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Posts from the “Essays” Category

Distressed: Replicas, “vintage” items, & New Old Stock

Posted on April 13, 2011

The following is an essay I wrote in graduate school on April 13, 2005 — exactly 6 years ago today. It is about the harmful dominance of faux-vintage and “retro” items in pop culture. I wrote it for a class called Construction of Taste, and it got an A. I was fairly proud of my A considering the class concerned the philosophy of aesthetics, and philosophy of any kind tends to baffle and irritate me very quickly. I spent much of this course being annoyed and using words like “bullshit” and “masturbatory.” Maybe you’ll use those same words here. I don’t think so, but it’s for you to judge. I recently found this essay while straightening out my room. This is the kind of…

Ka-pow. The exclamation point, its use & abuse, and how not to smile uncontrollably

Posted on February 23, 2011

At some point in the early 21st century, everyone began shouting in print. Like this! But also, disturbingly, LIKE THIS!!!!! I have absolutely no statistics to back this up, and all the information I’ve acquired on the subject has been entirely anecdotal and subjectively and if I’m honest carelessly analyzed.  But somehow the exclamation point has become the most-used piece of punctuation in modern history — and that, sir or madam, is fact.  I may not have things like data or “proof.”  But every time I notice a exclamation point, there’s one there. Explain that to me, if you can. Social media posts, text messages, e-mails, blog entries, online reviews, web comments: these are some of the many places where exclamation points are found in the wild, often seen with…

I give the humans from “WALL-E” two hard winters before they resort to cannibalism

Posted on July 7, 2008

I’m sorry, everyone, but the human beings at the end of Disney Pixar’s “WALL-E” are totally fucked. There’s just no getting around it. No happy ending. You probably shouldn’t read on if you haven’t seen the film, because this pretty much spoils the whole movie, but let’s face it — you’re going to read on anyway. I’ll recap the film and its ending briefly, using big words in the beginning so kids won’t know what I’m talking about, and they’ll get bored and leave: In the not-too-distant future, Earth has become so clotted with the detritus of unfettered capitalism that the biosphere has become unsustainable for all flora and fauna. So there’s goddam garbage all over the place. So all the humans bugger off…