The Cultural Gutter

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

Mad Science Throwdown: Princess Bubblegum vs Frankenstein

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“No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success. Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and […]

James Joyce vs. Kool Keith

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Who said it, James Joyce or Kool Keith?

Police Story vs. Tango & Cash / Rapid Fire / Bad Boys

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Scenes from Jackie Chan’s Police Story (1985) compared with scenes from Tango & Cash (1989), Rapid Fire (1992), and Bad Boys (2003). (via @proboothcast)

The Empire of Crime: Mabuse vs. Wertham vs. Marston

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When humanity, subjugated by the terror of crime, has been driven insane by fear and horror, and when chaos has become supreme law, then the time will have come for the empire of crime.” –The Testament of Dr. Mabuse “[W]hatever factors come into play in the cases that we have studied, the conclusion is inescapable […]

Practical vs. Digital Effects

Effects artists Tyler Ham and Tom Spina talk practical vs. digital effects with Miguel Rodriguez at Monster Island Resort. My favorite line from the episode? “You can’t compare The Fly to Sharktopus.” And make sure to check out Spina’s restored film prop galleries,, from Ewoks to Sleestaks and Critters to Gremlins as well as stop-motion […]

Starscream vs. Rainbow Dash

Deceptacon Transformer Starscream faces My Little Pony Rainbow Dash in a battle to the death at Death Battle! Start about halfway through the video to get straight to the battlin’!  

John vs. Patrick vs. Carol

John Perkins interviews the Gutter’s Comics Editor and Evil Overlord, Carol on the John vs. Patrick Podcast. There’s some talk of Gutter history and a warning that you don’t want to mess with Romance Editor Chris, she will cut you.

Batman vs. Mystery

Comics Alliance’s Senior Batmanologist Chris Sims lays out how the Dark Knight would foil pickup artist Mystery’s “Art Gallery Scheme.”  

“Fellow, Star-folk”

George Takei tries to broker a peace between Star Wars and Star Trek fans by asking them to join together against a common foe.

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 […]

Ulysses vs Lord of the Rings

Orson Scott Card writes an impassioned defence of Lord of the Rings (and the type of popular book championed by readers) against Ulysses (and the type of difficult book espoused by academics), complete with call to action to make your own family canon of beloved literature (scroll down past a long rant about chocolate!).

Rohrshach vs. Alan Moore

Rohrshach has discovered a new conspiracy, a plan to ensure that no one watches The Watchmen. (Via Forbidden Planet International)

Tim Gunn vs. The Green Lantern Corps!

Crazy Sexy Geeks team-up once again with Tim Gunn to critique superhero fashion.   This time it’s Green Lanterns Alan Scott, Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner.

Fontbot Battle

The rules are simple: 2 robots made entirely from typography enter, 1 robot made entirely from typography leaves. (Thanks, Mike!)

The History of Webcomics

Shaenon Garrity tries to chart “The History of Webcomics” from 1985 to the “Age of This Whole App Thing” at The Comics Journal.

Stick Man vs. Liquid Man

Maybe an homage to the Japanese Atomic Age movie, The H-Man. Maybe not. “Stick Man vs. Liquid Man.”

Heroes vs. Villains

It might be Round 7, but it’s not too late to particpate in Cinematical’s Heroes vs. Villains tournament. Vote here.

48 x 61

48 vs. 61 in Rintaro and Katsushiro Otomo’s excellent bicycle racing short where the racers look kinda like Rintaro and Otomo. Also, damn fine music and possible steampunkery.

Manga Star Wars

Manga Star Wars vs. Marvel Star Wars.

The Greatest Summer Movie of All Time

The Empire Strikes Back vs. Raiders of the Lost Ark–which is the greatest summer movie of all time?  Make your voice heard.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    The Royal Court Theatre hosts a conversation among former Anonymous LulzSec members facilitated by anthropologist Gabriella Coleman.

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    “Japan’s estimated population at the time of their last census was 127 million, and people have been living on this small collection of islands since the Jomon period (~12,000 BCE.) In an increasingly crowded country with a strong traditional belief in ghosts and hauntings, the question of avoiding a marauding ghost becomes impossible to solve, without outside help.”Atlas Obscura has more (with neat illustrations).

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    At Mostly Film, Blake Backlash writes about films “mixing of Hollywood’s Grande Dames with Grand Guignol.”  “Such cinematic mixing of Grande Dames and Grand Guignol had its heyday in the second-half of the sixties, and such films are sometimes (more-or-less) affectionately known as psycho-biddy pictures. They tended to feature an actress over 50 in some sort of peril, a melodramatic plot and a title that ends in a question mark.  But there is another, related tradition that goes back further that I think we could place these films in.” (via Dr. Giallo)

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    “I want to tell you about when violent campaigns against harmless bloggers weren’t any halfway decent troll’s idea of a good time—even the then-malicious would’ve found it too easy to be fun. When the punches went up, not down. Before the best players quit or went criminal or were changed by too long a time being angry. When there was cruelty, yes, and palpable strains of sexism and racism and every kind of phobia, sure, but when these things had the character of adolescents pushing the boundaries of cheap shock, disagreeable like that but not criminal. Not because that time was defensible—it wasn’t, not really—but because it was calmer and the rage wasn’t there yet. Because trolling still meant getting a rise for a laugh, not making helpless people fear for their lives because they’re threatening some Redditor’s self-proclaimed monopoly on reason. I want to tell you about it because I want to make sense of how it is now and why it changed.” Emmett Rensin writes more at Vox.

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    At Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, Elyse has some things to say about reading Romance. “In the end, it doesn’t matter what I read. It doesn’t even matter that I do read, quite frankly. What matters is that we live in a world where fiction aimed directly at women is perceived as garbage. That doesn’t say anything at all about me, it says a lot about what needs to change.”

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    Brain Pickings looks at the life and work of Tove Jansson and the wisdom of her character, Too-ticky. “Too-ticky, the sage of Moominvalley who solves even the most existential of problems with equal parts practicality and wisdom, was inspired by the love of Jansson’s life — the great Finnish sculptor and graphic arts pioneer Tuulikki “Tooti” Pietilä, Jansson’s spouse. The two women met in art school during their twenties and remained together until Jansson’s death more than six decades later, collaborating on a lifetime of creative projects — all at a time when queer couples were straddling the impossible line between anguishing invisibility and dangerous visibility.” (via Kate Laity)

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