The vampire—that bloodsucking defiler of the innocent—remains a powerful cultural archetype more than 100 years after Bram Stoker’s Dracula first delivered an ancient Eastern European superstition to a global audience in 1897. Vampire sightings occur every few minutes in today’s media, with dozens of new movies, TV shows, books, blogs and websites devoted to the [...]
Those “heavy metal” bands that debuted during that first palmy MTV generation sound like nontoxic pop compared to today’s vast offerings of subaltern metal genres, where intricate is the new heavy, and glacially slow is far more radical than hyperfast. Metal has evolved in such diverse directions—drawing from and crossing over with punk, math rock, [...]
Introduction from Contemporary World Interiors, published by Phaidon in 2007
I am towering above Michael Jordan. I am staring down at him. I stand, he sits on a gymnasium floor. He looks disconsolate. I am uneasy. That is because I have to tell him my editors have delayed the story I’ve been working on for months. It is 1986 and during his second season in [...]
Many of us have bought design objects for pleasure and/or scholarship. We’ve paid varying amounts—high and low. But what or who determines the value of a design artifact. Is it simply supply and demand or some curiously abstract idea of worth? I recently found reference on the web to something I edited many years ago [...]
Mortar + Pestle
Alan E. Rapp
Let’s put some suggestive
undertones aside for a bit,
the whole yoni and lingam thing.
It’s not awesome because it’s primitive.
The Microplane grater might be better,
its handle molds to my hand
and the sharp tiny scales can’t
have existed in the last millennium.
But while we’re at it with the spices
and the nuts and the seeds, which [...]
You may recall seeing in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, scores of surgical face-mask-wearing passersby navigating their ways through the dense futuristic metropolis that was a cross between Tokyo and LA. It always struck me odd yet somewhat comforting that in the future average people would protect themselves and others from the ravages of germs and [...]
When Hamas won a surprise victory in the Palestinian Parliamentary elections in January of 2006, the group’s followers celebrated by parading through the streets of the West Bank and Gaza. Thousands of them showed their solidarity by wearing the movement’s de facto membership icon: a green Hamas baseball cap.
It is a safe bet that most [...]
The Olympics have always been about jingoism, just check out the outfits competing nations parade in the opening ceremony. In the past, US representatives have worn cowboy hats and boots (this year they will be looking preppy in Ralph Lauren), while this year Canadian athletes will wear outfits patterned with a maple leaf along with [...]