a pacifist, always cheer me up.
posted by crasspastor on Jan 30, 2003 - 80 comments

The Baffler offices have been destroyed in a fire.

The Baffler offices have been destroyed in a fire.

From their frontpage: "[W]e have no computers, no contact lists, no rolodexes, no desks, and no desk lamps." Those of you familiar with The Baffler, or their book Commodify Your Dissent, know that they are a great source for acute cultural criticism. If this fire deals them a fatal blow, the world will have lost one of its finest publications. (Follow the link for information on where to send donations.)
posted by jbushnell on May 2, 2001 - 11 comments


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