The Cultural Gutter

hey, there's something shiny down there...

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

Fear of a Black Panther: Part One

“Fear of a Black Panther: Part One” is the excellent first part of an examination of Panther’s Rage: “a classic 13 part super-hero story that predated the ‘adult’ stylings of Watchmen & the Dark Knight Returns by over a decade. [It} was a dark, dense American super-hero comic that featured African characters in every single […]

The History of Black Comic Book Heroes Through the Ages

Dart Adams Presents: Black Like Me: The History of Black Comic Book Heroes Through the Ages, Part One (1900-1968)and Part Two (1969-2008).  (Click it! It’s amazing).

Black History Mumf

It’s Black History Mumf at Big Media Vandalism and the Odienator provides a recap of his film reviews here.

The Black Dragon’s Revenge

Ron Van Clief. the Black Dragon, remembers Bruce Lee, Carter Wong, Jimi Hendrix, racism and underground fighting in the 1950s and working with Blaxploitation auteur, Berry Gordy: “What made The Last Dragon so special is that it was shot in New York City and it starred an African American. No drugs, no prostitution. Just a […]

Respectable Newspaper, All Geek

The Austin Chronicle‘s the paper of the future with an all science fiction edition.  News, books, music, everything. (I’m especially excited about the music–The Day the Earth Stood Still and afronauts).

Afrofuturism

Preserved from usenet, Mark Dery’s 1994 essay on Afrofuturism: “Hack this: Why do so few African-Americans write science fiction, a genre whose close encounters with the Other—the stranger in a strange land—would seem uniquely suited to the concerns of African-American novelists? …. This is especially perplexing in light of the fact that African-Americans are, in […]

Mothership Connection

It’s a history of Afronauts in music, from Rev. A.W. Nix to Sun Ra to Lil Wayne.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Tin House has published an edition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness illustrated by Matt Kish, an interesting follow-up to Kish’s project, Moby-Dick In Pictures; One Drawing For Every Page. See more of Kish’s work here.

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    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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