Who was your first pop-culture crush? (single-link AV Club)
How the Real Housewives Have Made America Better, by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. "Watching these housewives scramble to suture up their tattered personas is both anger-inducing and heart-wrenching. That's what literature is supposed to do: make us angry at certain behavior; then when we recognize ourselves in the characters we so harshly judge, to change our behavior."
"...forcing its cast to act around a Jack Russel terrier decked out in full period costume." Blogger Josh Marsfelder of Soda Pop Art explores the legacy of Wishbone.
Gorgeous Portraits of Movie Characters & Classic Shots by Massimo Carnevale [slimgur]
For generations both societies lived apart from humanity, united in their common experience as outcasts. But as so often happens when downcast but fanatical groups find themselves in the ascendancy, today their factionalism is exposed and the rivalry has erupted into open conflict. [more inside]
Khrushchev Tours America - His shoe banging incident at the UN and the the Kitchen Debates with Nixon are well known but less attention has been given to the time Nikita Khrushchev went to Hollywood. He met Marilyn Monroe and other film luminaries but he was denied a trip to Disneyland (previously). [more inside]
"In the 1950s, a DJ named Jean Shepherd hosted a late-night radio show on New York's WOR that was unlike any before or since. On these broadcasts, he delivered dense, cerebral monologues, sprinkled with pop-culture tidbits and vivid stretches of expert storytelling. 'There is no question that we are a tiny, tiny, tiny embattled minority here,' he assured his audience in a typical diatribe. 'Hardly anyone is listening to mankind in all of its silliness, all of its idiocy, all of its trivia, all of its wonder, all of its glory, all of its poor, sad, pitching us into the dark sea of oblivion.' Shepherd's approach was summed up by his catchphrase: a mock-triumphant 'Excelsior!', followed by an immediate, muttered 'you fathead ... '" (via) [more inside]
The Ballad of the Unpaid Intern. Not That Kind of Secretary. The Home Economics of Domestic Workers. Parts of Grace Bello's series Women's Work on how popular culture depicts working women. Via.
Doctor Of Celebrity Gossip and frequent chronicler of the Scandals Of Classic Hollywood (previously) Anne Helen Petersen (more previously) muses on growing up with Star Trek: The Next Generation. [more inside]
Doom 3 Gagnam Style... in webGL. That is all.
Angus Jones, better known as Jake on the show Two and a Half Men, has joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The young star has released a pair of videos urging people to stop watching the show.
SLYT of a Portuguese performance of the Wizard of Oz with a missing dance number added to the show.
Taking the seen-it route: Sara Morrison talks about the rise and influence of television show recapping; recapping's advantages for writers; and the origins and evolution of Television Without Pity (<--- time suck warning: TVTropes link!) Includes lots of links and a handy chart of recappers. [more inside]
In the long history of love songs the attention of a beautiful woman has been compared to many things – but perhaps only in Pakistan's tribal belt would it be likened to the deadly missile strike of a remotely controlled US drone.
On Kate Moss, and Taking One for the Team: "So, earlier this week Vanity Fair published a rare interview with Moss, in which the model, who is well-known for her circumspection, is unusually frank about the early years of her career. Moss was still a skinny, gangly teenager when she was plucked from mediocrity in Croydon and catapulted to superstardom. She was barely an adult, almost still a child, when she did her first topless photo shoot, with Corinne Day for The Face. In the interview, she talks about how uncomfortable this made her... This isn't the only the only revelation Moss made during the interview. It also turns out that the famous Calvin Klein campaign she did in 1992 with Mark Wahlberg gave her a nervous breakdown... Conveniently ignoring the fact that when the pictures were taken, Moss wasn't 'the face of the '90s', but a skinny teenage girl who cried because she was made to take her clothes off, Needham continues by saying that Moss' skinny frame 'seemed to encapsulate the euphoria of those long-distant times.'" [more inside]
Vulture's Top 25 Most Devoted Fan Bases: "Vulture has scanned the great plains of pop culture, weighing passion versus mere popularity to decide the 25 Most Devoted Fans of entertainment, which kicks off our weeklong exploration of all things Fandom. It's important to underscore that this list is not about mere numbers — it’s about fervency." [more inside]
Dr. Horrible and products liability. Doctor Who and the necessity defense. Firefly and contract law. The Legal Geeks blog is exactly what it sounds like.
Caitlin Moran: On a mission from god to reclaim feminism, or an excuse to crash a lot of cars and have a lot of fun
At 16, she published her first book, started writing for Melody Maker, and won the Observer Young Reporter Of The Year competition, and they gave her a column. At 17, she "skipped ship" over to The Times, and has been writing there since. U2 filmed a video in her house at 18, when she was co-presenting on the short-lived Naked City program, interviewing Björk, Iggy Pop, and others. Caitlin Moran won the British Press Awards' Columnist of The Year award in 2010 and Critic and Interviewer of the Year in 2011, and Glamour Magazine's Writer of the Year award in 2012. The last award was in large part for her book How To Be a Woman, her mission from God to reclaim feminism, though it was more in the lines of The Blues Brothers: crashing a lot of cars, and having a hoot. The "British Tina Fey" talks about contemporary sexual issues such as slut walks, pop culture, clothing and women, abortion, having the sex talk, and why "it's actually technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism".
Archibald Query 's creation, Marshmallow Fluff, followed a winding path to household name. Most famous as a component of the Fluffernutter sandwich, this icon of New England cuisine appears in hundreds of other recipes, including whoopie pies and Mamie Eisenhower's Never Fail Fudge. You can even try making it yourself. . Other homages include the pop-style "Fluffart" of Susan Olsen, perhaps better known to us as the Brady Bunch's Cindy; some video tributes, and the What the Fluff? Festival in Somerville, MA (previously),
[Some links may contain images and language NSFW] An article on The Daily Dot (previously) about tinhatting, or the belief amongst certain fans that two celebrities are meant to be together but are being kept apart by nefarious forces, has sparked vitriol from the fans of the One Direction pairing known as Larry Stylinson. [more inside]
motor life blog is Charlie Beesly's fun collection of (mostly) found photos celebrating cars and their owners. Don't miss the winsome training wheels post and the early Kodacolor collection. We've seen some of Charlie's other themed found photos here previously.
A Transparent Attempt to Explain the Economics Behind Running a Pop-Culture Website and the Need to Run Intrusive Advertising The thing about display ads is that you are paid for about what they are worth, which is to say: $.30 per 1,000 impressions. Most people barely even notice them, so advertisers are not willing to pay you very much to run them...Instead, we have to use intrusive ads which are paid on a much larger scale, approximately $7.00 per 1,000 impressions. So, if a site like ours generates 100,000 impressions, that should be $700 a day. Awesome. We should be rich, right? Not so much. Pajiba previously. [via Slashfilm]
"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.
The story behind the iconic poster Keep Calm and Carry On rediscovered in 1991 at Barter Books, has been covered here before, but not in this lovely short video. And not with the new iPhone app.
Pop Culture Math: Artist Matt Cowan breaks down pop-culture icons into basic formulas. [more inside]
"I am Darth Vader, an Extraterrestrial from the Planet Vulcan!" - The 80's attack in an amazingly detailed and frenetic video for The Death Set's "They Come to Get Us." [SLYT]
"If it were just the NCAA tournament bracket, March Madness would be far less mad than it is. Something about the reminder of how much joy we get in filling out a bracket has led writers and talkers deep into the great time-wasting ether, creating brackets on everything you could possible dream of bracketing."One writer thought about this, took a step back, and created a bracket tournament to discuss the best possible subjects/entries for a pop-culture, food, and sports bracket tournament. [more inside]
Jenny Johnson, of Twitter fame, now writes a column for Grantland.com. In it, she pontificates on weighty issues, such as gingers, Derek Jeter's dating life, and the reason why she hates Valentine's Day flower deliveries at the office.
The Atlantic explores whether Michael Jackson's contributions, like those of other black artists, are minimized because of his skin color.
Louis Virtel is an editor over at AfterElton.com and an avid twitterer. For the last few months he has been making an hilarious web series called Verbal Vogueing in which he rants about celebrities and pop culture. Still ongoing, there are currently ten installments; here is episode one: "The Immaculate Conniption".(NSFW audio) [more inside]
Hipster girl? Hipster boy? Superhero? Mii? A modern Mucha? Regency hero or heroine? Tudors? Steampunk (one, two)? Here's more. How about pop culture? True Blood. Mad Men (Joan S1, S2, S3). Marty McFly (by Derek Eads). Jonathan Coulton. Lady GaGa. Kyle Hilton (previously: Arrested Development) also has Parks and Recreation, Breaking Bad, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and various films. (previously: a blog - manly - PONIES)
A fascinating collection of over 150 shrines, mostly made by teenagers. Readers and staffers of Rookie contributed these photos of mostly homemade shrines, featuring subjects as diverse as Frida Kahlo, Britney Spears, Japan, nail polish, and Grandma.
Nickel weeklies with covers and full texts courtesy of Bowling Green State University. [more inside]
Alan Moore and David Lloyd designed it 30 years ago. The V for Vendetta mask appropriated by Occupy protesters the world over. The Guardian recently asked Alan what he thought about the masks. Now Channel 4 news takes him into Occupy territory to face that face. But who is the true anarchist?
How well do you really know old Arty? It all began with the Welsh: The The Annales Cabriae (inside) and parts of the Welsh oral tradition (later collected into the Mabinogion) give a very different picture of the popular King Arthur than contemporary readers are familiar with: no Lancelot, three or four different Guens, no love triangles or Holy Grails. A look at the vast scope of the Arthurian legend. [more inside]
Here is the hilarious comics and popular culture blog Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin, which just turned eight years old! Features include The End of Civilization, where he riffs on the embarassing pictures in the Diamond Previews catalog, Sluggo Saturdays, which is just what it sounds like, and he's also kind of a fan of Swamp Thing. [more inside]
Drew McWeeny muses at length on Muppets, Avengers, and Life In The Age Of Fanfiction.
Skinemax is Koyaanisqatsi for a generation raised on late night television and B-movie VHS tapes. It's long form entertainment for short attention spans. An hour long VJ odyssey, it will move your body and warp your mind. A nostalgic look back at a half remembered childhood growing up in the 80s and early 90s, Skinemax takes a close look at the culture of that era. The images that motivated, delighted, and terrified us on the silver screen, set to propulsive modern music that pines for a simpler time.
At no point in Bela Lugosi's iconic role in the 1931 film Dracula does he make the sound "Bleh!" So why is "Bleh!" so deeply associated with Dracula in popular culture? Followup with more examples.
MAX CAPACITY Dwells In The Videodrome. "Not so long ago, last summer to be precise, we featured MAX CAPACITY in an illustrated selection of the best 8-bit inspired pixel artists. Already at the time, the American artist stood out from the lot because of his instinctive and primal approach to digital material." Max's work is spread out across the Internet: on Tumblr, Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube, and his own webspace... [more inside]
Wired takes a look at some pop culture legends that elude fans and collectors.
The artists of Draw2D2 are given two "geeky things" based on a monthly theme, and then have two weeks to create mash-up illustrations. Art is posted every other Thursday at 12:00pm EST, with a poll for the public to vote for their favorites. Artists with the most votes can show their process in a spotlight post. [more inside]
Pop Pilgrims : "When the AV Club Travels, we always make time to visit pop culture landmarks. If something memorable happened in the world of film, tv, books, or music, we want to go there. We're not just tourists, we're POP PILGRIMS." [more inside]
Feminist Frequency is a videoblog by Anita Sarkeesian that critiques pop-culture from the perspective of a feminist geek. She explains her approach in this video. Among the topics she's covered in her videos are fembots, the boy's club veneer of file sharing sites and gendered toy ads. Sarkeesian has recently started to make a series of videos for Bitch Magazine called Tropes vs. Women, about "the reoccurring themes and representations of women in Hollywood films and TV shows." So far there are four episodes: The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, Women in Refrigerators, The Smurfette Principle and The Evil Demon Seductress.
An exhaustive guide to the sneakers worn by Jerry Seinfeld over the course of Seinfeld's 9-year run. [more inside]
The AV Club feature Gateways to Geekery is all about the best places to start on some of pop culture's most complex and nuanced artists and genres, including Randy Newman, The Who, Monty Python, steampunk, Sherlock Holmes and 90 others. [more inside]
Marvel.com now has many animated series (all episodes, in their entirety) available to view online at their website including The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Superheroes, X-Men, The Animated Series, X-Men Evolution, Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, and Spider-Man (1967) (Full list inside) [more inside]