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For posts before June 2012, please follow these links to our archives.

Review: 'Inside Out' - The Pixar Theory of Labor: To Live is to Work

James Douglas The Awl
it's possible that Pixar’s obsessiveness about work and employment has somehow been effaced in the public eye by the imaginative diversity of their films’ settings: ant colonies, space, the ocean, a bizarre alternate-world inhabited by sentient vehicles, and so on. But in Inside Out, for the first time, the ground beneath Pixar’s ideological feet comes into view, and it’s the Bay Area, California.

Coke Funds Scientists for Diet Advice

Susanna Pilny World Einnews
Coca-Cola is indirectly spreading a controversial message that to lose weight, the food and beverages you consume don’t matter so much as long as you exercise.

Mexico’s Telenovela First Lady

Leon Krauze The Daily Beast
Angélica Rivera may have dazzled on the TV screen, but her shady relationship with a government contractor has wreaked havoc on her husband's presidency.

3 Poems: Targets, In Response, Reasons for Release

Morgan Christie Blackberry Magazine
This three-part poem by Canadian poet Morgan Christie addresses a violent racial encounter, the response, and the consequence once upon a time, but something that seems contemporary.


Linda Rodriguez Pedestal Magazine
Dedicated to Frieda Kahlo, Linda Rodriguez's poem celebrates the spirit of revenge, the immortality of the Mexican painter's suffering and triumph.

Motor City, Rusting

Scott McLemee Inside Higher Ed
Perhaps in no U.S. city is the wreckage wrought by today's capitalism better seen than in Detroit, the once mighty auto metropolis now morphed into a showcase of post-industrial abandonment. New signs of rebirth and redevelopment there are fraught with contradictions, as artists and gentrifiers engage in what Dora Apel calls "ruin lust." Here, Scott McLemee reviews Apel's take on the (former?) Motor City and post-industrial tourism and aesthetics.

How Music Got Free

Chris Molanphy The Barnes & Noble Review
Since the year 2000, Chris Molanphy reminds us in his review of this history of digital music by Stephen Witt, "the recording industry’s revenue has more than halved and music consumption has undergone a definitive realignment." How did this happen? At least part of the story has to do with the story Witt tells. It's a story of how music traders, engineers, rogue industry executives, and music hobbyists all came together to create massive disruption.

Film Review: 'The Wolfpack' and 'The Tribe' - Boys in the Cage

J. Hoberman New York Review of Books
'The Wolfpack' concerns a large family that, self-isolated for years in a New York City housing project, developed its own tribal culture largely based on Hollywood blockbusters. 'The Tribe', is a fiction film set mainly within the dog-eat-dog confines of a Kiev boarding school for hearing-impaired adolescents and played out entirely in sign language by amateur, similarly impaired actor.

Silicon Valley Meets America's Salad Bowl

Though just down the road from each other, the country's tech capital and one of the country's largest farming regions are only now starting to work together—with only a little culture clash. If farmers and tech entrepreneurs can find common ground, our food supply will benefit.

‘Deutschland 83′: Cold War Tensions Heat Up In Season Finale

Cynthia Littleton Variety
The German-language drama revolves around an East German soldier who is recruited in 1983 by the Stasi secret police to go undercover in the West German army. The series, the first entirely German-language drama to air in the U.S., has garnered “best-show-you’re-not-watching” attention from influential pop culture observers.