Has ‘Project Runway’ Jumped the Sharkskin?

And Other Crucial Parts of the Culture Puzzle I've never been a fan of purely reactive writing. Most of it banishes those errant ideas and images that have no obvious connection to the fake trend or genuine outrage of the moment, but are nonetheless a writer's best reason to write. It's a puzzle, then, to find novel ways to react "new" to the daily cultural-political flood. Maybe the task can be accomplished in pieces. Jigsaw Part 1: Bloodsuckers I'm afraid that our favorite TV "crossover" shows are withering. You know, crossovers, the … [Read more...]

Laaam-bert!

"I'm trying to be a singer, not a civil rights leader," says Adam Lambert -- remember him? -- as he comes out in the new Rolling Stone. Quelle, quelle surprise, but congratulations nonetheless.  Yet comments like that are as boilerplate as the mag itself. Dear Adam: Popular culcha has long ago rendered any such division into schmaltz. In case you have or anyone has any doubts about that, check out the quite subversive 1952 Disney cartoon short called Lambert the Sheepish Lion. See any parallels, sweetie? The … [Read more...]

‘American Idol’ — the Judy-Deanna Version

        Now that our Idol hangover is over, we may regain some composure and perspective about the relative importance of a manipulated mass election -- sounds presidential, no? -- within the body politic of popular culture. Right? Then how do I explain why I woke up literally singing the word "swing" -- but like a cat wail, "swiiiiiiinnnnnng." Judy was talking to me again. "Didn't you see me?" she asked. "I was hard to miss. I had to share some space with Freddie, but I like Freddie, and even with that awful Lee" -- I … [Read more...]