The Cultural Gutter

dumpster diving of the brain

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

The Cruelty of Idiocracy

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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 […]

“The World of Kamandi”

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Comic Book Cartography has Jack Kirby’s map of “The World of Kamandi.” (Thanks, Lt. Wilkes!) Like this:Like Loading…

“It’s A Bunch Of Years After The War”

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Mallory Ortberg writes some entertaining faux-young adult dystopian fiction at The Toast: “Now, society’s bad. There was only one way for society to survive. Society’s real bad. Our society was bad after the War because of bad things. Remember all the things about your society right now? Just make ‘em worse, that’s our society. Nothing’s […]

10 Comics I Liked In 2013

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It’s an amazing time in comics right now. There are too many good ones for me to even read them all. Comics are like a hydra, but without the decapitation or even really the fighting. (So maybe not all that much like a hydra except I find one comic and then there are 3-6 more […]

Strong Female Character

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A little while ago, a friend told me that I was a “strong woman.” It was a compliment and I took it as one. Part of me knows what he means, that I keep trying, that I pick myself up as best I can after things go to hell, that I try to keep moving. […]

Recapping The Jetsons: “Elroy’s TV Show”

At Paleofuture, Novak watches The Jetsons and the debates about television depicted in the episode, “Elroy’s Tv Show”: “The episode highlights the perennial debate over the role of TV programming in the American home. The latter half of the 20th century saw numerous fights over the regulation of TV programming and the battles were especially vicious […]

FantAsia Film Festival 2012

The FantAsia site is up and running with many, many trailers to get you ready for the festival. (Or at least, what films to keep an eye out for). Like this:Like Loading…

“Great Changes After The Liberation”

ChinaSmack has scans of of a 1950 propaganda comic predicting China’s future. “From the portrayal of working class hardship, to unaffordable housing, to foreigners behaving as they please in China, the problems of pre-liberation China seems to remain very much relevant even to this day.” (via @paleofuture) Like this:Like Loading…

Steven Kostanski Talks Astron-6, Winnipeg and Manborg!

Filmmaker Steven Kostanski answers some questions about mysterious subjects such as, Astron-6, Winnipeg and his latest film, Manborg, questions posited by the Gutter’s own Carol Borden. Like this:Like Loading…

Suda51’s Sdatcher

Based on the Konami game, Snatcher, Suda51’s radio drama, Sdatcher, is about a man tasked with destroying robots who have infiltrated human society. Sure, it’s very Blade Runner, but it’s fun and translated into English by Marc Laidlaw. (via Tim at The Hand Eye Society) Like this:Like Loading…

Terror of Monkeys vs. Robots

Manipulated by mad scientists, humiliated for humanity’s pleasure, will robots and apes tire of making our cars, vacuuming our floors, fighting our wars, washing our cats and smoking our cigarettes? Who will break first as humankind continually fails to distinguish androids from robots, apes from monkeys? We return again to the question that 2012 inevitably […]

It’s the Hummingbird-Whale that puts it over the top…

More “classic” cover art at Good Show Sir: “OK, I want a triad of spiritual guru, alien Venus, and bull-man, linked by a strip of computer punch tape (futuristic!).  Also, it must have a hummingbird-whale.  I insist.” Like this:Like Loading…

Red Skies: Soviet Science Fiction

A thorough and well-illustrated look at Soviet science fiction, from the 1920s through the 1980s. (via SF Signal) Like this:Like Loading…

The History and Art of the Title Sequence

A couple of looks at the art and history of film title sequences. Like this:Like Loading…

Kubrick’s Zero Gravity Toilet Instructions

Please read instructions before operating the Zero Gravity facilities:  “The toilet is of the standard zero-gravity type. Depending on requirements, System A and/or System B can be used, details of which are clearly marked in the toilet compartment.” Like this:Like Loading…

A Cinematic History of the Future

SFSignal has Handshake Magazine’s cinematic history of the future. The timecode in the upper right hand corner. Like this:Like Loading…

The Necessary Elements for UFO to be a Hit

Purple wigs, gull-wing doors and lack of affect–Todd from 4DK provides “a list of some elements from the [1960s British] TV series [UFO] that, if they were to be included in the movie, would lead me to forgive a multitude of sins.” Like this:Like Loading…

Presidential Futurism

Slate surveys African-American presidents in tv and film–with clips! Salon looks at “Black Presidents We Have Known,” looking at DW Griffith, the year 2228, Sammy Davis, Jr. and 24 along the way. Meanwhile, Io9 urges you to choose Nixon as your dystopian president. (updated!) Like this:Like Loading…

Past, Present and Retro-Future Collide–in 3-D!

A 1953 3-D comic online? My brain doesn’t have the power to contain the glory of past, present and retro-future colliding in Brain Power! Like this:Like Loading…

Hanging With Heroes

Cold Bob showed me around Paragon City.

When I was 11 or 12, at the variety store near my Grandma’s house, I made a life-changing purchase. It was probably Christmas and I was probably killing time until I had to go back to a room full of adults. When I did return to the festive nest, I went home with the New […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Author Philip Pullman talks about the work of William Blake at The Guardian: “My mind and my body reacted to certain lines from the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, from ‘Auguries of Innocence,’ from Europe, from America with the joyful immediacy of a flame leaping to meet a gas jet. What these things meant I didn’t quite know then, and I’m not sure I fully know now. There was no sober period of reflection, consideration, comparison, analysis: I didn’t have to work anything out. I knew they were true in the way I knew that I was alive. I had stumbled into a country in which I was not a stranger, whose language I spoke by instinct, whose habits and customs fitted me like my own skin.” (via Kate Laity)

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    At Sequential Art, Ryan Carey deconstructs and reconstructs Jack Kirby’s OMAC . “In order to better understand OMAC, then, we’ll be taking things one piece at a time here — we’ll look at where the ideas came from, how they related to other views of the future popular at the time, where Kirby was, creatively and professionally, in 1974, and ultimately try to decipher precisely why all of this ended up in the shape it ultimately did.  After that, we’ll concern ourselves with the real nitty-gritty of examining each and every one of the series’ eight issues, before taking a look at how, and in what form, the legacy of both the character and the book continue, and evolve, to this day.”

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    Video of illustrator and character designer Katsuya Terada drawing and talking about his work. (via @aicnanime)

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    A 1,300-year-old Egyptian book of spells has been translated. “Among other things, the ‘Handbook of Ritual Power,’ as researchers call the book, tells readers how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat “black jaundice,” a bacterial infection that is still around today and can be fatal.”

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    Zack and Steve go through and review Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Module S-1: The Tomb Of Horrors at WTF, D&D?!…so you don’t have to.

    “Steve: Most of the opening paragraph is a warning about difficulty. ‘You’ll never find the demi-lich’s secret chamber’ and the tomb is fraught with “terrible traps, poison gases, and magical protections.” It’s telling you not to play the adventure.

    Zack: Not just in that part. In the DM’s notes section at the start, Gygax explicitly warns Dungeon Masters that if your players enjoy killing monsters they will be unhappy with the adventure.

    Steve: ‘This module is only for parties that enjoy dying immediately and repeatedly.’ Oh, man, we’re not going to play though this thing are we?”

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    Dr. Nerdlove takes a brief break from helping the nerd get the girl to address something that’s been bugging him. “Pardon me while I go off on a bit of a media criticism/ rant here. So I’ve been enjoying the *hell* out of The Flash lately except for one thing: Iris Allen. Her character is screen death; every time she’s around, everything comes to a screeching halt.

    The problem is: it’s not her fault, it’s the writers. Rather like Laurel Lance in the first two seasons of Arrow, she has Lois Lane syndrome. Her (like Laurel and Lois) entire character arc is based around being ignorant of events that literally everyone else in her life is aware of.”

    ~

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