The Cultural Gutter

the cult in your pop culture

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

Is that a gun in your sweatpants?
Art, morality and The Superbowl

pop eyed triceratops2

I told my 3 year old that I’d find a bed for his google-eyed dinosaur. “I promise, sweetheart.” Then, after 45 minutes of ducking in and out of his room with him crying and the senile cat howling in the background while I tried to write an article, I threw the dinosaur across the living […]

Know Your Meme: Creepy Chan

Know Your Meme scientist Yatta explains how Anonymous is a better Tyra Banks than Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model.  (Thanks, Mike White!)

“Fare Thee Well, Infant!”

Ah, the internet, what would we do for time-wasting/movie-geekery without you? Famous Movie Quotes as if Spoken by a Proper Englishman includes such gems as “Toodeloo, you ghastly miscreant!” and “I grow impatient with these malevolent slithering reptiles on this bloody aircraft…”

The End of the Zombie Plague

Jim Rossignol shotguns him some zombies, really the zombie infestation of gaming, writing, “My issue with the zombie archetype is that it is largely without a villain, and we need specific villains” in games.

Werner TKO’s Chuck Every Time

5 reasons Werner Herzog is more badass than Chuck Norris (even with his action jeans).

Clashing with Star Wars

Two items where Star Wars runs up against participatory culture: the completely awesome Animals with Lightsabers and the completely logical one-off joke The Hook. 

Dallas Episode IV: A New Hope

Ever wonder what Star Wars would look like as Dallas or Airwolf? Probably not, but it’s still worth seeing. (via Adult Swim)

So Awful It Moves Past Parody

Vaniel found some awful description in a fantasy novel: “Really, all I could think was, ‘I have got to scan this tomorrow because no one will believe how awful it is.” It’s so awful it’s gone back around to being good again–but for all the wrong reasons.’  It’s astonishingly awful. It should win an award. […]

DANGEROUS BECAUSE IT HAS A PHILOSOPHY

videodrome_80.jpg

In Videodrome, shortly before the arrival of the least sexy waiter in the history of cinema (no link for this, you’ll just have to go rent the movie), Max Renn (James Woods, no hyperlink needed) and Masha (Lynne Gorman, IMDb listing not interesting enough to link to) share the following exchange on the nature of […]

LOLthots

oh, hai! Jay Dixit ponders the humanity in lolcats (and talks to The New Yorker’s cartoons editor about them): “By articulating profound feelings through cats and marine mammals speaking garbled English, we’re able to shroud genuine emotions in pseudo-irony — which means those animals can evoke deeper emotions without fear of mockery or cheapness.”

Oh Hai LOLBiznez!

Running computers on LOLCode and translating the Bible into LOLcat. Oh Noes?

More Goddamn Batman (and Robin, Age 12)

Confined Space collects a chain of fan art from the “Goddamn Batman” meme.  My favorite: Law and Order: Goddamn Batman. Protoclown read All-Star Batman and Robin–the start of the damned and batty–so you wouldn’t have to.

Birth of an Internet Meme

Good old comics controversy: Spider-Man gets rebooted (back to 1971!), and the response: “It’s magic, we don’t have to explain it!” You can already buy the t-shirt.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Teleport City, the Gutter’s own Carol writes about 12 books that vary in reputability and their harrowing nature. They include books by Shirley Jackson, Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith and Herman Melville.

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    Anne Billson has posted a 1985 interview she did with director George Miller (the Mad Max films). Miller talks about many things including Aunty Entity’s probable past as a hero and Max as, in Mel Gibson’s words, “a closet human being.” (Thanks, Matt!)

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    At New York Magazine, David Wallace-Wells writes about bees, colony collapse disorder and beekeeper Dave Hackenberg. “It’s been a long decade for bees. We’ve been panicking about them nonstop since 2006, when beekeeper Dave Hackenberg inspected 2,400 hives wintering in Florida and found 400 of them abandoned — totally empty. American beekeepers had experienced dramatic die-offs before, as recently as the previous winter in California and in regular bouts with a deadly bug called the varroa mite since the 1980s. But those die-offs would at least produce bodies pathologists could study. Here, the bees had just disappeared. In the U.K., they called it Mary Celeste syndrome, after the merchant ship discovered off the Azores in 1872 with not a single passenger aboard. The bees hadn’t even scrawled CROATOAN in honey on the door on their way out of the hive.”

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    Andrew Nette has a pair of interesting pieces on pulp you might be interested in. First, he writes about “the New Pulp” and a bit about Fifty Shades of Gray in “Fifty Shades of Pulp.” Then he writes about pulp and literacy and furthering social advancement in “Pulp and Circumstance.”  “Most people view pulp as either exploitative lowbrow culture or highly collectable retro artefact. Yet pulp has a secret history which Rabinowitz’s book uncovers. Her central thesis is that cheap, mass-produced pulp novels not only provided entertainment and cheap titillating thrills, but also brought modernism to the American people, democratising reading and, in the process, furthering culture and social enlightenment.”

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    The Projection Booth interviews actor Ed Asner.

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    Transcript from BAFTA’s tribute to director Johnnie To, “Johnnie To: A Life In Pictures.” It’s a great interview with To about his films and process. “Like when I made The Mission I didn’t have a script. It was 1999 and I didn’t have any money so we went to Taiwan and they gave us very little money to hurry up and make a film, so without any script we just started making it. And after 19 days we made the film.” (Thanks to the Heroic Sisterhood!)

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