Archive for the popular culture category

Sidney Finkelstein vs Marshall McLuhan

Out of the mothballs: Sense and Nonsense of McLuhan by Sidney Finkelstein: Contents Chapter 4: “The Medium and the Deceptive Message” (extract) Chapter 6: “Hot, Cool and the Brainless Involvement” (extracts) Chapter 7: McLuhan’s Totalitarianism and Human Resilience This is ancient history, and quaint from the vantage point of today’s high tech media saturated environment. But the […]

Existential America (7): Highway 61 revisited

When I first read George Cotkin’s Existential America several years ago, I came across this review: T. H. Adamowski, “Out on Highway 61: Existentialism in America,” University of Toronto Quarterly, Volume 74, Number 4, Fall 2005, pp. 913-933. From this link you can download a PDF of the full text. The reviewer is obviously highly […]

James Bond and Philosophy (2): From Nietzsche with Love

James Bond and Philosophy: Questions Are Forever, edited by James B. South and Jacob M. Held. Chicago; La Salle: Open Court Publishing Company, 2006. Popular Culture and Philosophy; Volume 23. I saved the two articles on Nietzscheanism (in section II) for last. First, in “He Who Eats Meat Wins: Appetite, Power, and Nietzsche in the […]

James Bond and Philosophy (1)

James Bond and Philosophy: Questions Are Forever, edited by James B. South and Jacob M. Held. Chicago; La Salle: Open Court Publishing Company, 2006. Popular Culture and Philosophy; Volume 23. The Popular Culture and Philosophy series is quite uneven, in my estimation. Popular culture has eclipsed traditional print culture as the fount of cultural authority, […]

Route 66, where the surrealist rubber meets the road

This cartoon by Sam Cobean appeared in The New Yorker, Sept. 1947, p. 57. The caption reads “I knew we should have kept on Route 66 out of Flagstaff.” I first found this cartoon in a publication of the Chicago surrealists: Letters to Chicago Surrealists (October 1971-March 1973), prefaced by “Herbert Marcuse and the Surrealist Revolution” […]

Existential America revisited

Cotkin, George. Existential America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. Contents: Acknowledgements Chapter One Introduction 1741-1949: American Existentialists before the Fact Chapter Two The “Drizzly November” of the American Soul 1928-1955: Kierkegaardian Moments Chapter Three Kierkegaard Comes to America Chapter Four A Kierkegaardian Age of Anxiety 1944-1960: The Era of French Existentialism Chapter Five The […]

Tavis Smiley meets Eddie Glaude: Black pragmatism in action

27 March 2007: Glaude: He is a professor of religion at Princeton University, “with research interests that include African American religious history and its place in American public life. Glaude was mentored by Dr. Cornel West as a Princeton grad student and has written/edited several books. In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics […]

Cornel West blurbs Tavis Smiley

I wrote this on 15 January 2007, Martin Luther King’s birthday: Tavis Smiley interviews Cornel West, Jan 12, 2007 Cornel blurbs Tavis: I think that when it comes to mass media, this particular show enacts the legacy because what you have been able to do, Tavis. The reason why I believe you’re the most brilliant […]

Paremiology

I just discovered that paremiology is the study of proverbs. Without naming this as a field of study myself, in one way or another I’ve occupied myself with this genre. Perhaps my first contact with what others had to say about it was through Esperanto. Zamenhof, who created the language, authored a book, Proverbaro, which […]

Pragmatism Blues

“. . . the Americans are worlds behind in all theoretical things, and while they did not bring over any medieval institutions from Europe they did bring over masses of medieval traditions, English common (feudal) law, superstition, spiritualism, in short every kind of imbecility which was not directly harmful to business and which is now […]