I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by Thomas Michalski
June 18, 2017
It might have something to do with its origins in French film theory, but people tend to only toss around the word “auteur” when it comes to highbrow directors, your Kubricks and Kurosawas, but the term is by no means an indicator of commonly accepted notions of quality cinema, having more to do with the structure and consistency of vision evident in a filmmaker’s body of work than the perceived cultural or artistic importance of that output. When considered without the bogus cinephile pretension, the term could arguably be applied to everyone’s favorite directorial whipping boy, Ed Wood, and is certainly apt, as David K. Frasier points out in his book-length examination of the accomplished sleaze purveyor, for Russ Meyer. Meyer’s films weren’t of the sort to garner nods from the Academy, in fact they were more likely to get him thrown in jail, but there’s no denying that over the course of his infamous career, lasting over a quarter of a century, the filmmaker established and expanded upon his own unique aesthetic, using it to explore subject matter both personal and political. The fact that that aesthetic revolves almost exclusively around scantily clad women with enormous tits is totally irrelevant...
Thomas Michalski is a writer and radio host from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can keep up with his comings and goings over at http://www.voodooinspector.com/

by Thomas Michalski
June 15, 2017
Early on in the Seinfeld episode “The Tape”, Kramer tells Jerry about a friend of his who is becoming a minimalist and is giving away all of his possessions. “Is that the guy who likes fat women?” interjects George, to which Jerry quips, “Doesn’t the fat fetish conflict with the minimalism?” It’s a throwaway joke, a short detour before getting down to the business of the plot, but it encapsulates how pop culture understands minimalism: as space rather than substance, as emptiness only occasionally interrupted by the simplest of forms. But while that perception certainly applies to certain manifestations of minimalism, it’s far from the whole picture. 
Thomas Michalski is a writer and radio host from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can keep up with his comings and goings over at http://www.voodooinspector.com/

by Nicholas Shapiro
June 12, 2017
A tale told since the 13th century, the story behind Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring was based on a medieval Swedish ballad, which took its own inspiration from a local legend that occurred initially a century before the ballad was penned. The gist of the legend is about why a forlorn church, located at Malmslätt in Östergötland, Sweden, had originally come to be in the middle of a desolate forest. Though Bergman makes some slight tweaks to the details of the original ballad, his cinematic approach to the subject is faithfully portrayed, but was received with controversy.
My name is Nicholas Craig Shapiro, I'm 22 from New York, New York and I just graduated from SUNY Purchase. I'm currently a janitor/pool attendant/freelance writer/single woman trying really hard to keep busy for on the off chance that I'm not, I will get bored and explode into glitter. I maintain a twitter and that's about it https://twitter.com/glennfeathers

by Jason Forrest
June 12, 2017

As much a work of art as any record label could ever be, 4AD was a collaboration between two dudes with arty names: Ivo Watts-Russell and Vaughan Oliver. The label was started in 1980 when Watts-Russell was given the opportunity to start a label with a small budget dolled out from his bosses at Beggars Banquet - then a successful chain of record shops in London. [1] He and co-worker Peter Kent together released their first 7” and named the label “Axis”. But there was a problem: there was already a label called Axis. In one of those fateful snap judgments, they changed the name of the label to 4AD and much to everyone’s surprise it caught on almost immediately. Ivo Watts-Russell quickly showed a penchant for savvy A&R work, releasing singles that year by a host of up and comers including Modern English and this other band, some skinny guys called Bauhaus.

Whatever it is that drives a scene - or even a whole subculture – quite a few of the bands that Ivo signed had it.  He seemed to have a knack for working with a diverse roster of bands to develop some of the best material regardless of genre.  In 1983 4AD released albums ranging from the bombast of The Birthday Party, the  ephemeral Cocteau Twins, and emerging pop-stars Modern English.[1]  Despite it all though, the label began to develop an overall sound. Of course, Watts-Russell never really had any of that in mind but we humans love to classify stuff.


Jason Forrest is CEO and Creative Director of Network Awesome. He's been an electronic musician for over 11 years and has traveled almost everywhere in the world.  He invented and developed the iOS app Star6 and aided in the development of both Buddha Machine apps. In addition to that he runs 2 record labels, Nightshifters and Cock Rock Disco - so he's a busy guy.  His new album "The Everything" was released in April 2010 on Staatsakt. Grab it here and Follow him on Facebook here and contact him via the Network Awesome About page!

by Joe DeMartino
June 10, 2017

It’s a common rule of the Internet that many of its horrid aspects wilt when deprived of their anonymity. Yes, YouTube comments are vastly, overwhelmingly stupid, but the reason that you don’t see a similar level of idiocy at a movie theater is because there’s a severe social penalty to being such a prat in public. Anonymity isn’t the issue -- we all know people who are pleasant in public but raging psychotics on Facebook -- but proximity is. Without a compelling emotional reason, most people have a tough time being purposely boorish to someone who’s right in front of them. This is not particularly the case with the Westboro Baptist Church...

Joe DeMartino is a Connecticut-based writer who grew up wanting to be Ted Williams, but you would not BELIEVE how hard it is to hit a baseball, so he gave that up because he writes words OK. He talks about exploding suns, video games, karaoke, and other cool shit at his blog. He can be emailed at jddemartino@gmail.com and tweeted at @thetoycannon. He writes about sports elsewhere. The sports sells better.