The Cultural Gutter

unashamed geekery

"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 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.”

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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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    At RogerEbert.com, Alan Zilberman explores the history of the eye in cinema from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) to Mark Cahill’s I Origins (2014). (via Matt Zoller Seitz)

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