The Cultural Gutter

hey, there's something shiny down there...

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

PKD and PW

Peter Watts writes up a few thoughts on the new Philip K. Dick collection, Exegesis: “Exegesis is a little like a year’s supply of pub dates with some crazy dude in Klingon getup whose rants verge just a bit too close to brilliance to let you write him off completely.”

Curious about The Thing remake?

Peter Watts has an interest in the remake of The Thing (see here for why), and he has some entertaining things to say: “For one thing, there are just too many similarities between the two films for me to accept that this is truly a prequel and not just a remake. This goes beyond the […]

Writerly Wedding Vows

Writers Peter Watts and Caitlin Sweet got hitched and provide a copy of their unconventional yet strangely moving wedding vows. Hers: “They’re the very things that I fell for, even before you made an x-rated cephalopod reference on a rooftop patio.” His: “And you and I are going to kick biological determinism in the balls.” Worth reading […]

The Hierarchy of Contempt, Reality TV Edition

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Since April is our wacky month, I decided to venture far afield, basically into the scariest minefield of cultural contempt that I can think of: reality TV.

Peter Watts’ The Thing

Peter Watts retells The Thing from the Thing’s point of view. Read it yourself or listen to an audio version of his version.

Thing One and Thing Two

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The Thing is coming for you! But you don’t know which one of your friends is The Thing! Paranoia… gore… body horror… and all of the above recently retold from The Thing’s point of view.

That’s a Wrap

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I enjoy this time of year. Partly because I work in retail, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a kind of gift: festive and fun, and landing somewhere between the insanity of December and the dead quiet of January. But also because I get a kick out of all the lists […]

The New Frankenstein

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Frankenstein was probably scary at one point, but the whole story has been worn down by repetition, robbed of its power and relegated to status as not much more than a pop culture gag. What would it take to resuscitate the cautionary note in the tale of a scientist? After looking at Scott Bakker’s terrifying […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Monkey See, Libby Hill considers RuPaul’s Drag Race and the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Monday Night Raw. “To compare WWE’s Monday Night Raw to RuPaul’s Drag Race may seem like an easy punch line to those who dismiss both as lowbrow entertainment pitched to niche audiences. But those who indulge in both (almost assuredly a very small sliver of that particular Venn diagram) know better than to reject the notion out of hand.” (via @kalaity)

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    Tin House has published an edition of Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness illustrated by Matt Kish, an interesting follow-up to Kish’s project, Moby-Dick In Pictures; One Drawing For Every Page. See more of Kish’s work here.

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    At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city in ruins. But irony without a purpose enables cynicism. It stops at disavowal and destruction, fearing strong conviction is a mark of simplicity and delusion.

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    Eastern Kicks has an interview–and a gallery of photos of–director Park Joon-hung.

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    Get ready for a new season of Mad Men with this collection of Absurdist Mad Men promotions, which the Cultural Gutter participates in and even encourages. Duck Phillips rules an undersea advertizing empire and “Pete feels slighted.”

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    Some interesting thoughts on South Korean cinema with “A Dish Best Served Bloody: Revenge In South Korean Cinema” and this Cannes program piece on Arirang (1926) and the history of Korean film.

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