Pop Culture

Top 20 Off the Beaten Path Movies of the 2000s

Here are my top twenty interesting, off-the-beaten-path movies of the decade, in no particular order. Of course, I’m glad this isn’t a job requirement, since a list is too limiting. This  list includes movies that I thought were different and interesting. Not all were critically acclaimed, either. Still, something about each one just stands out. Some of these are action…

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Mix Tape Obsolescence

Mix tapes are dead. Among the many dead technologies, I miss the mix tape. The death of a technology and its associated objects and habits can bring regret or relief. Think of letter writing. Often, the only clues to women’s history or the only insights into a previous generation’s thoughts and emotions are found in letters. Writing letters was a habitus,…

Whoopi and Disney

Ever since Whoopi’s Direct From Broadway show aired on HBO many years ago, she’s held a special place in my heart. In the original HBO special, her character Fontaine, who is a junkie, goes to the Anne Frank house. This skit is a profound comment on race and humanity. I was excited to see Whoopi join The View, which is…

Madonna’s Rolling Stone Retrospective, Plus Keith Richards

The latest Rolling Stone has an offensive retrospective on Madonna. Although Madonna’s iconic look is always the subject of dispute, lately, the media has treated her like a clown. The only explanation is that she’s over 50. Fifty year old women, they say, shouldn’t prance around on a stage and spread their legs. It’s unbecoming. Rolling Stone frequently participates in…

kd lang

I have always loved kd lang. I liked her country-punk performance-art style back from Angel with a Lariat. She caught my eye in the 80s with her spiky hair, Buddy Holly glasses, and country-western wear; she was a genre-bending artist as much as a gender-bending one. Somewhere in my Texas life, where I was raised by a family of genuwine…

This Machine Kills Facists

Like every good, card-carrying leftist, I know about Woody Guthrie and what he stood for. Surely everyone in the U.S. has heard part of “This Land is Your Land,” at least in the white-washed setting where it’s severed from its political roots. I didn’t know about the additional verses to the song, though. They are on on Wikipedia: In the…

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L. Frank Baum and Oz

I am making steps toward my goal of cleaning my office this summer. Yesterday, I tackled one of my bookshelves and encountered my 1929 edition Oz book, Ozma of Oz. I’ve always loved the art by John R. Neill, and I especially like the 1929 art nouveau cover. Finding this book raised many fond memories for me. I learned to…

Raising the Bar TV Show

I just watched the pilot of TNT’s Raising the Bar on the TNT website. I didn’t get to see it during air time because of the power outage during Gustav. The show stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar from Saved by the Bell, which I admit I’ve watched now and then. I was hopeful that the show would knock my socks off given that…