1338 posts tagged with culture.
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Under the Crushing Weight of the Tuscan Sun

I have sat on Tuscan-brown sofas surrounded by Tuscan-yellow walls, lounged on Tuscan patios made with Tuscan pavers, surrounded by Tuscan landscaping. I have stood barefoot on Tuscan bathroom tiles, washing my hands under Tuscan faucets after having used Tuscan toilets. I have eaten, sometimes on Tuscan dinnerware, a Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta from Wendy’s, a Tuscan Chicken Melt from Subway, the $6.99 Tuscan Duo at Olive Garden, and Tuscan Hummus from California Pizza Kitchen. Recently, I watched my friend fill his dog’s bowl with Beneful Tuscan Style Medley dog food. This barely merited a raised eyebrow; I’d already been guilty of feeding my cat Fancy Feast’s White Meat Chicken Tuscany. Why deprive our pets of the pleasures of Tuscan living?
posted by Chrysostom on Mar 14, 2016 - 49 comments

It's the Topps!

"I like making things I feel should exist, like these faux vintage wax pack wrappers."
posted by a lungful of dragon on Mar 11, 2016 - 7 comments

On the internet, it is always day somewhere—and night somewhere else.

A Journal of Insomnia is an interactive documentary that only comes alive at night. Make a nighttime appointment to experience a sleepless night through stories, images and webcam videos shared by the insomniac of your choice. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 10, 2016 - 9 comments

"That'll do, pig. That'll do."

Hollywood's 100 Favorite Movie Quotes [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 7, 2016 - 162 comments

The Cult of Ignorance in the USA

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.
posted by Seekerofsplendor on Mar 7, 2016 - 151 comments

"Politicians. Businessmen. Nobody’s watching them anymore."

As newsrooms disappear, veteran reporters are being forced from the profession. They dedicated their lives to telling other people’s stories. What happens when no one wants to print their words anymore?
posted by zarq on Mar 5, 2016 - 100 comments

Cumulative and Compounding Opportunity Costs

How do you quantify the effects of things that don't happen to you? "The whole point of living in a culture is that much of the labor of perception and judgment is done for you, spread through media, and absorbed through an imperceptible process that has no single author." (previously; via)
posted by kliuless on Feb 27, 2016 - 2 comments

“Social media is 95 percent of what happens in all relationships now"

Selfies, Dating, and the American 14-Year-Old. "As crushes go from real-life likes to digital “likes,” the typical American teenage girl is confronted with a set of social anxieties never before seen in human history. Nancy Jo Sales observes one 14-year-old as she gets ready to embark on her first I.R.L. date."
posted by zarq on Feb 26, 2016 - 53 comments

"Single Women Are Our Most Potent Political Force"

Almost a quarter of the votes in the last US presidential election were cast by women without spouses, up three points from just four years earlier. They are almost 40% of the African-American population, close to 30% of the Latino population, and about a third of all young voters. The most powerful voter this year is The Single American Woman.
posted by zarq on Feb 22, 2016 - 53 comments

Nefertiti Hack

Artists Covertly Scan Bust of Nefertiti and Release the Data for Free Online: Al-Badri and Nelles take issue, for instance, with the Neues Museum’s method of displaying the bust, which apparently does not provide viewers with any context of how it arrived at the museum — thus transforming it and creating a new history tantamount to fiction, they believe. Over the years, the bust has become a symbol of German identity, a status cemented by the fact that the museum is state-run, and many Egyptians have long condemned this shaping of identity with an object from their cultural heritage. (project link: The Other Nefertiti)
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Feb 22, 2016 - 31 comments

Should 'adjustment' be the goal?

In a 'sick' society, sanity is relative - "Is it good to be 'well-adjusted' to rapacious capitalism and consumerism? What defines 'mental health' (or illness) in such a culture?" Is Humanity Getting Better?[1,2] (via)
posted by kliuless on Feb 21, 2016 - 23 comments

Pantsula: It is a defiance, a statement to say 'We can outlive poverty'

Pantsula is a form of energetic dancing that originated in black townships of South Africa during the Apartheid era, and it's still alive and thriving over 60 years later, pulling in and spinning out influences to other dance styles from around the world. Pantsula dancers show their moves and tell their history and reason for dancing. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 19, 2016 - 8 comments

Who honeys the guides?

"When Hadza want to find honey, they shout and whistle a special tune. If a honeyguide is around, it’ll fly into the camp, chattering and fanning out its feathers. The Hadza, now on the hunt, chase it, grabbing their axes and torches and shouting “Wait!” They follow the honeyguide until it lands near its payload spot, pinpoint the correct tree, smoke out the bees, hack it open, and free the sweet combs from the nest. The honeyguide stays and watches. It’s one of those stories that sounds like a fable—until you get to the end, where the lesson normally goes. Then it becomes a bit more confusing."
posted by ChuraChura on Feb 17, 2016 - 14 comments

"Junkie Whore"—What It's Really Like for Sex Workers on Heroin

She’s the dead hooker in the trunk. A universal cautionary tale, the drug-using sex worker is too wretched to be relatable, too scorned for even countercultural cred. She is repulsive, unclean and immoral. She is pitiable at best, inhuman at worst—dismissed by police lingo about murders whose victims are drug-using street workers: “No Human Involved.” If she’s white, she’s lucky enough to be merely an abject victim. If not, she’s a deranged criminal. She’s a scarred, blotchy mugshot in your local paper’s coverage of prostitution stings—recycled without regard for privacy by anti-drug PSAs to let kids know that that’s what they’ll look like after years of doing dope. She’s the woman I’ve heard my escorting clients joke about not wanting to fuck with someone else’s dick—not realizing that they are talking to a sex worker who uses heroin, as I force myself to laugh along with them.
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 10, 2016 - 54 comments

Disrupt this!

It’s not Cyberspace anymore (from data & society, Medium). [more inside]
posted by redct on Feb 8, 2016 - 50 comments

Crossfire

Missing Jon Stewart. Trevor Noah is smooth and charming, but he hasn’t found his edge.
posted by four panels on Feb 5, 2016 - 72 comments

Positive Lexicography

Dr. Tim Lomas is creating a positive cross-cultural lexicography: an evolving index of expressions from many languages for positive emotional states and concepts pertaining to well-being. Most do not have immediate English equivalents. View by Alphabet, Language or Theme. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 29, 2016 - 21 comments

Werner Herzog has made a documentary about AI and technology

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World - "With interviewees ranging from Elon Musk to a gaming addict, Werner Herzog presents the web in all its wildness and utopian potential in this dizzying documentary." (via)
posted by kliuless on Jan 26, 2016 - 25 comments

Economic Class != Social Class, and why.

Ever confused about why it's so hard for Americans (US) to talk about class issues? LJ blogger Siderea has some answers for you, having to do with the distinction between social and economic class. [more inside]
posted by suelac on Jan 25, 2016 - 82 comments

the art of our necessities is strange

"If you have a Democratic frontrunner who is opposed to capitalism and a Republican frontrunner who wants to deport 10 million immigrants, that'll make a difference."

Michael Bloomberg set to run for President.
posted by four panels on Jan 23, 2016 - 319 comments

Mounted

Canada Is Suddenly Hip
posted by four panels on Jan 16, 2016 - 96 comments

Marriage is like money – seem to want it, and you’ll never get it

'Silver Fork' or Fashionable Novels are the largely forgotten English popular novels of the 1820s and 30s which depicted aristocratic life and scandals as a how-to guide for rising middle-class readers while also exploring growing political and class anxieties in the post-Regency. Advice on how to romance, eat, party and raise children like a member of the upper class from Silver Fork novels via Bizarre Victoria (previously).
posted by The Whelk on Jan 15, 2016 - 7 comments

Splain it to Me

MetaFilter is long familiar with the dichotomy between Ask Culture and Guess Culture. Alice Maz, a programmer writing for the new group blog Status 451, has described another common dichotomy between “harmonious emotional experience” and “information sharing”, and what happens when the two meet. (In short: “Harsh words may be exchanged, and everyone exits the encounter thinking the other person was monumentally rude for no reason.”) [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Jan 14, 2016 - 144 comments

The great British curry crisis

The high-street staple is under threat. Can a new generation of entrepreneurs save the nation’s tandoori?
posted by infini on Jan 9, 2016 - 100 comments

No war at the dinner table

Last August, the Guardian's Northern correspondent Helen Pidd invited Yasser, a 34-year-old Syrian refugee, to live in the spare room of her Manchester flat while he waited for his wife and baby daughter to join him. Helen and Yasser tell their sides of the story, from navigating the UK's welfare bureaucracy to the English's perplexing fondness for cookbooks and bare floorboards, a family Christmas near Morecambe and a topical Halloween costume. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jan 9, 2016 - 23 comments

215 Of The Best Longreads Of 2015

215 Of The Best Longreads Of 2015 [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Jan 1, 2016 - 19 comments

"The food is authentic in spirit."

"It was Asian enough for my immigrant parents and American enough for my sister and me." In the PBS feature documentary, Off The Menu, filmmaker Grace Lee traverses the US into the kitchens, factories, temples and farm of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving communities. Food Republic spoke with Jonathan Wu and Wilson Tang, whose NYC restaurant, Fung Tu, is featured in the film.
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 31, 2015 - 4 comments

Aw-nay-shuh.

"There was power in a name, and I figured if mine were Elizabeth, maybe the blue eyes and blonde hair would follow. I would look more like her. My mother. She has stories of walking around—me in her arms, my brother in a stroller—and people asking what country we were adopted from. My mother is too polite to say things like, The country of my vagina." "Where I'm Writing From" by Onnesha Roychoudhuri.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 30, 2015 - 7 comments

The center

In the 1960s, riots and the Black Power movement sparked a furious white backlash. In April 1965, 28% of non-Southern whites thought President Lyndon Johnson was pushing civil rights “too fast.”

By September 1966, after riots in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Cleveland, and the S.N.C.C.'s turn from racial integration toward Black Power, that figure had reached 52%.

This time, however, the opposite is happening.
posted by four panels on Dec 29, 2015 - 90 comments

The Pirate Book

The Pirate Book: a digital zine about technology, media piracy, and international cultural exchange
posted by overeducated_alligator on Dec 28, 2015 - 4 comments

SHOCK!

How to Look Punk - a guide from 1977.
posted by Artw on Dec 24, 2015 - 35 comments

distance x time

The Typical American Lives Only 18 Miles From Mom
posted by four panels on Dec 23, 2015 - 94 comments

As if we all have the same online experience

One day Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney googled herself with a reporter friend sitting next to her. An ad popped up inquiring about her arrest record. She had never been arrested. "It must be because you have one of those Black Names!" the friend said. "That's impossible," she replied, "Computers can't be racist." But then she started doing research. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 22, 2015 - 60 comments

memories of the future

Over the past 15 years drum & bass has become a sort of black sheep in the dance music family — too hard for the uninitiated while converts seem content with the smug satisfaction of ‘getting it.’

“Outsiders to drum & bass need something interesting to make them have a look and dig,” he explains. “I’m not sure what that could be these days."
posted by four panels on Dec 19, 2015 - 41 comments

Whatever makes you happy, you put in your world.

"Painting is beside the point: the paintings in The Joy of Painting don’t matter." The joy of writing about The Joy Of Painting. In Which Bob Ross is Compared to God, Creator of Worlds. [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Dec 16, 2015 - 19 comments

A brief history of sending letters to Santa

Children have been sending letters to Santa for well over a century now, and for much of that time those letters don't look very different from today's. Children want toys, and they want to convince Santa that they ought to get them. But where did that tradition come from, and how did it develop into its modern form? How did we come to believe that Santa lives at the North Pole and that the postal service can carry letters to Santa? What kinds of things have changed in the things children ask for over time? The Smithsonian's trying to deliver some answers for the holidays. (Previously: 1, 2).
posted by sciatrix on Dec 16, 2015 - 7 comments

RailFolk: The human side of railroading

North Bank Fred, described in the New York Times as "[p]erhaps the most well-known recreational hobo," runs a website that's packed with fascinating photographs and stories of the life on the rails. Want to know more about nomadic rail ways? Then let's visit the The Black Butte Center for Railroad Culture, "preserves and promotes railroad culture by documenting and furthering the art, music, literature, community, and work of those who, historically and in modern times, travel or work on the railroads of North America." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Dec 16, 2015 - 24 comments

Yes, Vogue, Coloring Books Are a Thing. A Zen Thing

I’ve never once felt moved to pick up a coloring book and go to town. Nor did I imagine that people in my social sphere were doing so. Were those Instagram-famous coloring parties a total anomaly? Or were my other friends also secretly brandishing markers in their spare time? Vogue writer Julia Felsenthal wonders if coloring books are actually a thing after reading Julie Beck's piece in The Atlantic. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna on Dec 12, 2015 - 72 comments

Funnybones

Comics and the Anthropological Imagination, from the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography. Solidarity: a graphic ethnography. At the food bank: a graphic commentary. Sketching the Melee. Trachyte - Mumbai. Drawing in Time. Tale of the Sarnia Nose .
posted by Rumple on Dec 12, 2015 - 2 comments

What began as theory persists as style

When Nothing Is Cool is an insider critique of English academia's culture of critique. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Dec 8, 2015 - 38 comments

גם זו לטובה

Judaism's core texts grew out of millennia-long conversations and arguments across generations, with interconnected dialogues, source citing and (re)interpretation. Now, it's all going digital: Sefaria is creating a massive public domain, interactive "living library of Jewish texts and their interconnections, in Hebrew and translations." Their goal is to build a reference resource and community that "gives a better learning experience than anything that comes before it," from ancient to modern texts and "all the volumes of commentary in between." Read texts, browse submitted public source sheets on dozens of topics or visualize associations between texts.
posted by zarq on Dec 7, 2015 - 22 comments

These are my surprised wings.

The beverages are consumed regularly by thirty-one per cent of kids between the ages of twelve and seventeen, and by thirty-four per cent of those aged eighteen to twenty-four. U.S. sales for energy drinks and shots now total more than twelve and a half billion dollars—a number that the market-research firm Packaged Facts predicts will grow by another nine billion dollars by 2017. A new study [note: behind paywall] , published in the November issue of Health Psychology, suggests that appeals by energy-drink companies to the thrill-thirsty male id are coming at a psychological and physical cost, however. -- Rachel Giese, How Energy-Drink Companies Prey on Male Insecurities
posted by Room 641-A on Dec 3, 2015 - 42 comments

Style Out There

Asha Leo of Refinery29 travels around the world to learn about international fashion subcultures and the way fashion affects society worldwide. So far she's met Gothic (and other) Lolitas in Amsterdam, Moroccan expat culture, hijra in India, Hasidic designers in Brooklyn, Korean matchy-matchy fashion for couples, and the highly colorful world of Japanese decora.
posted by divabat on Nov 30, 2015 - 6 comments

Only a terrifying effort to get from one side of a match box to another.

One longtime resident of Williamsburg posted on Facebook that she now felt uneasy in a neighborhood where she had always felt so safe.
If, as in Paris, extremists were going to concentrate on harming the young and urbane, out enjoying stylish consumer pleasures, Williamsburg seemed to possess horrific potential as a focus of interest.

Anxiety Returns to the Surface in New York.
posted by four panels on Nov 19, 2015 - 62 comments

The one who gives birth to herself.

The revolutionary potential of your own face, in seven chapters. "Nothing destabilizes power more than an individual that knows his or her own worth, and the campaign against selfies is ultimately a crusade against widespread self-esteem. What selfie-haters fear, deep down, is a growing army of faces they cannot monitor, an army who does not need their approval to march ahead."
posted by Phire on Nov 19, 2015 - 40 comments

Gaming tribunals and online community management

In an attempt to curb in-game harassment, online gaming communities have tried to develop a variety of workable solutions. One of the most prominent of these communities has been League of Legends (previously, previously), an extremely popular game that uses a virtual judiciary of gamers' peers, among other tactics, to identify problem players and mete out consequences. Two years ago, the tribunal drew public attention when it chose to expel a professional player from the game for a year (potentially ending his gaming career) for harassing other players. But is it working? Preliminary data indicates that the system is helping.
posted by sciatrix on Nov 12, 2015 - 46 comments

Salt and sugar not included

What Are the Defining Ingredients of a Culture’s Cuisine? Priceonomics examines a dataset of Epicurious recipes to pull out the most common ingredient and the most distinctive ingredient by cuisine, plus a "Meat-o-Meter" that looks at commonly used meats in various cuisines. [more inside]
posted by taz on Nov 11, 2015 - 73 comments

A place where our language lives

A short film: The winter stories of the Ojibwe are vital narratives that offer a historical and moral guide for understanding the environment and our people’s place within it. One of these stories tells of the first maple sugar gathering. A tree offered its life-force (sap) for use by the people to help keep them alive through a difficult winter when many were starving to death. This tree asked to be cared for in return and to be thanked properly for this gift. Each spring the students at Waadookodaading Ojibwe Language Immersion School open the school sugar bush with a retelling of this story and an opening feast of thanks.
posted by rtha on Nov 9, 2015 - 6 comments

Who do you mean by we?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari - "The book delivers on its madly ambitious subtitle by in fact managing to cover key moments in the developmental history of humankind from the emergence of Homo Sapiens to today's developments in genetic engineering." Also btw, check out Harari on the myths we need to survive, re: fact/value distinctions and their interrelationships.
posted by kliuless on Nov 8, 2015 - 7 comments

On the instant when we come to realize that tragedy is second-hand

A white pseudo-aristocracy maintains genteel airs and graces amid crumbling towns and black rural poverty reminiscent of Haiti. It’s all stirred up with whiskey, denial and fire-breathing religion.

The Delta is arguably the most racist, or racially obsessed, place in America, and yet you see more ease and conviviality between blacks and whites than in the rest of America.
After nearly three years here, it still feels like we’re scratching the surface.

posted by four panels on Nov 7, 2015 - 81 comments

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