This substack provides a weekly collection of links to essays and reviews from the archives of my favorite cultural magazines. Each collection is chosen around a specific topic to hopefully provide something interesting and thought-provoking for readers to explore and be entertained.
A group-chat-as-newsletter about online culture in China. CT is a regular (usually fortnightly) exploration of contemporary China, one important niche at a time. We’re interested in marginal subcultures, tiny obsessions, and unexpected connections. [more inside]
...is a newsletter I started as a birthday gift to myself. Each installment is a short thought about some topic in art (appreciation, analysis, or creation, and with a reallllly broad definition of art). So far, installments have covered Kurt Vonnegut's advice on appreciating paintings, the moral calculus of watching Watchmen, and East German kids using punk music and fashion to build identities.
A comic about food, government cheese, being a latchkey kid, being the child of a latchkey kid, and the power of kraft singles in your life
The National Design Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America has a twitter presence and they’re using that presence to make threads about the intersection of art, design, and socialism. Bauhaus! William Morris! The Masses and Liberator Magazine! Banned I.W.W artwork! Oscar Wilde! Sewer socialism! National Design acomitee home page.
On the 25th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. Movie we have to look at how it anticpaited 2018 with a rule by a narcissistic idiot with werid hair and ongoing ecological collapse.
Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, I've written & designed This Thing of Paper, a knitting book inspired by early printed books. Officially the first knitting book to be included in the Gutenberg Museum's archive of book history. [more inside]
A podcast and blog looking at the good, the bad, and the WTF of western movies, country songs, and that sort of thing. [more inside]
I wrote about my favorite streetwear store, probably most famous right now for their FUCK DONALD shirt. [more inside]
Race Invaders is a podcast hosted by myself and my friend Tim Yang, in which we discuss social justice, politics, culture, and probably more geek shit than is necessary, but we like it. [more inside]
That last exam was rough. Real talk, America: if we don’t want to fail, we have to do some serious make-up work. [more inside]
You know that thing that happens three or four times a day when you need a random name for something, say a new soft drink or a recently discovered virus strain, so you say "I know, I'll use a ship name from Iain Banks' brilliant Culture novels!", and you have to google it, and eventually find the list on wikipedia which is fine, but you really just want a name, or maybe 2 or 3 names so you can pick, and not to have to read through a whole wikipedia page? [more inside]
Radical creative collective Hungry Bitches Productions (who I am super pleased to write for) are currently selling tickets for a three day concert run of our new musical, Americana. It's showing in Theatre Royal Stratford East, London, and to promote the show, we have released a music video (linked above) and a single from the show (on spotify). If you live in London, please have a look and see if you want to come along. If you live elsewhere in the world, please enjoy some cool free music.
A Facebook project in which I explore my home state through photos, artifacts, postcards, and other memorabilia, all in a probably futile attempt to understand what it means to be Minnesotan.
A short, but hopefully powerful experience that seems especially timely given all the talk in the news these days about whether or not we should open our doors to people in need.
Console Obscura is a podcast dedicated to video games and the people who play them. Ephemera, nostalgia, absurdity, history, culture, arcana and trivia are all fair game. If you remember what a new power pad smelled like, or Ganon's laugh sounds like, OR If none of that rings a bell but you enjoy a group of funny children of the 80s talking trash, this podcast is for you. Game on!
An ongoing project to identify Irish words used in American English, especially by members of the Irish-American community. [more inside]
I was perturbed by the rising xenophobia (or at least, anti-immigrant sentiment) in my city-state of Singapore. I decide to start a series of events celebrating the food and art of our many communities. The idea is to put people who wouldn't typically find themselves in the same room, much less at the same dinner table, in the same place and feed them great food. In the first instalment, we had Bangladeshis and South Indians, mostly construction workers, come to have biryani with Singaporeans and white collar residents/expats. In the second, we had walking tours of Little Myanmar, showcased all of the culinary highlights of the country, and also showed a great little film from indie Myanmar filmmakers. Of course it's debatable really how much of an impact this can really have on policy, but my hope is that we can at least start conversations and friendships.
DaDaDaDave and I have a podcast of quasi-academic critical discussion, in which we talk at length about literature and sometimes other media. We're keeping a special eye on contemporary culture, but we'll also talk about stuff from the 18th and 19th and 20th centuries, in fiction whether highbrow or genre, poetry, and (largely Continental) philosophy. And we've taken occasional excursions into film and other media, from Dwarf Fortress to Django Unchained to MOOCs. We're trying for an eclectic mix of high and low culture, veering from difficult poetry to Game of Thrones and back again. [more inside]
From the governor of Alabama facing down his own state's National Guard to the March on Washington and the "I Have A Dream" speech, the summer of 1963 was the moment that the black civil rights movement in America galvanized the nation. The Code Switch team at NPR — with the help of our awesome social media team and NPR's librarians — is tweeting events from throughout that summer, just as they unfolded then.
Esotouric turns the notion of guided bus tours on its ear with excursions like Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles and Pasadena Confidential. Now you don't have to get on the bus to get the skinny. Each week on the You Can't Eat The Sunshine podcast, join Kim Cooper and Richard Schave on their Southern California adventures, as they visit with fascinating characters for wide-ranging interviews that reveal the myths, contradictions, inspirations and passions of the place. There’s never been a city quite like Los Angeles. Tune in if you’d like to find out why. [more inside]
International Waters is the pop culture comedy quiz show where land laws don't apply. Hosted by Jesse Thorn, produced by Colin Anderson, head writer Jordan Morris. Featuring Janet Varney, Paul Scheer, Josie Long, Tom Parry and celebrity guest film director Rian Johnson. [more inside]
“The Good Men Project is a glimpse of what enlightened masculinity might look like in the 21st century,” the press raved when we launched, and that was exactly what we were hoping for. Finally, “a cerebral, new media alternative” to glossy men’s magazines was born. In fact, The Good Men Project is not so much a magazine as a social movement; an ongoing in-depth discussion that has by now involved millions of people, all getting back to a core question of “what does it mean to be a good man in these modern times?”. [more inside]
Thanks in large part to a mention in this forum for my museum website last year, (wherein I was complimentarily referred to as the “real life version of Howard Moon of the Mighty Boosch”), and based in large part on some of the critical comments from members, quoted here: (“I still prefer a simple scroll site”; “Great content. An absolute shit-storm of a user-hostile, frustrating, vanity interface. Maybe the worst I have ever seen. But great content buried under there”; “Pics too small”, etc.). The site is now non-flash and reborn. [more inside]
Yet another Wordpress blog for the post secondary arts institution I work for.
I'm fairly socially awkward and really have a tough time talking to people. Conversation, especially with new people, is a stilted and uncomfortable affair. So what do I do? I make a podcast where I only talk to strangers. Will I get over my fears? Will I figure out how to not pause awkwardly and go "ahhhh" in silent moments? Time will tell!
MostlyFilm, a blog I'm involved with. As the title says, mostly film writing but some other reviews/essays/criticism as well.
So far, writing about: Alex Cox, "Meek's Cutoff", the upcoming "John Carter of Mars", country music in the movies, Herzog and Wenders 3D films, Christian Marclay’s "The Clock", recent CD releases. Oh and, calling Jamie Oliver a big gurning tit and the premise of his new show "colossally stupid and offensive".
Future fantasies/current anxieties. Movie reviews/cultural theory essays on future-themed cinema. [more inside]
I'm working on a 3-month trip to San Francisco to explore gender, sexuality, love, and relationships via performance from the perspective of a female queer migrant minority. Here I'll be documenting the project, my progress towards it, and how people can support me. If you're in San Francisco give me a yell!
I have a blog to keep track of all the books I read. I'm trying to read 300 books in 2010! [more inside]
This has been a photographic project over the last 18 months that is still a work in progress. It is a response to the rapid development of the central areas of Shanghai. The project attempts to capture the vibrancy of a small 15 square block community behind some of the most expensive on-going redevelopments. The link is to a six minute slideshow containing 45 images focussing on the people living in the community. There are additional images in the WIP galleries taken from around Shanghai. I am continuing to work on full collection that will be placed in its own section in the next month or two.