The Cultural Gutter

geek chic with mad technique

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

RIP, Menahem Golan

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Producer and director Menahem Golan has died. Golan produced (and sometimes wrote and directed) many, many films including: The Delta Force (1986), Death Wish (1974), The Apple (1980), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), Missing In Action (1984), Invasion U.S.A. (1985), American Ninja (1985), Lifeforce (1985), Cobra (1986), Masters of the Universe (1987) Bloodsport (1988), Breakin’ […]

“Deadly Art of Survival”

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The Gutter’s own Keith writes about No Wave, Black cinema, ninjas, kung fu, cultural sharing, cultural appropriation, music and New York in a piece on The Deadly Art of Survival for Teleport City. “Its curious place in the history of cinema, for instance, [is] as this weird amalgamation of no wave, black cinema, and martial […]

“10 Modern Heroes of Black Nerddom (and Urkel is NOT One)”

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“If the RZA didn’t exist, then we would have had to invent him.” Charles Webb shares his list of “10 Modern Heroes of Black Nerddom (and Urkel is NOT One)” at Topless Robot.

James Joyce vs. Kool Keith

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Who said it, James Joyce or Kool Keith?

Chromatophores + “Insane In The Membrane”

Scientists hooked a squid up to an iPod. This is what happened.

“Protest Style”

HAPS puts PSY’s protest style in context.

Weird R. Kelly Tales

Tales from R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet told by actor Michael K. Williams and drawn by Kagan McLeod.

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 […]

Vice Interviews ICP

“Ah shit, man, being a Juggalo is a hard thing. But at the same time, it’s the closest love you’re ever gonna have.”  More from Jason Webber’s interview with Insane Clown Posse’s Shaggy 2 Dope here. (via Matt Staggs)

A Letter from Mr. Nathaniel Hornblower

In memoriam, a letter Adam Yauch wrote to The New York Times as Nathaniel Hörnblowér, his nom de direction for Beastie Boys music videos. TheDose.ca has a collection of Mr. Hörnblowér’s work. excluding “Sabotage.” And here’s an interview with Mr. Hörnblowér.

“Why Do People Hate Rap and Opera?”

At NPR’s classical music blog, Deceptive Cadence, Tom Huizenga discusses the results of a poll asking readers to “name their musical blind spot.” Over and over, people disliked rap and opera  and Huizenga ponders why that might be and what rap and opera might have in common: “Opera and rap take work to appreciate — […]

RIP, Don Cornelius

Soul Train creator and host Don Cornelius has died. The LA Times has an obituary and YouTube has many, many Soul Train clips.

My Pretty Pony: Remixing is Magic

Variety has a piece on how Hasbro allows fans to use footage from My Pretty Pony: Friendship is Magic, while other media copyright holders continue to try and squash fan use of media properties. “Really it all comes down to a question of control for big media companies….They can either attempt to clamp down on […]

Evan Munday Does Like Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

Gutter Guest Star Evan Munday reviews the dance classic and possible rival to The Empire Strikes Back as greatest sequel of all time, Breakin’ 2:  Electric Boogaloo! “The makers of Breakin’ 2 know you’re here for the breakin’, and they are all too happy to provide….with only the barest lip service provided to a plot, […]

Who’s That? Brown: The Video Game

Das Racist’s awesome bit-art video for “Who’s That? Brown” is also a game you can play! (Thanks, John!)

Great Comics That Never Happened Annual #1

The Comics Alliance has gathered together “The Great Comics That Never Happened” all in one place. Thrill to “Aliens vs. Predator vs. Ted Nugent!” Sigh with “Young M.O.D.O.K. Romance!” Discover the “Crisis in the 36 Chamber” with the JLA and the Wu-Tang Clan!

“And I don’t understand all your references / like what a TARDIS is…”

“I Have Never Watched An Episode of Doctor Who In My Life,” a hip hop confession by Adam WarRock / Eugene Ahn.

The RZA Directs

The Playlist has the first trailers for the RZA’s first film, Wu-Tang vs. The Golden Phoenix.

“This Pie’s So Good It Is A Crime”

MC Chris’s song, “Twin Peaks”: “This pie’s so good it is a crime.”

The Temptation of the Unspeakable Groove

Unspeakable horror + Unspeakable groove. Animation with art by Dan Hillier and music by Losers. (via Dan Hillier)

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    “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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    Photographer Kevin Weir uses vintage photographs to create haunting animation in “The Flux Machine.” The Guardian has an interview with Weir and more on his work.

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    At the New Yorker, Jill Lepore considers the intertwining histories of women’s suffrage, feminism, Amazons and Wonder Woman. “It isn’t only that Wonder Woman’s backstory is taken from feminist utopian fiction. It’s that, in creating Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston was profoundly influenced by early-twentieth-century suffragists, feminists, and birth-control advocates and that, shockingly, Wonder Woman was inspired by Margaret Sanger, who, hidden from the world, was a member of Marston’s family.”

     

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    Tim Reis shares ten things he learned from producing his first independent feature The Demon’s Rook. “Making an independent feature film is hard. Making an independent feature film with no money is especially hard. Making an independent feature film with no money, no actors, and a first-time director and crew is almost impossible. It is also the greatest, most liberating thing and you can and should totally do it.” (Thanks, Colin!)

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