The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

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

“Don’t Stop Believin': Everyman’s Journey”

NPR’s Scott Tobias writes of Don’t Stop Believin': Everyman’s Journey: “The disparity between Journey’s mercenary nature and Pineda’s inspiring triumph over adversity comes through starkly in Everyman’s Journey.” (via @TrashFilmGuru)

Diverse Writers, Diverse Readers and Happily Ever Afters

NPR talks about romance written by and for people of color with authors Brenda Jackson, Michelle Monkou, Camy Tang and romance critic Sarah Wendell at the Romance Writers of American convention. (The radio piece is stronger than the written synopsis).

“The Circus of Fashion”

As Popshifter has pointed out, Suzy Menkes’ article about fashion, could apply to so many other cultural pursuits now: “It is great to see the commentaries from smart bloggers — especially those in countries like China or Russia, where there was, in the past, little possibility of sharing fashion thoughts and dreams[.] But two things […]

BBC Remake + Kevin Spacey + David Fincher = You Will Watch

The Fractured Atlas has an interesting piece on Netflix’s House of Cards, the Nutcracker, data analysis and driving new content development in the arts. And Andrew Leonard has more at Salon: “Netflix’s data indicated that the same subscribers who loved the original BBC production also gobbled down movies starring Kevin Spacey or directed by David […]

News from the EVE Frontline

Tor.com reports on one of the largest space battles in the history of EVE Online: “A space battle kicked off entirely by accident. A space battle so big it could not be simulated, it had to be crafted and pushed forward by human ego, so big it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and yet […]

“Porn Fans Aren’t What They Used To Be”

“In an age when every conceivable permutation of pornography is immediately accessible for free online, the power dynamic between viewer and star has shifted. Most porn viewers are still quietly accessing the material from the privacy of their own homes, but because it’s so easy to get, the reverence has faded.” At the Adult Entertainment […]

Hollywood and Industrialized Plagiarism

At Geek Juice, Josh Hadley’s “Industrialized Plagiarism” responds to a Village Voice piece, “How To Defend Quentin Tarantino.” Read them together for QT, Hollywood SOP, Harlan Ellison, homages, plagiarism and more.

“The Wrong Goodbye of Barnes and Noble”

“For a couple of years I’ve been predicting in column after column that B&N was eager to get out of the brick-and-mortar business of selling books, but seeing it finally kick into high gear was no fun.” Melville House’s Dennis Johnson draws out the implications of Barnes and Noble closing stores for the book  business, […]

“The Best of 2012 for DC Women”

DC Women Kicking Ass counts down the Best of 2012 for DC Women! Movies! Comics! Animation! Marketing! Batman!

“The Year in Comics: Biggest Disappointments of 2012″

At Gutters and Panels, John Gholson shares his 3 biggest disappointments in comics this year.

Apple, Nudity and e-Books

At The Globe and Mail, Michael Posner writes on Apple’s corporate censorship of Peter Ovig Knudsen’s books, Hippie 1 and 2. “The Hippie book controversy follows a series of similar attempts by Apple to censor–or deny market access–to artistic material it deems offensive.”

Attention, Horror Fans!

Couchcutter asks horror fans not to cheat themselves out of the future: “I’m not asking you to buy less Hollywood. I’m telling you that we *need* to buy more Independent. At least, if there is any independent stuff that you love or have ever loved. If one of the two have to suffer out of […]

The Rise of Women in Tech

Sarah Wenger has made a neat infographic about women in the tech field.

“Uncle Pervy’s K-Pop Playlist”

John Seabrook, aka, “Uncle Pervy,” created an overview of K-Pop video for all your booty-shaking, synchronized dance needs. Make sure to click through to his article on Korean pop music for The New Yorker. (via @sammy2lighters)  

Kids Do Read Comics

Comics Beat ‘s Torsten Adair goes through The New York Times bestseller list and draws some conclusions, “Right now, it seems that diversity is the zeitgeist, as non-fiction, non-comics publishers are selling well to the general public, and that kids’ books are a growing market.”

What is Gangnam Style?

“PSY does something in his video that few other artists, Korean or otherwise, do: He parodies the wealthiest, most powerful neighborhood in South Korea. Sure, he uses physical humor to make it seemingly about him, a man who wants to project glamour but keeps falling short…But ultimately, by declaring ‘Oppa is Gangnam Style,’ he turns […]

Modern Cartoonist: The Naked Truth

Fantagraphics’ blog reveals “Modern Cartoonist: The Naked Truth” in all its gorgeous glory! Read Dan Clowes’ tell-all illustrated essay originally published on the hush-hush in 1997.

A Yelp Dramatic Reading

“Yelp’s content — the technical genre of which is “review,” but which also, often, takes the guise of novel, treatise, elegy, and haiku — has at this point adopted a recognizable editorial sensibility. One that is guided by its authors’ unique ability to blend, in almost equal measure, selfless generosity and ruthless indignation.”  Chris Kipiniak […]

“‘Girlfriend Mode and Women as Consumers”

“I’m a woman, I’m a consumer and I actually like my first time playing a genre games to include a character option that can destroy my opponents rather than something adorable. I also like to be marketed to. Can this happen? I’m hoping so and I’m looking forward to it.”  More, including many excellent links, […]

RIP, Helen Gurley Brown

Helen Gurley Brown, Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief and author of Sex and the Single Girl has died. The New York Times has an obituary. Natalie Wood starred in Hollywood’s adaptation of Sex and the Single Girl.  John Stewart talks to Helen Gurley Brown, Dave Chappelle, Christopher Hitchens and Tony Hawks on his BBC talk show, Where’s Elvis […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    The Royal Court Theatre hosts a conversation among former Anonymous LulzSec members facilitated by anthropologist Gabriella Coleman.

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    “Japan’s estimated population at the time of their last census was 127 million, and people have been living on this small collection of islands since the Jomon period (~12,000 BCE.) In an increasingly crowded country with a strong traditional belief in ghosts and hauntings, the question of avoiding a marauding ghost becomes impossible to solve, without outside help.”Atlas Obscura has more (with neat illustrations).

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    At Mostly Film, Blake Backlash writes about films “mixing of Hollywood’s Grande Dames with Grand Guignol.”  “Such cinematic mixing of Grande Dames and Grand Guignol had its heyday in the second-half of the sixties, and such films are sometimes (more-or-less) affectionately known as psycho-biddy pictures. They tended to feature an actress over 50 in some sort of peril, a melodramatic plot and a title that ends in a question mark.  But there is another, related tradition that goes back further that I think we could place these films in.” (via Dr. Giallo)

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    “I want to tell you about when violent campaigns against harmless bloggers weren’t any halfway decent troll’s idea of a good time—even the then-malicious would’ve found it too easy to be fun. When the punches went up, not down. Before the best players quit or went criminal or were changed by too long a time being angry. When there was cruelty, yes, and palpable strains of sexism and racism and every kind of phobia, sure, but when these things had the character of adolescents pushing the boundaries of cheap shock, disagreeable like that but not criminal. Not because that time was defensible—it wasn’t, not really—but because it was calmer and the rage wasn’t there yet. Because trolling still meant getting a rise for a laugh, not making helpless people fear for their lives because they’re threatening some Redditor’s self-proclaimed monopoly on reason. I want to tell you about it because I want to make sense of how it is now and why it changed.” Emmett Rensin writes more at Vox.

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    At Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, Elyse has some things to say about reading Romance. “In the end, it doesn’t matter what I read. It doesn’t even matter that I do read, quite frankly. What matters is that we live in a world where fiction aimed directly at women is perceived as garbage. That doesn’t say anything at all about me, it says a lot about what needs to change.”

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    Brain Pickings looks at the life and work of Tove Jansson and the wisdom of her character, Too-ticky. “Too-ticky, the sage of Moominvalley who solves even the most existential of problems with equal parts practicality and wisdom, was inspired by the love of Jansson’s life — the great Finnish sculptor and graphic arts pioneer Tuulikki “Tooti” Pietilä, Jansson’s spouse. The two women met in art school during their twenties and remained together until Jansson’s death more than six decades later, collaborating on a lifetime of creative projects — all at a time when queer couples were straddling the impossible line between anguishing invisibility and dangerous visibility.” (via Kate Laity)

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