The Cultural Gutter

the cult in your pop culture

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

“On Object Permanence in the WWE”

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Calvin Kasulke explains the role of object permanence–or the lack thereof–among wrestlers in the WWE.

“My Breakfast With Blassie”

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Andy Kaufman has breakfast with Classie Freddie Blassie in My Breakfast With Blassie (1983) (via @GCDB)

“Drag Is Raw: Wrestlers, Queens And Gender As A Performance Art”

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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 […]

RIP, Ultimate Warrior

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Professional wrestler the Ultimate Warrior (née, James Brian Hellwig) has died. The WWE shares reactions to Warrior’s death. The Masked Man has an obituary at Grantland. SBNation, ABC News and Newsday remember Warrior. Time shares Warrior’s best mic work.

Chris Benoit vs. Triple H

Paul Casey illuminates “Wrestling’s Dark Heart” in discussing responses to the lives and careers of wrestlers Chris Benoit and Triple H. “Chris Benoit, unlike Triple H, is not just a sign of ‘business as usual.’ He is the sign of not only a callous indifference to the health of these athletes by the audience who […]

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 […]

RIP, Macho Man Randy Savage

Wrestling superstar Macho Man Randy Savage has died.  The L.A. Times has responses from members of the wrestling community, including Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  Wade Keller of ProWrestling Torch remembers Randy Savage here.

Evil Seen

The Vault of Horror has a behind the scenes look at the development of the script for World Wrestling Entertainments’ original film, See No Evil.

Learning Vince’s Dirty Moves

Wrestling with issues of exploitation.

In July 1996, Hulk Hogan shocked the world by becoming what oppressed him the most as a hero in the 1980s: he turned heel. As the garbage filled the ring, he told Mene Gene Okerland, “As far as I’m concerned, all this crap in the ring represents the fans out here. ” That year Pro […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    The New Yorker has a profile of author Gene Wolfe. “His narrators may be prophets, or liars, or merely crazy, but somewhere in their stories they help to reveal what Wolfe most wants his readers to know: that compassion can withstand the most brutal of futures and exist on the most distant planets, and it has been part of us since ages long past.”

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    Remezcla has a gallery of Lourdes Grobet’s portraits of luchadores with their families and a bit of an interview with her. (Yes, the luchadores are in their masks and often wearing suits or casual wear, which is the best thing). (Thanks, Matt!) “Father and warrior, the masked wrestler is the perfect metaphor for the duality that Grobet’s photography wants to depict. Her work is resonant because she doesn’t try to demolish the myths that envelop lucha libre – she simply nurtures and expands them in an offbeat way.”

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    At Autostraddle, Heather Hogan has “a Recap of Jem and the Holograms’ Truly Outrageous Lesbianism.” (Thanks, Sara Century!) “If you are a woman over the age of 30, I have some information that is going to send you cartwheeling back to 1987 to high five your young self and shout “We knew it! We knew it!” right in your own tiny gay face: Stormer and Kimber from Jem are truly, outrageously, canonically queer….This is good news. Great news. But it’s not really news news. Of course Stormer and Kimber are gay. They’ve been in love since 1987!”

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    “Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been binge-watching one of the most innovative series on television. Like many of the gems of the current TV renaissance, it features extended narratives with complex plots, intricate backstories, and layered characters. Its approach to storytelling is remarkably adventurous, shattering television, and even cinematic conventions.

     I’m speaking, of course, of General Hospital.” Noah Berlatsky writes about the influence of soap operas on “prestige television” at Quartz. (And make sure to click through to Akash Nikolas’ “Yes, Mad Men is a Soap Opera and that Shouldn’t be an Insult”).
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    Here’s the first Gutterthon 2015 Geektastic Song–“Fortune Cookie” by Chica Non Grata. Chica Non Grata kindly offered to write 3 songs based on topics offered by 3 lucky backers. So listen up and get down. “A song about pop-up ads and how creepy they are and how they seem to be reading your mind and maybe there is actually an artificial intelligence who is stalking you.”

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    Friend of the Gutter, Nitrate Diva writes about 13 women who helped shape cinema. “Hollywood is, in many ways, a more male-dominated environment today than it was 90 or so years ago. Scary, huh?

    In order to perpetuate a culture where more women make movies now, we need to recognize the women who made movies in the medium’s formative years. Let’s take our editing shears and snip the ‘boys only’ myth right out. It belongs on the cutting room floor.”

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