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November 19, 2013

Blog Archives

The Art and Literature of Japan’s Emoji Phenomenon

An exploration of the literary and artistic aspects of the Japanese emoji phenomenon.

Culture, Digital

Queer-Washing Fictional Characters

Two mustachioed gentlemen, one wearing a top hat and the other, a bowler, are splitting after years of togetherness.

Commentary, Culture

A Tweetworthy Book Review: The Restricted Airspace of “Dreamland”

“Dreamland” by Phil Patton is a literary M.R.I. of a place, only 83 miles from Las Vegas that didn’t officially exist for a long time. The book explores the mystery surrounding an area in the desert reaches of southern Nevada that’s been the subject of endless speculation.

Books, Reviews

Breaking News, On Your Coffee Cup

Newspapers are in the coffin. Print media is dead. Ink is over. This refrain has become like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Culture, Digital

A Noodle Disneyland

Would you visit a museum for a bowl of ramen? That didn’t quite sound right, did it? Museums are (usually) places of high-culture—M.C. Escher lithographs, Rodin sculptures, Aztec pottery, Egyptian sarcophagi. Not always. In the Japanese port city of Yokohama, one could even go to a museum dedicated to a popular snack. The Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, a zany hybrid of a food court, a Ramen theme park, and a museum, is all about celebrating, well, ramen.

Commentary, Culture

Spread The Good Word

I am standing on a stadium ground, with a duffel bag filled with imagination. The night is a rich velvety black. From somewhere up in the bleachers, comes a murmur, “Yes, yes, me!” Behind me, a squeaky voice, not unlike that of SpongeBob SquarePants, calls, “Over here.” “Hello,” coos another one, from what sounds like an undersea tunnel. I blink, and the scene vaporizes coldly.

Culture, Digital

Five Takes On Digital Boringness

The Internet is over 40 years old; the World Wide Web, over 20. Google has made the Internet navigable. Apple has made it portable. Facebook has made it social. So, it’s all happened, then? Maybe that’s why we keep encountering more of the same.

Culture, Digital

Honey, I Shrunk The #Words

“Flash fiction,” as an example of miniature literature, is not new, and antedates social media. But, the advent of Facebook and Twitter, and its clones, may have, fanned the trend toward pithiness. They have fostered a written culture where brevity trumps it all.

Culture, Digital

“Atmospheric Disturbances” by Rivka Galchen is a Delicious Off-Beat Yarn

“Atmospheric Disturbances” by Rivka Galchen is like a large white onion, many-layered and sharp, and makes one blink the eye rapidly—in wonderment, of course.

Books, Reviews

A Victorian’s Guide to the Digital Galaxy

The term “Website” is outrageously passé, isn’t it? It doesn’t quite capture and describe what they are. Regardless of what one calls them—cloud-based platforms, mobile apps, Web services, social networks—they are certainly sprouting with a feral intensity, almost with impunity.

Culture, Digital

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