From the sedulous to the surreal in cultural context

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Mourning in America: The GOP Campaign and MoS, 2015

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December 15, 2015

  Note: This is the third installment of our MoS Best of 2015    2015 brought down the level of discourse in American politics.  A nation in thrall to the sloppy demagoguery of The Donald cannot think clearly.  Police shootings, mass shootings and acts of terror seem to crowd out space for rational discussion.  The year’s… Read More ›

A Trip to ZZ Top’s Tejas

Stepping into an album cover can be a surreal experience. One of my personal favorite ZZ Top albums is Tejas. Released November 1976, Tejas followed hit records Fandango! (1975) and Tres Hombres (1973), as well as earlier blues-rock offering Rio Grande Mud (1972) and the nearly eponymous ZZ Top’s First Album (1971). ZZ Top’s fifth long… Read More ›

General Keith Alexander’s Secret Empire

Originally posted on MATTERS OF SENSE:
? ? Following the first wave of disclosures from Edward Snowden about the mass surveillance state assembled by General Keith Alexander, this essay for Tropics of Meta emphasized the scope of the danger.  It also highlighted the gold rush in cybersecurity and the proliferation of enormously dangerous cyberweapons that are Alexander’s…

College Football 2015: A View from the ATL

Suffering “the most interminable offseason in sports,“ one longs for that quintessentially American guilty pleasure, college football.  Perhaps that’s why Duquesne Brewing has sold “close to a million cans” of lager named after the late, legendary coach Joe Paterno.  How else to ride out the dog days of summer in the USA?     With the orgy of bowl games… Read More ›

Summer of Trump: A Primer

Google’s tracking of the most-searched presidential candidate recently found Sanders on top in Vermont, Oregon and Washington. Trump prevailed in the other 47 states. Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times, August 14   “You are going to love President Trump.”  The Donald       Donald Trump has owned the Republican Party’s presidential summer of love. His… Read More ›

Marco Rubio: The Eddie Haskell of Republican Politics

I didn’t really grow up in the South, but then again, neither did Marco Rubio. (As all good geographers know, Miami is officially somewhere in the Middle Atlantic, in an indeterminate and ever-shifting place between Metuchen and Washington Heights, like the island from LOST.) But we both know the quintessentially Southern importance of good manners… Read More ›

She probably doesn’t want my Progressive feminist sympathy, but I’m giving it to her anyway: Thoughts on the Republican Debate, Donald Trump, and Fox’s Megyn Kelly

  Was it just me, or was Thursday night’s Republican debate deeply, deeply weird? The entire event seemed farcical, as though we were all watching a Saturday Night Live sketch of the nuttiest idiosyncrasies of the candidates. And yet Lorne Michaels was nowhere in sight. Presumably, the sixteen men and one woman (of course) who… Read More ›

MARCO RUBIO, Stuck in the Middle with You

Well I don’t know why I came here tonight, I got the feeling that something ain’t right, I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair, And I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs, Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, Stuck in the middle with you… Read More ›

READ YOUR SENSES

Sensory Issues in the News Fifty Shades of Touch On the blog of Oxford University Press, a cognitive neuroscientist interprets 50 Shades of Grey (both the film and the novel) in terms of the sense of touch: After all, isn’t the novel about the sensual power of touch? How arousing can a light touch on the… Read More ›

The Sensory Historian in the Jungle: An Interview with Adam Mack

  Author Interview Q: Your book, Sensing Chicago, has just been published by the University of Illinois Press, as part of a series, Studies in Sensory History. This isn’t the first time, however, that you’ve published scholarship on the senses. When and how did you get interested in the field of sensory history?   A: I… Read More ›

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