The Cultural Gutter

we've seen things you people wouldn't believe

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

“He Wears The Mask Just To Cover The Raw Flesh”

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At The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about Dr. Doom: “Comics are so often seen as the province of white geeky nerds. But, more broadly, comics are  the literature of outcasts, of pariahs, of Jews, of gays, of blacks. It’s really no mistake that we saw ourselves in Doom, Magneto or Rogue.”

Writers’ “Lowbrow” Influences

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Writers share their “lowbrow” and gutter influences at Electric Lit: “I love Melville but Melville never wrote me a Choose Your Own Adventure book. And I needed that experience first if I was ever going to get to Melville.”

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.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Graveyard Shift Sisters, Ashlee Blackwell considers love in Ganja & Hess. ” It is up to the viewer to map a path that suits their understanding. What writer/director Bill Gunn (who plays Dr. Hess’ assistant) wanted was a disruption of mainstream fare. Gunn didn’t seem too interested in what Hollywood desired, and like many writers, wrote a screenplay that felt personal and needed to be written. It tackles so many themes, it’s almost difficult to begin. While most rely on it being vampiric and about addiction, it’s important to note the journey that Hess and Ganja embark on together. Their romantic entanglement may by one of the most fascinating aspects of the film that is commonly overlooked because it is challenging to simplify.”

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    Friend of the Gutter Less Lee Moore interviews friend of the Gutter Colin Geddes about his work on the new horror streaming service, Shudder.

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    The Bowery Boys Podcast dedicates an episode to New York City in the history of comic books. “In the 1890s a newspaper rivalry between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer helped bring about the birth of the comic strip and, a few decades later, the comic book.  Today, comic book superheroes are bigger than ever — in blockbuster summer movies and television shows — and most of them still have an inseparable bond with New York City.”

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    Pornokitsch’s One Comic Podcast looks at Red Sonja #10: “To everyone’s surprise, despite some of the covers and the character’s reputation, this isn’t the exploitative boobs’n’swordplay production it could have been. How did it achieve that? Listen and find out.”

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    Los Angeles Magazine has a gallery of self-portraits of Bunny Yeager and a bit about the career of a model and photographer most famous for her pin-up photographs of Bettie Page. “Having dedicated her life to photography and modeling, not to mention publishing 30 books on the subject (one of which shares a name with the Gavlak exhibition), Yeager had an influence on a generation of artist-photographers including Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman. Arbus even went as far to call her ‘The world’s greatest pin-up photographer.'” (Thanks, Stephanie!)

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    Arch Daily has a gallery of images of remarkable sandcastles built by Calvin Seibert. Smithsonian Magazine has more, including a 2012 interview with Seibert about his work. (via @lordwoolamaloo)

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