The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

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

“When Drag Kings Ruled Alongside The Mafia”


“At a café in lower Chelsea, author and historian Lisa Davis leaned across the table to pass 40-year-old lesbian gossip to me. ‘Corinne wanted to take everything from Lee,’ she said. ‘So Lee called the Mafia. They sent Big George to Long Island, and that was the end of the problem. Corinne immediately backed down, […]

Nate Powell Talks about The March, Depicting Violence and “I Have A Dream’


Alex Deuben interviews artist Nate Powell about the second volume of The March and working with Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin. “We are taught — and we tend to perpetuate this myth — that the Civil Rights Movement was nine words long: ‘Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream.’ I think what […]

“The Husband Did It”


At The Awl, Alice Bolin writes about Gone Girl, Serial, true crime television and “Why it’s scarier for a man to be accused than for a woman to be killed”: “It’s clear we love the Dead Girl, but we don’t empathize with her. If we did, we might ask why we did nothing to protect […]

Jello Biafra and the Space Brothers


Footage of Jello Biafra interviewing the Archangel Urial and other members of Unarius, a religion based on their encounters with aliens, the Space Brothers.

Taylor Negron on Catherine Davis


The late Taylor Negron wrote a lovely piece about his friend Catherine Davis, murdered by Johnny Lewis. “If you look at initial reports of the death of Johnny Lewis — the “Sons of Anarchy” actor and, as all the media outlets have made sure to note, the ex of Katy Perry — the name of […]

Devil Girl from Inverness


The BBC’s Steven McKenzie looks at Scotland’s influence on science fiction film and a wee bit of television. (Thanks, Matt!)

“It’s Okay To Be The Uncool Black Girl”


“I find it amazing how much you appreciate being a nerd once you get older.  Adding two cups of wisdom along with a pint of experience and mix it all together with maturity gives you a bewitching concoction of someone who is secure in who and what they are.  My security and confidence may not […]

Photographs of 1950s and 1960s Hong Kong


A gallery of Fan Ho’s photos of Hong Kong from the book, Fan Ho: A Hong Kong Memoir. (Thanks, Clarice!)

“Video Games, Misogyny and Terrorism”


At Badass Digest, Gaming Editor Andrew Todd writes about “rampant issues with sexism, homophobia, and racism within the gaming industry.”

Google Streetview Camera’s Museum Self-Portraits

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Quartz writes about “Camera In The Mirror,” an Mario Santamaría’s Tumblr art project collecting the Google Streetview camera’s photographs of itself in museums. “Collected together, the Google-camera selfies are at turns unsettling, revealing, and absurd—unintentionally upstaging the art they’re meant to quietly document.”

Female Friendship and the Slenderman Stabbing

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“[The Slenderman Stabbing] appears to echo patterns of behavior—belief in culturally-supported fantasies, tightly-cathected bonds between young women, an intensity of connection that has occasionally led to violence—that have occurred repeatedly, in various forms, throughout history and around the world. And they happen outside the heterosexual framework we use to understand [Elliot] Rodgers’ misogynistic rampage. This crime is […]

The Prague Museum of Communism


At Teleport City, The Gutter‘s own Keith Allison continues to share his adventures in Prague. This time, he visits the Prague Museum of Communism.

“Prague Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments”


At Teleport City, The Gutter’s Own Keith Allison has a gallery of photographs from Prague’s Museum Of Medieval Torture Instruments.

“The Nominative Case”


Judge John Hodgman decides a case of towering nerdiness: “Jordan, a lifelong comic book fan, and his friend Charles were discussing the DC comics villain Mr. Mxyzptlk and made a wager: if Jordan’s friends could trick him into saying his own name backwards, he’d owe them five dollars.”

“Martin Luther King & The Montgomery Story” Comic


A complete digital edition of  Martin Luther King & The Montgomery Story (1956), the comic that inspired Rep. John Lewis to pursue nonviolence and social justice.

The Graves of Russian Mafiya Bosses


Denis Tarasov has photographed the elaborate graves of Russian and Ukrainian organized crime bosses. They’re currently being shown at London’s Saatchi gallery. (via @jakeadelstein)

“No Matter How Hard They’re Punched: Superheroes and Real World Issues”

Books and Adventures finishes off a series on comics and educations with a discussion of superheroes and real world issues between Books and Adventures’ Matt Finch, Professor Mark D. White of CUNY; Tom Miller of McMaster University; critic, screenwriter and University of Melbourne graduate student, Martyn Pedler; and artist-educator and doctoral candidate at Teachers College, […]

“Deep Intellect: Inside the Mind of the Octopus”

Sy Montgomery has a lovely piece up about octopi, intelligence, consciousness and, maybe, friendship. (via @hudsonette)

“I’m Haunted Zippy, Who Are You?”

Cracked provides a list of questionably haunted items, including an evil Zippy the Pinhead doll. Who will have the heart to tell Zippy creator Bill Griffith?

Maybe Reality Isn’t the Point

Define reality. I’m not a big follower of reality tv shows, although I find myself sucked in to an episode if I start watching. Sometimes I appreciate the talent and sometimes I’m just rubbernecking at the train-wreck drama or the otherness of other people’s lives, but when my favorite contender on The Glee Project was […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Michael Aguilar discusses The Giant Claw and making the stop motion wonder of “Godzilla 2014 vs. The Giant Claw, Part I!” (Thanks, Kate!)


    In a 1988 Sight And Sound interview, Patricia Highsmith talks about film adaptations of her novels, from Strangers On A Train (1950) to The American Friend (1977)


    Open Culture has a re-vamped trailer for a film adaptation of  Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius’ comic The Incal. One that never happened. “[Incal‘s] success made it a logical candidate for film adaptation, and so director Pascal Blais brought together artists from Heavy Metal magazine (in which Mœbius first published some of his best known work) to make it happen. It resulted in nothing more than a trailer, but what a trailer; you can watch a recently revamped edition of the one Blais and his collaborators put together in the 1980s at the top of the post.” (Thanks, Felipe!)


    Hyperallergic has a gallery of astronomical and cosmological illustrations from photographer Michael Benson’s books, Cosmographics: Picturing Space Through Time. (Thanks, Stephanie!)


    A homophobic Tumblr post becomes Queer dystopian adventure fiction in two responses. Behold! (Thanks, Adele!)


    Tony Zhou has a new video up at Every Frame A Painting. This time, he looks at Buster Keaton and, “The Art Of The Gag.”


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