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

“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)

More Real Fight: Raging Phoenix starring Jija Yanin

Jija kicks organ-stealing gangster ass with hip  hop and drunken Muay Thai. It’s Raging Phoenix with Jija Yanin, B-Boys Thai, Kazu and champion bodybuilder Roongtawan. (via Wise Kwai)

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Jon Peterson discusses how Gary Gygax lost control of Dungeons & Dragons. “What did Gygax see, in that moment? He saw enough shares in play that he stood to lose control of TSR, a company he had founded and transformed into a global brand. But he surely also saw something even more dear at stake: that he might lose control of Dungeons & Dragons.”

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    At Paleofuture, Matt Novak writes about Idiocracy‘s unpleasant implications: “Sure. As an over-the-top comedic dystopia, the movie is actually enjoyable. But the movie’s introduction makes it an unnerving reference to toss around as our go-to insult….Unlike other films that satirize the media and the soul-crushing consequences of sensationalized entertainment (my personal favorite being 1951′s Ace in the Hole), Idiocracy lays the blame at the feet of an undeserved target (the poor) while implicitly advocating a terrible solution (eugenics). The movie’s underlying premise is a fundamentally dangerous and backwards way to understand the world.” (via The Projection Booth)

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    Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley looks at “The 1979 Rockford Files Episode That Inspired The Sopranos.” “A gang from Newark’s South Side is hiding Vinnie Martine’s body in a restaurant freezer. Tony’s mad because Anthony Jr. got caught pranking another mobster. And a boss who’s trying to reform gets his mansion sprayed with bullets. Remember that episode of The Sopranos? If you do, your memory’s playing tricks on you, because all these things happened on a 1979 episode of The Rockford Files—written by Sopranos creator David Chase.”

    And McKinley defends classic television with, “In Praise of Vintage Television.”

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    Journalist Margot Adler has died. She is best known for her work as a journalist on NPR, but she also created the speculative fiction radio program, “The Hour Of The Wolf” and was the writer of Drawing Down The Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (1979) and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side (2014). The New York Times, NPR and  Suvudu have obituaries.  Here Adler discusses Vampires Are Us. And here is an excerpt from Adler’s memoir, Heretic’s Heart (1997).

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    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for 2014. There’s lots of goodness in there and it’s worth taking a look even if you aren’t going to the festival, so you can you movie watching later this year or next. We’ll be posting the trailers from the films later.

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    Actor James Shigeta has died. Shigeta appeared in Die Hard (1988), The Crimson Kimono (1959) The Flower Drum Song (1961),  Bridge To The Sun (1961), Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), The Yakuza (1974) and many, many television shows.  The AV Club, Den Of Geek and Angry Asian Man have obituaries. Bridge to the Sun is discussed by Robert Osborne and Dr. Peter Feng on TCM.  At RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz writes an appreciation of Shigeta’s life and work. “Shigeta, who died yesterday at 81, was a marvelous performer, and his work as Nakatomi Corporation President Joseph Takagi in the original 1988 Die Hard is one of my favorite examples of how an imaginative actor can sketch out a life in just a few scenes and lines.”

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