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

The Dark Crystal’s First Cut

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The AV Club shares a recreation of the original version of Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s The Dark Crystal. Like this:Like Loading…

RIP, Charles Durning

Actor Charles Durning has died. Durning was most famous for his supporting roles in on stage and screen including, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Dog Day Afternoon, The Sting, The Muppet Movie, The Hudsucker Proxy, O Brother Where Art Thou? and  Tootsie.  Durning also lived an incredible life […]

The Muppet Institute of Technology

Jim’s Red Book chronicles the relationship between Jim Henson and Douglas Adams, including a proposed television special about computers, “The Muppet Institute of Technology.”  There’s more about their collaboration in film and videogames as well as some design art. (via io9)   Like this:Like Loading…

I Was Raised by Muppets

Of all the people whose art and philosophy have shaped the man I grew up to be, I think it’s possible that I have been most influenced by Jim Henson. The way the Muppets interacted with one another and the values they lived by formed a foundation for an understanding of relationships that has continued […]

Tribute to Jim Henson

A little collection of Muppetry for Jim Henson’s birthday. The Skeksis speak their own language in The Dark Crystal. Kermit sings, “Once in a Lifetime.” Mating rituals on Koozbane. Vincent Price sings with Uncle Deadly. Alice Cooper sings “Welcome to My Nightmare.” Martians discover the earth.  Gonzo’s going to go back there someday. The Swedish […]

Remembering Jim Henson

The Muppets prove that silly songs, whoopie-cushions and tribute letters from fans are enough to remember Jim Henson on his birthday. Like this:Like Loading…

Elementary

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“We have in our police reports realism pushed to its extreme limits, and yet the result is, it must be confessed, neither fascinating nor artistic.”—Arthur Conan Doyle, “A Case of Identity.” When I wrote about Sherlock Holmes and Kolchak: The Night Stalker: Cry of Thunder, I wrote that I picked up that comic because of […]

BUY THIS SHOW!!!

The original pitch for The Muppet Show. In memoriam, Jim Henson. Like this:Like Loading…

23 Variations on the Vampire

From Sesame Street’s the Count to Swamp Thing‘s aquatic vampires to The Lost Boys, hopping vampires and Richard Matheson, the AV Club has 23 variations on the vampire. Like this:Like Loading…

Viral Muppets

It might be the best thing ever, muppets uploading video on YouTube:  Beaker as meepmeepmeepow, Sam the Eagle as patrioticeagle, the Swedish Chef as deumnborkborkbork, the Great Gonzo as weirdowhatever and Statler and Waldorf respond to videos as heckle247. Like this:Like Loading…

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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.”

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    Actor Ken Takakura has died. Takakura starred in films such as Brutal Tales of Chivalry (1965); Red Peony Gambler (1968); Miyamoto Musashi: Duel at Ichijoji (1955) and Miyamoto Musashi: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956); as well as in co-productions like The Yakuza (1974); The Bullet Train (1975); Black Rain (1989) and Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles (2005).  The Japan Times, The South China Morning Post and The AV Club have obituaries. Japan Subculture has an interview with Takakura. Here Takakura sings the theme to Abhashiri Prison (1965)

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    Producer, writer and director Glen A. Larson has died. Larson was responsible for creating tv series such as Battlestar Galactica, Magnum P.I, Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, Quincy M.E., The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries and Buck Rogers In The 25Th Century, about which the Gutter’s own Keith wrote here. The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and The AV Club have obituaries. Watch Larson’s interview from 2010 at “Battlestar Galactica: The Exhibition”.

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    At Re/Action, Maddy Myers writes about how important the Metroid franchise, in both game and manga form, and its protagonist, Samus Aran, were to her. “Samus still represents a breakthrough. She first took off her armor to reveal a woman’s form back in 1986, the year that I was born. Samus and I grew up separately, kindred spirits who did not find one another until 2007. A best friend, a fraternal twin sister, a clone separated at birth. Or so I felt, as I let myself slip behind that visor. I wasn’t Samus myself – not yet. I stood behind her, hanging back. Did I dare? Did I dare pretend, role-play, allow myself to act as Samus? Could I be that cool?”

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    Maddy Myers writes about playing violent games, wanting to be powerful and internalized sexism. “Given my lifelong history of playing at war, and my desperate wish to feel strong, big, and powerful, it made sense that I would gravitate towards Counter-Strike and its ilk around the age of 15. But Counter-Strike, with its all-male selection of avatars and predominantly male player base, allowed no room for princesses — and the guys I played with didn’t either. I developed some traits during that time that I regret now — the belief that I was ‘special,’ and that I was ‘better’ than other women I knew because I liked playing violent games and they didn’t. The guys I played with encouraged and reinforced this behavior, assuring me that I was ‘different from those other girls,’ that my liking violence made me ‘cool.’ Girl stuff is stupid, I told myself, as I bought pants from the men’s section, told sexist jokes, and mocked all the ‘girl stuff’ that I’d liked, not so many years prior.”

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