In my interpretation of The War of the Worlds, the Martians attack hapless planet Earth not because they need water or are merely imperialistic, but in retaliation for us having sent El Brendel to their planet.Armed with the knowledge of the shtick El Brendel will force upon both his Martian and human viewers, when the 1930 science fiction musical comedy Just Imagine asks us to “just imagine,” it seems more of a chilling warning than a hopeful dream. Once you have experienced the comedic stylings of this one time vaudeville sensation, you will have no choice but to stare directly into the muzzle of that Martian heat ray, shrug, and admit that we’re really getting what we deserve. In fact, we’re probably getting off easy. Continue reading…
Get the Gutter in Book Form with Original Infographic Illustrations by EJ Lee!
From ETC Press
Carol Borden, Ian Driscoll, Jim Munroe, James Schellenberg and Chris Szego. 2011
Science fiction, fantasy, comics, romance, genre movies and games all drain into the Cultural Gutter, a website dedicated to thoughtful articles about disreputable art—media and genres that are a little embarrassing. Irredeemable. Worthy of Note, but rolling like errant pennies back into the gutter. But the writers at the Cultural Gutter know that being canonized isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maligned genres and media allow for vital new ways of using old conventions and have more in common with high art, as itchy as that term makes us, than with respectable, middlebrow art. High art is often disdained as something a child could do, as mocking the audience, as degenerate, as trash. Gutter genres and media aren’t known for their subtlety. In fact, their obviousness and their barenakedness is why they’re destined to remain beneath the radar of serious culture — and why they continue to thrive. The Cultural Gutter is dangerous because we have a philosophy. We try to balance enthusiasm with clear-eyed, honest engagement with the material and with our readers. This book expands on our mission with 10 articles each from science fiction/fantasy editor James Schellenberg, comics editor and publisher Carol Borden, romance editor Chris Szego, screen editor Ian Driscoll and founding editor and former games editor Jim Munroe.
(Digital editions are not illlustrated)
Some kind words about The Cultural Gutter:
“Call it Pop Culture, call it Disposable Culture, call it Trash Culture. Whatever, it is OUR culture, and Carol Borden and company give it more than just geek love, they give it proper respect, in the form of considered opinion, deep analysis, and intelligent wit.”
Creative Director, Newmarket Films
“I found the Cultural Gutter by accident, while I was trolling for information about an author who was successful, but not well-regarded by literary critics. I came back to the site regularly, because reading the Cultural Gutter is like attending a party where everyone is interesting, witty, and well-informed. I enjoy the articles both when I know nothing about the cultural artifact in question, and even more when I do.”
Collection Head, Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy
“I rely on the Cultural Gutter’s dedication to getting down and dirty to sift through the refuse and debris of un-popular culture past, present and future on a regular basis.”
Midnight Madness and International Programmer, Toronto International Film Festival
The Cultural Gutter is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License
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