October 2006 Archives

Sucking Wonderfully

George A. Romero's 'Martin'Film Experience Blog is hosting a Vampire Blog-a-Thon just in time for Halloween.

I was delighted to see that three bloggers saw fit to write about George A. Romero’s criminally overlooked Martin: Silly Hats Only, Richard Gibson, and Tuwa’s Shanty and The Roots Canal.

Martin MullIn the 1985 HBO mockumentary The History of White People in America, co-writer and host Martin Mull offered the world mayonnaise-loving WASPs — suburbanites who had lost any sense of their roots, to the point that one child’s understanding of his own heritage was limited to the streets on which he and his parents had lived.

White people, the show seemed to be saying, are beyond ethnicity and culture.

Mull doesn’t see a meaningful connection between that work and his paintings, which are presently touring the country in a retrospective. The only link, he said in a recent interview, is that they reflect his childhood in Ohio. “It comes from the same vein,” he said, “the same mother lode.”

Yet they share more than just a Midwestern upbringing. The History of White People in America is the light-comic flip side to Mull’s ambiguous but loaded paintings. Both represent a tug of war over the American dream, a recognition of both its allure and its pitfalls.

Evolved Sexuality


'The Evolution of Desire' by David M. BussIt might sound like a lame excuse.

But if a man cheats on his wife, he might explain himself this way: “I couldn’t help it. My evolved psychological mechanisms made me have an affair.” And he’d be right.

Sort of.

David M. Buss, a psychologist at the University of Texas, has spent more than two decades studying sexual desire and behavior. And his research has led to one overarching observation: Across cultures, people’s mating strategies are universal.

The Band-Name Project

You hear it and you cringe immediately. Who the fuck thought of that stupid-ass name?

“Clap Your Hands Say Yeah”? Clap your hands learn to punctuate run-on sentences assholes. Or learn to use a damned conjunction.

“Dogs Die in Hot Cars”? Public-service slogans do not a band name make.

So Culture Snob here introduces a regular feature, offering free band names to whoever wants them. The goal is create the ultimate database of potential band names, to avoid travesties such as those cited above.

That’s not to say these are any good.

Chronically Crappy

'The Chronicles of Narnia': Fake Plastic TreesThe supsension of disbelief, to borrow a hackneyed maxim, is a privilege, not a right; you need to earn it.

And last year’s holiday hit The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe doesn’t.