Tag Archives: culture

Who owns an atrocity?

The brutal murder of 14 year-old Emmett Till in 1955 was both a singular atrocity and a bellwether for change. It didn’t spark the civil rights movement—countless other indignities not to mention the sweep of history did that. But it … Continue reading

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The sonneteer

~ ~ No clear idea why, but it seems I’m sonnetering these days. Works for me if it works for you: ~ ~ ~

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The devil writes well – a chat with The Devil Strip’s Chris Horne

Alternative newspaper publishing might seem more like an anachronism than a workable business plan, yet since March, 2015 we in the Akron, Ohio area have been blessed with a vibrant, funny, and locally engaged alt-tabloid that is shining a light on … Continue reading

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Babylonian tree-hugger: The lost verses of Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh of Uruk, great king and itinerant seeker, priest of Kullab and bosom-friend of Enkidu, we thought we knew ye. Well, we should have figured. The Epic of Gilgamesh, history’s first great narrative poem and mankind’s inaugural piece of literature, … Continue reading

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Ex libris

Libraries are living institutions, and that’s as unerringly true whether they’re public lenders or personal collections. In either case they’re bound to grow, as long as people care enough to nurture them. But they retract, too. Or shed, you might … Continue reading

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History in the margins

It might be the bane of librarians, but after a certain interval marginalia becomes history itself. In this case the tome is the Black Book of Carmarthen (so named for its distinctive black binding), and as the oldest known manuscript … Continue reading

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Let the retrospectives begin: 2014, a year in art

Say what you want about 2014 (and spoiler alert, I certainly will) — it may have been a kidney stone of a year, but like a kidney stone, it’ll pass. Global malaise aside, this was a lively year for the … Continue reading

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Revenge porn and the law of unintended consequences

The fact that revenge porn exists illustrates an entire tragicomic spectrum of unhappy, unintended con-sequences. More aptly, it demonstrates the lowest of the low: infantile exes who aim to shame, and the profit-blinded thugs who give them the platforms for doing … Continue reading

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Bring the Funk

There is music, and then there is funk. And along with all of funk’s myriad attractions (just try to sit still when George Clinton and P.Funk give it up) there is also this: funk is nothing if not inclusive. Or … Continue reading

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When art was labor, and labor was salvation

Crises have a way of bringing out the best or the worst in people, and in societies, and in cultures. There’s rarely a middle ground, and there’s rarely any ambiguity to it. You might think of them as litmus tests … Continue reading

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Every other year – the art world lets its hair down

Doesn’t seem easy for the arts to do the unexpected. Or rather, artists themselves thrive on the unusual and the risky, but the arts establishment does its best to steer them, and their production, right back toward the mainstream. This … Continue reading

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Join the culture cadre

The United States is one of the few modern societies that, from the top, generally ignores most of its internal cultural development, and ruthlessly politicizes the rest. We haven’t been verging on cultural wasteland-edness for generations on accident—it’s imprinted on … Continue reading

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No place for an Easter egg

Easter eggs are cute devices. I don’t mind them in movies, games, ads—not even in arts and literature. They’re an unexpected connection that happens, sometimes, between creator and the innumerable cadre of explorers who’ve peeled back a layer of whatever … Continue reading

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A matter of opinion

America’s last great pop-culture controversy of 2013 (last as of this writing; I sure hope no toppers are lurking ’round the corner)…swirls about the A&E swampbillies-made-good docu-melodrama, Duck Dynasty. Hopefully you know the score, because it would pain me to … Continue reading

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A happy holiday on Mercury, for artists and writers

Just in time for Christmas, or Yule, or Saturnalia, (or what have you) the right jolly old elves at the International Astronomical Union have gifted upon as all ten newly named impact craters on planet Mercury, each in honor of … Continue reading

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