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As the constant churn of content generation becomes more and more a part of the creative landscape, the value of cultural criticism expands exponentially. Consuming art is important, but understanding the consequences of that consumption is vital as well.

Tom Bissell is one such cultural critic. His collection “Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation” (Vintage, $16.95) features essays whose subject matter runs the gamut from highbrow to lowbrow and back again, all delivered with a combination of insight and wit that provokes thought with a concise cleverness.

Throughout these 18 pieces, Bissell addresses artistic questions large and small. He rails against the artificial and embraces the genuine. He is very clear about what he likes … and VERY clear about what he does not. He’s not about pulling punches, but nor is he stingy with his praise. When it comes to art, love it or hate it, Tom Bissell is passionate about it.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 13:40

Autobiographical Anna

Kendrick pens essay collection 'Scrappy Little Nobody'

Published in Style
Thursday, 11 July 2013 09:26

The grayness between black and white

I Wear the Black Hat' explores good and evil

What makes a villain?

That's the question being tackled by Chuck Klosterman in his new book 'I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)' (Scribner, $25). The noted cultural critic best known for collections such as 'Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs' has turned his sardonic eye toward a new subject the nature of villainy.

Have you ever wanted to read a breakdown of the major players in the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal (with a healthy dose of 'Basic Instinct' thrown in for good measure? You can find that here. How about a discussion of the similarity of attitude and impact between rap group N.W.A and the NFL's Oakland Raiders? That's here too. Or maybe you're looking for a deeper exploration of the O.J. Simpson case including a look at the absurdity of the mere existence of Simpson's 'If I Did It' memoir. If so, Klosterman has got something for you.

Published in Buzz
Thursday, 11 July 2013 08:25

Donning the black hat

Discussing the nature of villainy with Chuck Klosterman

Over the past decade, Chuck Klosterman has become one of the preeminent voices in the world of pop culture analysis. He has combined an encyclopedic breadth of knowledge with insightful wit to create his own unique voice - a voice he has used to dive beneath the shallow surface of our cultural waters and explore the seemingly-mundane with passion and precision.

He has written a number of popular essay collections that have explored diverse topics spanning the cultural landscape - the realms of television, movies, music and sports. Whether it's an exploration of the true nature of Zack Morris's Bayside, a breakdown of the deeper meaning behind the 1980s rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics or an in-depth interview with Britney Spears, Klosterman has repeatedly found ways to take the pulse of the zeitgeist and report on it with a style and panache that is his and his alone.

Published in Cover Story
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 10:42

A punter's passionate prose

Reviewing 'Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies'

'Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies' starts off in perhaps the only way it could: a reprint of Kluwe's Deadspin evisceration of Emmet Burns. In fact, the title of the collection springs from that letter after a fashion.

See, while the majority of Kluwe's critics used 'He's only a punter' as the foundation for their dismissal of him, others viewed his liberal use of profanity and other perceived vulgarities as a way to negate the validity of his views.

Published in Buzz

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