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Archive for category 'culture'

Sha Na Na and the Invention of the Fifties

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Marcus was coming to the same conclusion: The idea of the Fifties that America still holds — the happy, "greasy" Fifties — was an "invented History." Up until 1969, quite an opposite cultural memory held sway. When Americans remembered "the Fifties," they thought of Joe McCarthy witch hunts, of an "age of anxiety," of the "shook-up generation" diving under their desks during A-Bomb drills, of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit selling out and Holden Caulfield cracking up, or Allen Ginsberg '48 and Jack Kerouac '44 too "beat" to fight back.

The New York Metropolitan Opera in Australia -- in Cinemas


This is the future. Great opportunity to see something otherwise utterly unreachable, too.

quote of the day: Susan Budd


The negative assumption is that supernatural religion is erroneous, and that this error has important consequences. The positive assumption is the belief in free discussion, the devaluation of any claim to authority except that of the scholar or scientist, a belief in morality as a guide to behaviour, and in the power of men to shape their world and determine their futures. The common assertion that humanists view man as basically good is mistaken; it would be more accurate to say that they see him as powerful. They attribute his malice and aggression to his social and biological circumstances, and accordingly demand that he try to assume responsibility for himself and his society. [...] The attack on religion is that by diverting men's energies and attention to their fate in a future life, it hinders the realization of such happiness as they can achieve on earth.

-- Varieties of Unbelief, p. 8-9 (Heinemann, 1977)

What happens when a virtuoso concert violinist busks in a train station?


Answer: not much. The only surprising thing is that they predicted a huge response.

The Design Disease: "People with the disease will always choose books by their covers."


There are many such conditions. I threw up a little in my mouth when I first saw the band name "5ive", for example, and again this weekend at a clothes shop called "Temt". Text messages provoke uncontrollable weeping.

Naked parties in the Ivy League

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"The dynamic is completely different from a clothed party. People are so conscious of how they're coming across that conversations end up being more sophisticated. You can't talk about how hot that chick was the other night."

What's real in "Borat"?


Salon rounds up reports from people featured (fooled) in the film.

UK man jailed for trolling

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During police interviews, Martin admitted posting the messages but insisted he was not racist. He told the officers he had intended to stir up an argument on the website but did not believe in what he had written.

"They Want Us to Look" -- the culture of 80s teen sex comedies


The Porky's shower peep is to the teen sex comedy what the graceful airborne duels in The Matrix are to modern movie fights; they both set examples for their medium. In the Porky's peep, the boys are voyeurs, crouched in darkness, and the girls snap each other with towels and do nude shower-room calisthenics ("Up! Down! 1-2-3-4 Up! Down!"). And when they realize they're being watched, instead of feeling violated, the girls wrap towels around themselves and start flirting with their secret admirers. As Pee Wee, the antsiest scopophiliac of the bunch, declares, "They’re hot! They’re hot! They want us to look! They want us to look!" Thus any compunction about unauthorized looking is washed away. Women feed off the male gaze.

Unpopular Culture

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Literature a chapter a day, with space for reader comments.

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.

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