The Cultural Gutter

taking the dumb out of fandom

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

About

“My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.”
― Alan Moore

 

The Cultural Gutter is updated every Thursday afternoon with a new article about an artistic pursuit generally considered to be beneath consideration. Carol Borden draws out the best in comics, Chris Szego dallies with romance, alex MacFadyen stares deeply into the screen, Keith Allison probes science-fiction, and our Guest Stars shine here.

Thanks to EJ Lee for providing the fantastic art we used in the banner and The Cultural Gutter book.

While the writers have considerable enthusiasm for their subjects, they don’t let it numb their critical faculties. Tossing away the shield of journalistic objectivity and refusing the shovel of fannish boosterism, they write in the hopes of starting honest and intelligent discussions about these oft-enjoyed but rarely examined artforms. Contact us here.

Our Editors

Raised by two international catburglars, Carol Borden turned her back on her heritage to take up a life of art. Sometimes, late at night, she regrets her decision. You can read and listen to some of her other shenanigans at  Monstrous Industry. For her particular take on gutter culture, check out, “In the Sewer with the Alligators.”

Chris Szego reads romance. Along with poetry, mystery, sf, non-fiction of all kinds, cereal boxes (but not horror, because she’s kind of a chicken). For her particular take on the gutter, check out, “Love For Sale.”

Born and raised in Canada’s Cowtown, alex MacFadyen first embraced the cultural gutter through the local country music station. Needless to say, his family did not get it, and that was only the beginning. For his particular take on the gutter, check out, “The Social Relevance of Jackassery.”

When he’s not explaining some obscure historical or anthropological point while oblivious to the fact that he is slowly sinking in quicksand, Keith Allison writes about Science Fiction and Fantasty for The Cultural Gutter and runs the cult culture website Teleport City. For his particular take on gutter culture, check out, “The Sci-Fi Life.

SF/F Editor Emeritus James Schellenberg lives in Ottawa, and runs a book website called BiblioTravel that keeps track of where fiction is set. For his particular take on gutter culture, check out, “Even When They’re Wrong, They’re Right.” (Retired from The Gutter).

Screen Editor Emeritus Ian Driscoll is the screenwriter of numerous gutter-level films including the Harry Knuckles series, Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter, The Dead Sleep Easy and Smash Cut. His day job is in advertising, which helps explain the drinking. And, because he apparently needed another thing to keep him busy, he recently became a partner in running Ottawa’s oldest surviving cinema, the Mayfair Theatre. If he had a band, he would name it Two-Panel Marmaduke. For his particular take on the Gutter, check out, “Dangerous Because it Has a Philosophy.” (retired from The Gutter)

Jim Munroe has written three science-fiction novels. His videogame column in eye is called Pleasure Circuit. His No Media Kings website is home to his projects as well as many do-it-yourself articles on movie and book making. He lives with his wife in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood but enjoys an occasional trip to Liberty City, where he’s shot a lot of video. For his particular take on gutter culture, check out, “Vive Le Gutter!” (Retired from The Gutter)

Guy Leshinski is a writer and editor, a slapdash cartoonist and bass player, and sometime bon vivant. His comics column, The Panelist, appears every other week in Toronto’s eye Weekly. For his particular take on gutter culture, check out, “Gutter Thoughts.” (Retired from The Gutter)

Video Games editor Andrew Smale has retired from The Gutter.

Movie Editor Robin Bougie is writer and editor for the seminal Cinema Sewer magazine (retired from The Gutter)

 

Affiliations

The Cultural Gutter is a member site of The Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit (M.O.S.S.), a shadowy confederation of like-minded writers, broadcasters, creators, and jetsetters who have banded together in a bold mission to bring international intrigue and pop entertainment to the masses. Can anyone stand in the way of their diabolical schemes???

 

 

 

The Cultural Gutter is also a proud sponsor of The Drive-In Mob, along with the Grindhouse Cinema Database and Shelf Life Clothing Company.  Find the Mob on Twitter every Thursday and join in the tweetalong with the hashtag “#driveinmob” as we watch a classic genre film double feature.  Check driveinmob.com  or @driveinmob on Twitter for the weekly schedule and learn more about the Mob’s history here.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city in ruins. But irony without a purpose enables cynicism. It stops at disavowal and destruction, fearing strong conviction is a mark of simplicity and delusion.

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    Eastern Kicks has an interview–and a gallery of photos of–director Park Joon-hung.

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    Get ready for a new season of Mad Men with this collection of Absurdist Mad Men promotions, which the Cultural Gutter participates in and even encourages. Duck Phillips rules an undersea advertizing empire and “Pete feels slighted.”

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    Some interesting thoughts on South Korean cinema with “A Dish Best Served Bloody: Revenge In South Korean Cinema” and this Cannes program piece on Arirang (1926) and the history of Korean film.

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    Al-Jazeera America profiles John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, a documentary about Cambodian rock’n'roll and musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge. “Until 1975, music thrived in Phnom Penh, with clubs full night after night, crowds gathering in the streets around transistor radios to hear the latest releases, and the biggest stars being feted by the king. Enter the Khmer Rouge, communism and the war on intellectuals. Between 1975 and 1979, about 2 million Cambodians, roughly a third of the population, were rounded up and either were killed or died of starvation. Artists were particularly disliked by the Khmer Rouge, which saw creativity as decadence: Almost all of the biggest names perished during that era.”

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    Architecture Daily has an excerpt from City of Darkness detailing the development of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City. “By the 1970s, the City had filled out to its maximised form, with buildings of up to 14 storeys in height, and virtually no ground level daylight penetration save at its centre. Its density was estimated to have reached a mere 7 square feet per person. The yamen area had somehow remained an exception to the vertical development, leased to a missionary society in 1949 for use as an almshouse and old people’s home. Eventually, it defined the sole substantial void within the Walled City, with visible sky above it.”

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