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.”

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.

 

Romance Editor Emeritus 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.” (Retired from The Gutter).

SF/F Editor Emeritus James Schellenberg lives in Ottawa. 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

    Gentleman’s Gazette has a piece on the sartorial splendor of Hercule Poirot and of Captain Hastings in the BBC television adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Poirot mysteries.

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    At Pitchfork, Barry Walters writes about Grace Jones. “One night in 1993, I finally got my chance to see Jones perform at a local gay nightclub and took my friend Brian, whose partner Mark was too sick to join us….She didn’t back away from the elephant in the room: She dedicated one song to artist and AIDS casualty Keith Haring, who had used her body for a canvas on the occasion of her legendary 1985 Paradise Garage performance. That night’s show was remarkable for the simple fact that Jones just kept on going, granting one encore request after another, waiting patiently while the sound man scoured backing tapes to find the fans’ offbeat choices. When Jones got to such minor numbers as ‘Crush,’ it became clear that she didn’t want to leave. She was giving as much of herself as she could to the beleaguered troops, knowing full well that many wouldn’t live long enough to see her again.”

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    At Pornokitsch, The Gutter’s own dame with a shady past Carol writes about five films noir.  “Do you want to watch some film noir? I hope so, because I have five films to suggest. Films about dames gone wrong, poor doomed saps, murders, sex and modern knights errant.”

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    At The Alcohol Professor, The Gutter’s own Keith writes about Billie Holiday in a fantastic two-part piece. Part one traces “the history of Billie Holiday and NYC nightlife through the Harlem Renaissance to Café Society.” Part two covers “Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and the jazz scene in New York City clubs of a bygone era.”

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    The New Yorker has a profile of author Gene Wolfe. “His narrators may be prophets, or liars, or merely crazy, but somewhere in their stories they help to reveal what Wolfe most wants his readers to know: that compassion can withstand the most brutal of futures and exist on the most distant planets, and it has been part of us since ages long past.”

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    Remezcla has a gallery of Lourdes Grobet’s portraits of luchadores with their families and a bit of an interview with her. (Yes, the luchadores are in their masks and often wearing suits or casual wear, which is the best thing). (Thanks, Matt!) “Father and warrior, the masked wrestler is the perfect metaphor for the duality that Grobet’s photography wants to depict. Her work is resonant because she doesn’t try to demolish the myths that envelop lucha libre – she simply nurtures and expands them in an offbeat way.”

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