pop culture

Awesome indie artist Amanda Fucking Palmer

Awesome indie artist Amanda Fucking Palmer

Singer/pianist/lyricist/composer/performance artist Amanda Palmer, a.k.a. Amanda Fucking Palmer or AFP, is the epitome of an American indie artist. She’s bold, unapologetic, bisexual, with awesomely hairy armpits and actual pubic hair. She organized an unbinding flash mob wedding between her and writer Neil Gaiman in 2010, then made it legal in 2011 in a private ceremony hosted by literary power couple Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. Unafraid of addressing provocative issues, she’s fought against Prop 8 and blogged about her own abortion and date rape.

Hey Girl, it's Paul Ryan Gosling

Hey Girl, it's Paul Ryan Gosling

A few years ago a humble little Tumblr blog called Fuck Yeah! Ryan Gosling launched, featuring images of the dreamy, blue-eyed, well-toned actor with imagined lovey-dovey quotes from him to you, the girlfriend: “Hey Girl, if I had to get swine flu, I’d want to get it from you.” It hasn’t been updated in months, but it doesn’t have to be: It spawned a thousand spinoff Gosling “Hey Girl” sites to keep you satisfied: Feminist Ryan Gosling (our favorite, and the one with a book deal), Typographer Ryan Gosling, Shakespearean Ryan Gosling, the list goes on and on… (See Know Your Meme for a more complete history.)

Girls with slingshots: A comic for the rest of us

Girls with slingshots: A comic for the rest of us

We’re not big into comics, but apparently that’s where you have to go to find interesting, three-dimensional female characters who take center stage. Because you won’t find them in Hollywood (take the Bechdel Test) or at the theater. But you will find them in Danielle Corsetto’s strip GIRLS WITH SLINGSHOTS. A reader recently tipped us off to the site because “it’s closely related to the stuff you guys talk about all the time” — we’re guessing she meant it’s about real women who are their own sexual agents, who don’t fit a preconceived notion of femininity, who pave their own individual romantic paths, sometimes faltering along the way, but always trying to learn and progress as they go while maintaining a healthy sense of humor (and a sex toy drawer).

Patrick Krzyzanowski's wrestling paintings

Patrick Krzyzanowski's wrestling paintings

Portuguese artist Patrick Krzyzanowski’s paintings of professional wrestlers exaggerate the already ludicrous “sport” with its gaudy costumes, showmanship and over the top violence, which has long been a pillar of American pop culture – especially amongst guys. In this interview with Vice, he explains the inspiration behind his work:

Naked news – pop culture edition

Naked news – pop culture edition

Any show featuring a full gimp suit has promise: a review of “American Horror Story” that took the words right out of our mouth.
Four lessons men can learn from Justin Beiber on being better boyfriends.
The Washington DC International LGBT Film Festival kicks off tonight.

The media's pornification of women

The media's pornification of women

Here’s a fascinating, but not all that surprising study from the University of Buffalo: they recently analyzed more than 1,000 images of men and women on Rolling Stone covers over the course of 43 years (they chose Rolling Stone since it’s a well-established, pop culture media outlet) and found the following:

Homemade pop idol sweaters

Homemade pop idol sweaters

Kottke’s guest blogger Aaron Cohen came across this ridiculously awesome find that takes kitsch to a whole new level and is insane in the membrane: Joanne Conklin’s homemade knit sweaters featuring pop stars and idols, such as the one above for Vanilla Ice. Conklin explains:

“We were living in Germany at the time and bands like New Kids On The Block were huge with the teen set. However, there were no fan t-shirts to be found anywhere, so I decided to knit sweaters. I made one for my daughter, then her friends, and word-of-mouth spread and the next thing you know I’d knit over a hundred of them, selling all but about six of them.”

Why did Warhol paint Campbell soup cans?

Why did Warhol paint Campbell soup cans?

Christopher Knight of The Los Angeles Times wrote this interesting exploration into what compelled Andy Warhol to paint Campbell soup cans, which “was first displayed publicly at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in July 1962,” as opposed to painting countless other canned goods that reflected the mass consumer US culture. When asked Warhol’s “canned”…

New fiction (and music and film): "Lola, California" by Edie Meidav

New fiction (and music and film): "Lola, California" by Edie Meidav

The amazing writer Edie Meidav (who also happens to be our friend and neighbor) is out today with a new novel: “Lola, California”, called “brilliant” and “awesome” by Publisher’s Weekly. Meidav is such a force of inspiration that art practically gets spontaneously generated in her wake: above is a beautifully haunting short film created by Snapdragon that’s inspired by “Lola” along with Meidav’s narration; and here is music inspired by the book from Kevin Salem, who calls it “part soundtrack for the reader, part songs inspired by the text … and part music inspired by the cultural identity of the novel.” Below is one of two excerpts from “Lola, California” that Meidav is generously allowing us to publish here — this one about a rape on a Greek island. Stay tuned next week for the second excerpt about two friends go-go dancing. Both are compelling creepy and deeply moving, even without the context of the full novel:

Manic pixie dream girl

Manic pixie dream girl

Now evil has a name: Manic pixie dream girl. Actually, the name was coined back in 2007 by the AV Club’s Nathan Rabin, but somehow we only just learned about it the other day. Back then, Rabin was panning Elizabethtown and used the term to describe Kirsten Dunst’s character, second in annoyingness only to Natalie Portman’s character in Garden State:

Awesome people hanging out together

Awesome people hanging out together

How to Make a Blog 101: pick a theme that can be illustrated in pictures, cull (read: steal) images reflecting that theme from all over the web, caption each image (wit/irony/humor optional). Think Failblog, PeopleOfWalmart, MyBadParent, TooBigForStroller, etc. Some are more clever than others. In fact, success isn’t measured in cleverness, but in whether a…

A baby video on YouTube that's actually art

A baby video on YouTube that's actually art

This doesn’t have much to do with love and sex, except that we love this trailer which features an adorable product of sex. The teaser is from the short film LAS PALMAS by Johannes Nyholm, which just won the Short Film Award and the Audience Award at the Gothenburg Int’l Film Festival, Startsladden. (The jury…

Loving hating Gwyneth

Loving hating Gwyneth

We always knew Gwyneth Paltrow was kind of annoying, but we didn’t realize it was “official” until we read the recent Time magazine review of her new movie “Country Strong,” which wasn’t so much a movie review as it was an account of how much people love to hate this privileged daughter of Hollywood elite…

Slaughterhouse 90210

Slaughterhouse 90210

The LA Times interviews Maris Kreizman, 31-year-old New Yorker and the brain behind the hilarious blog Slaughterhouse 90210 which marries high-brow literary quotes with pop culture television screen captures. Jacket Copy: Did you really start with just Vonnegut and “90210″? Maris Kreizman: I knew I wanted to start a blog that featured my favorite literary…

The Bechdel Test*

The Bechdel Test*

Thanks in large part to a video made last December by Anita Sarkeesian of FeministFrequency.com that’s been making the rounds recently on the Internet, more of the world knows about the Bechdel Test.* Back in 1985, Alison Bechdel’s comic “Dykes to Watch Out For” mentioned “The Rule,” one character’s three simple requirements for whether or…

Mark Bennett's Blueprints

Mark Bennett's Blueprints

Blurring the line between fiction and reality, Mark Bennett created detailed, if not slightly obsessive blueprints of domiciles belonging to various fictional characters and families, such as Batman’s mansion to Fred and Wilma Flintstone’s bedrock to Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s home. The blueprint of Jeanie’s lamp is also quite a trip. [Via]

Old photo of Star Wars cast

Old photo of Star Wars cast

The Internet has been freaking out the past few days over this old photo from a 1978 Sears catalog of some of the core cast members from the original STAR WARS sans mask and in decidedly contempo casual wear. From left to right we have: Han Solo, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and…

Pop culture class painting

Pop culture class painting

Artist Jeff McMillan’s painting, “All Together Now” brings together various pop culture icons for a nice group picture. Finger snaps to whoever can name them all.

Neill's A to Z of awesomeness

Neill's A to Z of awesomeness

Cartoonist Neill Cameron has been illustrating the alphabet “awesomely” from A to Z that is a hilarious mix of familiar pop culture icons and informative alliteration. He’s currently at Q. Here are a couple more examples that made me chuckle.