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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
The study of comic books has emerged in the last decade or so as a serious academic discipline. And it's about time. It's not news to many people that the stories and art found in these little magazines are not only entertaining; they also contain interesting, and sometimes profound, social content. Kent Worcester looks at three new books on Wonder Woman, the comic that emerged during World War II and was an early harbinger of feminist ideas.
One of the biggest literary stories of the summer has been the controversy over To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee's new novel, Go Set a Watchman. It turns out To Kill a Mockingbird hero Atticus Finch, as portrayed in this new book, was far more racist than fans of Lee's earlier novel remember. Should they have been surprised? Laura Marsh talks to several scholars who say Finch's racism was here all along, if readers had only taken the care to look.
As his admirer James Dean probably knew all too well, Brando was a true rebel, partly because he thought being a star was absurd and partly because, as clip after clip in 'Listen to Me Marlon' shows, he always had a cause, whether it was civil rights, black power, Native American sovereignty or his own independence.