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Cool daddi-o

Come on in to The Fedora Lounge. Grab a martini, maybe a pack of smokes, and join in the conversation about the clothing, music, furniture, architecture, lifestyle and just plain old style of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. From the folks behind Retro Radar.
posted by braun_richard on Dec 17, 2004 - 13 comments

Losing Languages

Losing Languages. It's estimated that between one and four languages are lost every year, the result of the only remaining speakers dying off. Many have been actively surpressed in the past, such as the Mayan and Ryukyu languages - some of which are said to be further from Japanese than English is from German. Is it worth the effort to preserve languages? Are languages and culture intristically linked?
posted by borkingchikapa on Nov 28, 2004 - 57 comments

Nepal Current Events and Historical Background

What's it like to live in a war zone in Nepal? 'What happened to us happens to the people of Bajura every day, and they get it from both sides ' Some stories of the disappeared. From the consistently high quality Nepali Times, along with articles about Maoist radio and the human rights of the Kumari 'living goddess'.
Some background : Who are the Nepalese Maoists? (Q & A); the royal massacre of 2001; historical background to Nepal's democracy - the democratic revolution of 1989-91 and subsequent events; the kings of Nepal (note that dates are given using the local calendar); a potted history of Nepal referring to the role of the Rana family of hereditary ministers, who acted as a conservative 'shadow monarchy' over successive weak kings, from the Kot Massacre of 1846 which eliminated all rival claimants, until about 1950 (when King Tribhuvan famously famously took refuge in the Indian embassy - by a twist of fate, his infant grandson briefly crowned king by the Ranas - Gyanendra was again crowned king after his brother was killed in the 2001 royal massacre); a Nepal timeline; how ethnicity and caste fit into Nepalese society (discrimination in Nepal); Bhutanese refugees in Nepal; the Indian Naxalites and the Maoists.
posted by plep on Oct 9, 2004 - 10 comments

Cell Phones And The Sense Of Place

Where Are You? Are You Sure? Are cell phones robbing us of our sense of place? (More inside.)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 17, 2003 - 48 comments

we want your soul

Freeland's We Want Your Soul video is a cynical look at the american dream and keeping up with the joneses. Whether you agree with the point of view, it's still a pretty cool and amusing use of camera effects. (note: large quicktime on that page) [via randomfoo]
posted by mathowie on Sep 28, 2003 - 14 comments

The Elliot Avedon Museum and Archive of Games

The Elliot Avedon Museum and Archive of Games. Board games from a thirteenth-century 'Book of Games', Inuit games, card games, row games, puzzles, ethnographical papers on games, etc.
A different kind of game at Streetplay - stickball, hopscotch, galleries, and street games worldwide.
posted by plep on Jul 16, 2003 - 2 comments

Pop Culture vs. War!! (avert eyes)

Pop Culture vs. War!! (avert eyes) So Madonna pulls her anti-war video at the last minute, "never to be seen again". Have to say, it sounds just as finely-wrought a piece of art as G.Micheal's Shoot the Dog. Meanwhile, Lil' Kim attempts some bridge-building between the cultures with this subtle intervention. In times of peace, we expect pop musicians to shoot their mouths off about anything - that's what we pay them for. But I haven't been impressed by anything from rock'n'pop yet in this war. (Micheal Moore's press conference at the Oscars rocked harder than any of them). Is it straight forward fear of career death (see Dixie Chicks)? Or is it just that nobody can do this (dylan) or this (Starr) anymore?
posted by theplayethic on Apr 2, 2003 - 29 comments

Too Long In Japan

You've been in Japan too long when... A) ...you are not surprised to wake up in the morning and find that the woman who stayed over last night has completely cleaned your apartment, even though you'll probably never ever meet her again. B) ...you are not surprised to wake up in the morning and find that the woman who stayed over last night has completely cleaned your apartment, even though you'll probably never ever meet her again. C) ...your hair is thinning and you consider it "barcode style". Or perhaps if you're unsurprised that such a historically isolationist nation is now so uniquely and openly fascinated with the opinions of those who have moved to their land...wow. This is somewhere I must travel to.
posted by effugas on Dec 17, 2002 - 68 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

The Turner Prize

The Turner Prize nominations are out. Britain's culture minster Kim Howells calls it "cold, mechanical conceptual bullshit". indeed a couple of years ago, Chris Ofili's pictures using dried elephant dung won? (He's the guy who caused a fuss with Rudy Giuliani.) So the annual debate in the british media has begun - "yes, but is it art?"
posted by brettski on Nov 1, 2002 - 17 comments

Jorlon khaan bain ve?

Jorlon khaan bain ve? The first stop in Oissubke's trip around the online world is the beautiful land of Mongolia. Take a moment to leave the America-centric (not that there's anything wrong with that!) Web and see what the internet looks like from someone else's eyes... I've tried to pick sites that provide unique and interesting insights into the Mongolian internet, not just whatever Google coughed up for "Mongolia". Unless this post particularly annoys people, I'll plan to continue my journey with Liechtenstein in a few days.
posted by oissubke on Oct 21, 2002 - 28 comments

Does Beer Really Equal Democracy Equal The U.S.A?

Does Beer Really Equal Democracy Equal The U.S.A? Max Rudin's somewhat wild assumptions only make this article of his more interesting. But is it true that beer in North America overtakes all the usual class, status and income boundaries? If so, it certainly sets it apart from Europe, where all the old preconceptions and habits still prevail and (at least in the Southwest) a glass of wine is always cheaper than a beer. So I guess the question here is: just how political can beer be? [As a chaser, the British expert Michael Jackson's list of the ten great beers of America seems authoritative and tempting, if a tad disloyal to the cask-conditioned real, live ales of England and Scotland...].
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jul 15, 2002 - 20 comments

French culture in crisis ?

French culture in crisis ? After the Vivendi Universal french CEO Jean-Marie Messier fired Canal+ chairman Pierre Lescure yesterday, many questions arise in France. Will Vivendi, through Canal+, continue to help French cinema the way Canal+ did in the past ? Is this the last straw in a long series of acts and declarations from Vivendi's CEO against "Franco-French cultural exception" ? Has The Man finally won in France ? What's to happen in all the other countries were Vivendi (or any of the BigCo) basically owns the culture through local companies ?
posted by XiBe on Apr 17, 2002 - 10 comments

French politicians polish cultural credentials.

French politicians polish cultural credentials. France's presidential hopefuls have begun pledging to defend the country's cherished culture, hoping to drum up support from artists worried that American films and music will steamroll finer French productions. This rhetoric makes it sound like American films are picking up guns to massacre poor defenseless French culture. Maybe American films are so successful because they give people something that the "finer French productions" don't, and if so, then is that such a horrible thing? After all, we are just giving the people what they want, right? And if that takes money away from more artsy productions, then whose fault is that anyway?
posted by epimorph on Apr 8, 2002 - 15 comments

Understanding what makes America tick

Understanding what makes America tick "The belief that America is exceptional, in the double sense that it is superior and that it is different...The United States had a mission, a manifest destiny, to change the world in its image. This conviction echoes down through American history....Other countries—France, Britain, Russia—have from time to time in their history felt a sense of mission, of carrying their civilisation to other peoples and territories. But in their cases it has been episodic and not deeply rooted—usually limited to when their power was at its zenith and usually clearly recognisable as a rationalisation for what they were doing for other reasons. In the case of the United States, it has been constant and central." [Centre of Independent Studies in Sydney via aldaily] American Exceptionalism. Mix it with sole super power status and massive military might. Should make it quite an intoxicating ride these next few years.
posted by Voyageman on Apr 4, 2002 - 26 comments

"X-men: speed mutation" is a rich and fun analysis

"X-men: speed mutation" is a rich and fun analysis of issues of body, minority struggle, other-ness and the evolution of science fiction in the comic book and film idioms of the X-men. It may even argue that the X-men's overwhelming popularity is owed to something greater than stylized violence and skintight outfits: relevance as a cultural text.

"Immune systems are information systems. Biological space is pervaded and negotiated through exchanges of genetic data; biochemically, we are in a constant state of alienation from our "selves". ... The world of X-Men is inverted on its own processes and intertexts. Its gaze is focused on the technologies of the body and on the intersections between the body and the mind, the body and the self."
posted by scarabic on Nov 27, 2001 - 1 comment

Make World event

Make World event in October, Germany - about borderless digital culture, no doubt curated long before The Current Situation, but I'm sure will be rendered far more relevant as a result.
posted by blackbeltjones on Sep 26, 2001 - 0 comments

The Hindu nationalist group Bajrang Dal name a puppy George Bush.

The Hindu nationalist group Bajrang Dal name a puppy George Bush. This isn't meant to be a complimentary act... it's in reaction to their discovery that the Bushes' cat's name is India (short for India Ink). They've taken this as an insult to the nation, and have retaliated with the puppy. I'm kind of curious about what this tells about Indian naming practices and significances, as compared to those in the US. Could someone more familiar with Hindu/Indian culture please enlighten me as to why they'd feel so insulted?
posted by jason on Jul 26, 2001 - 36 comments

The Tourist Who Won't Go Home

The Tourist Who Won't Go Home
The recent ugly american thread has brought out ethnocentricity and xenophobia in us over crimes like socks with shorts--we forget happen at home just as often. meanwhile violence errupts when tourists forget they are guests in someone's home. But is the real crime the errosion of the cultures we visit? Do movements like Slow Food have a chance protecting native cultures, or the Americanization of the world inevitable?
posted by christina on Jul 22, 2001 - 16 comments

The Rise and Fall of the Geeks -

The Rise and Fall of the Geeks - Three years ago, they had the power to change the world, make a more than decent living and bask on highbrow success - perhaps a justified retribution after many years of world disdain and incomprehension to the geek community. It didn't last... and the article sheds some lights on the probable reasons.
posted by betobeto on Jun 25, 2001 - 34 comments

On Americans and their Morals.

On Americans and their Morals. A look at the demise of morality in America and our history as a country and a culture to always complain that our moral fabric is worse than it really is.
posted by Brilliantcrank on Jun 19, 2001 - 5 comments

"We damn sure are not about to let black folks buy up all the property in our neighborhood. Integration is overrated."

"We damn sure are not about to let black folks buy up all the property in our neighborhood. Integration is overrated." Now, change "black" to "white" and the racism magically disappears! Thanks, political correctness!
posted by darren on Jun 18, 2001 - 61 comments

LAT Transplant Blasts Frisco.

LAT Transplant Blasts Frisco. The charming cafe society? "Every pause seems to bubble up with the plaints of 20-somethings who still 'hate' their moms and dads."
posted by josholalia on Jun 7, 2001 - 14 comments

Ever wondered why the Buddha wears a toga?
Understanding the origins and symbolism behind images of the Buddha.
posted by lagado on Jun 2, 2001 - 12 comments

Death by Information:

Death by Information: "Does the word 'pedestrian' frighten you? Could you survive for an hour without a cell phone, laptop, or - even worse - a television?"
posted by Zeldman on Apr 22, 2001 - 24 comments

Culture as Culprit.

Culture as Culprit. Myron Magnet is the author of The Dream and the Nightmare, which George W. Bush has called the most influential book -- aside from the Bible -- that he's ever read. Is poverty in American less an economic matter than a cultural one?
posted by techgnollogic on Apr 6, 2001 - 9 comments

All your cultural treasures are belong to us!

All your cultural treasures are belong to us! At least in China it was the accidental kind of stupidity...
posted by rushmc on Mar 1, 2001 - 6 comments

Entropy

Entropy in action, or a covert maneuver in the ongoing American war to implement anti-intellectual, low-culture values and destroy anything perceived to aspire to any qualities beyond the strictly utilitarian?
posted by rushmc on Jan 15, 2001 - 11 comments

«Êtes-vous un mod ou un rocker?»

«Êtes-vous un mod ou un rocker?» At the earsplitting industry schmoozefest I attended this week (which I am forbidden to link to because I blogged it at one of my sites), I beelined toward the more interesting-looking people. One fella had a full-on mod look. I listen to the show Mods & Rockers on CIUT, and I claim to understand Blow-Up. But I was impressed as hell by an explanation of the origin of the terms mod and rocker. It's the sort of cultural introduction I wish more people would write – after you teach yourself what a concept is, you document that self-teaching for others. Hey, it's the Internet gift kulcha, innit? (Also: Mod films!)
posted by joeclark on Jun 25, 2000 - 1 comment

'Murrican 101.

'Murrican 101.
[ via Twernt, who's been even twerntier than usual, lately. ]
posted by baylink on May 23, 2000 - 2 comments

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