Category: Pop Culture

Margaret Randall: A CULTURE OF RAGE

Margaret Randall This week’s mail brought a letter quite suddenly and unceremoniously informing me that my health insurance provider is discontinuing my group policy. "Your existing QualMed health care coverage will end on October 31, 2000. . . this is the only notice you will receive" is the way the company’s account representatives put it. Read more…

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Howard Zinn: Downfall

Howard Zinn I am surprised that my friend Hans Koning, a stalwart protester against the war in Vietnam, seems to have been taken in by the argument of Richard Frank, in his review of Frank’s DOWNFALL. Yes, we must all be willing to reconsider our most hardened judgements in the light of new evidence. But Read more…

Paul von Blum: Kuumba

Von Blum Throughout the 20th century, African American artists have used their creative powers to document and celebrate the historical record of their people. In the process, they have promoted an alternative perspective for younger generations harmed by stereotypical images of black life pervading American popular culture. For many decades following the Harlem Renaissance, a Read more…

Sandy Carter: The Grammies: Follow the Money

Sandy Carter Every year when the National Academy Of Recording Arts and Sciences celebrates its Grammy Awards, I gag at the notion that any of this music industry pomp and propaganda honors the best music of the past year. Although all of the big time entertainment awards cater to money and power, the Grammy ceremony Read more…

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Michael Bronski: The State of Queer Film

Nearly a decade ago it looked as though we were about to enter a Renaissance of gay and lesbian filmmaking. Unable to have access to mainstream movie making, independent filmmakers, writers, and producers began turning out a remarkable body of work. Todd Haynes’s brilliant The Karen Carpenter Story and Poison that moved a gay sensibility Read more…

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Michael Bronski: Gay Lit and the Pulitzer

Early on the afternoon of April 12, a joyful buzz spread through the queer literary community: Michael Cunningham’s The Hours had just been awarded the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Earlier that month it had been a runner-up for the National Books Critics Circle Prize Award, and it had won the Pen/Faulkner Award and the Read more…

Sandy Carter: Buena Vista Social Club

Because nearly all music heard in the United States is driven by dreams of fame and fortune, the sounds of the Cuban ensemble known as the Buena Vista Social Club are immediately startling. The melodies, rhythms, and songs of the group pull you in with a seductive charm and impassioned beauty. Nurtured by singers and Read more…

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Danny Schechter: Dung on All Their Houses – The New Censorship

Danny Schechter On October l, thousands of New York artists, activists and politicians rallied outside the Brooklyn Museum against threats by the city’s Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to defund one of the city’s preeminent cultural institutions because of one painting on display at a controversial art show called "Sensation" that had played earlier in London. The Read more…

Paul von Blum: Art for Life’s Sake

Paul Von Blum Since the 19th century, African American artists have devoted extensive attention to storytelling in visual form. Their paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and photographs have chroni cled the hopes and struggles of their people, their neglected African heritage, and their social and political life in the United States. Their artworks have often focused Read more…

Paul von Blum: Sculptures of Charles Dickson

  Sculpture has played a powerful role in the artistic heritage of Africa. Too often regarded as "primitive," and routinely consigned to museum "curiosity rooms" and natural history exhibitions, these works have nevertheless been sources of inspiration to many Western modern artists. Viewers familiar with Pablo Picasso, Amadeo Modligiani, Constantin Brancusi, Chaim Soutine, and others, Read more…

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