One Toke Over the Line

1938’s Reefer Madness occupies a special place in stoner lore. Originally conceived as an urgent message film about the dangers of the demon weed, it was rediscovered in the sixties and seventies by scruffy, long-haired countercultural types who grooved on the film’s all-around ineptitude, hysterical tone, manic overacting, and patently false portrayal of pot as […]

My Shizzle: Gone Fazizzle?

If you’ve watched television at any point during the past ninety days, you’ve probably seen the latest ads from Old Navy, a brand that dispenses irony like VH1 serves up nostalgia: cheap, shameless, and unfiltered. In a commercial I cannot for the life of me get out of my head, a waxy Fran Drescher brays, […]

The Last Action Heroes

Watching Arnold Schwarzenegger lumber his way through Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, I was struck by a nagging, persistent quibble. Why on Earth would anybody build a 55-year-old android killing machine? That’s like building a sex robot modeled after Bea Arthur. Granted, at no point in T3 does the Austrian oak actually pull out […]

Look Back in Anger

When I heard about EMI’s deluxe re-issue of Ice Cube’s first four albums, I was struck with a strange sense of nostalgia for both the albums and the era they represent. Of course, nostalgia is kind of a quaint emotion to feel for ultra-violent, incendiary, unabashedly angry albums that viciously attack Jews, white men, women, […]

Now You See Him, Now You Don’t

Magicians occupy a peculiar place in American pop culture. Logically, they should be an anachronism, an antiquated relic of a time when simpletons were easily duped by non-digitally enhanced sleight-of-hand, a time when minstrel shows and vaudeville competed for ye olde American’s hard-earned entertainment dollar. After all, who could possibly be duped by an old-fashioned […]