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

“On the Notion of Guilty Pleasures”

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“As much as you think ‘We Built This City (On Rock And Roll)’ or Spandau Ballet might be bad, you don’t even know bad, buddy.’” Jon Hunt writes about guilty pleasures, critical faculties,  good and bad music, but his thoughts can easily be applied to other mediums. (via @popshifter)

“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.

Fun! Charm! Thrilling Adventure!

AmeliaP

The Thrilling Adventure Hour is a beacon in a grittily realistic, grimdark pop culture landscape, one guiding lost souls to fun, charm and adventure. And I’m glad to see The Thrilling Adventure Hour adapted from podcast radio play into graphic novel because I like what it portends for fun stories in the future and because […]

RIP, Shirley Temple

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Actress and Ambassador Shirley Temple Black has died. The New York Times and The Guardian have obituaries.  She got her start in “Baby Burlesks” went on to make many, many films, become the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Ghana and Czechoslovakia, the first female US Chief of Protocol, as well as an early activist for […]

Mamoru Samuragochi & The Mystery Composer

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Composer Mamoru Samuragochi has issued a statement through his lawyer admitting that another composer has been writing his work. “Samuragochi is perhaps best know for his work in the video game industry, where he worked on notable titles like Resident Evil and Onimusha. It was while composing the score for the latter, in 1999, that […]

RIP, Suchitra Sen

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Actor Suchitra Sen has died. Sen starred in both Bengali and Hindi films (Aandhi; Devdas) and is probably most famous for her roles opposite Uttam Kumar, including Sharey Chuattar; Agni Pariksha; and, Saptapadi. The Times of India, Firstpost Bollywood, and The Indian Express have obituaries. The Times of India also has a video tribute and […]

RIP, Sheila Guyse

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Actor and singer Sheila Guyse has died. Guyse appeared on Broadway, most notably in “Finian’s Rainbow” and in “race films” with all-African-American casts catering to African-American audiences in the 1940s and 1950s. The New York Times has an obituary. Nina Mae McKinney has a tribute to Guyse. Here Sheila Guyse performs “Cinderella” with Billy Daniels […]

RIP, Hal Sutherland

Animator, director, Filmation co-founder and painter Hal Sutherland has died. Sutherland is probably best known for Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, The Archies and Star Trek animated series. Sutherland  Indiewire has an obituary.  StarTrek.com remembers Sutherland. StarTrek.com has a two-part interview with Sutherland here.

RIP, Dave Madden

Actor and comedian Dave Madden has died. He was best known for his portrayal of Reuben Kincaid in the television series, The Partridge Family and his work on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In.  The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times have obituaries. Here Madden appears after Charo on Sammy Davis Jr.’s Hollywood Palace.

“Where Space Pyramids and Politics Collide”

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“Afrofuturism also goes beyond spaceships, androids and aliens, and encompasses African mythology and cosmology with an aim to connect those from across the Black Diaspora to their forgotten African ancestry.” More on Afrofuturism and its promise, here. (via @Ponderiss)

Cab Calloway’s Jive Dictionary

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Learn to speak jive like all the hep cats do.

“Rankin / Bass’s The Thing”

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Trailer for Rankin / Bass’s The Thing. (Also, please enjoy The Thing re-enacted with G.I. Joe action figures).

Interview with Doc Hammer

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Doc Hammer talks about The Venture Bros., janked-up tattoos and art with Inked Magazine.

The Goblin and The Resurrected Witch, Live in Budapest

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Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg (“The Goblin”) and Katalin Ladik (“The Resurrected Witch”) from the intensely sonic, Berberian Sound Studio, offer a performance of their vocal talent with sound designer Pál Tóth (aka, én) in Budapest.

James Joyce vs. Kool Keith

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Who said it, James Joyce or Kool Keith?

Pop Culture That Makes Pop Culture Happy Hour Cry

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On Pop Culture Happy Hour, Linda, Stephen and Chris share what pop culture makes them cry and why.

The Voice of Night Vale

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The Daily Dot interviews Cecil Baldwin, the voice of the eerie podcast, Welcome To Night Vale.

“Electric Lady (Kiss) Land: Blade Runner and R&B”

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At Popshifter, Paul Casey looks at Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,  Janelle Monáe’s The Electric Lady and The Weeknd’s Kiss Land. “Where The Electric Lady is uplifting and empowering, the story of a righteous dissident fighting for every wronged being in existence, Kiss Land is from the other side. […]

Mickey, Bugs, Daffy, Donald, Dot and Franz

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Franz Liszt’s “Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in C Sharp Minor” in cartoons from black and white Mickey Mouse cartoons to Animaniacs. (Thanks, Mike!)

RIP, Julie Harris

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Actress Julie Harris has died. The Los Angeles Times remembers her.  The Hollywood Reporter has an obituary. She appeared in countless film, television and stage roles. Here she is as Eleanor in The Haunting (1963) and as Betty in Harper (1966).

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    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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    At Never Get Off The Bus, Debbie Moon writes about Captain America: First Avenger. “When adapting existing material, it’s easy to assume that in order to reach point F, you simply have to work through points A – E. To set up Steve Rogers in the modern world, simply romp briskly through everything that happened before he got there. But your character may not be undergoing a single united emotional journey during that period. “

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