MacFarlane, K.; Duruz, J. (2014), 'Technologies of Nostalgia: Vegetarians and Vegans at Addis Ababa Cafe'. In Eat, Cook, Grow: Mixing Human-Computer Interactions with Human-Food Interactions, Jaz Hee-jong Choi and Marcus Foth eds. MIT Press.
"Total Divas" on E!. Switch off - PopMatters, 'Channel Surfing', 20 August 2013.
"Total Divas" is WWE's ode to its own misogyny. Why it's more damaging that your regular reality TV junk.
Retro Remote #34: Forget "Man of Steel". Five perfectly dopey ways to love Superman - PopMatters, 30 July 2013.
After last column's angst about an angsty Superman, it's time to talk about more important things, like rainbow fingers and laconic Australian radio Superman.
Retro Remote #33: Superman and the War Against Anachronism - PopMatters, 29 May 2013.
Ever want to see a grown man write a love letter to Superman? Here you go.
Retro Remote #32: Retro Future: Reviving Have Gun -- Will Travel and The Rifleman - PopMatters, 26 February 2013.
Keeping positive about possible upcoming remakes of two key 50s/60s TV Westerns.
Retro Remote #31: Crime Classics, "The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln", 9 December 1953 - PopMatters, 13 February 2013.
Springboarding off Spielberg's Lincoln to talk about the portrayal of political compromise, a great old time radio series, and a Lincoln assassination movie where he comes out OK at the end.
"A Sport, A Tradition, A Religion, A Joke: The Need for a Poetics of In-ring Storytelling and a Reclamation of Professional Wrestling as a Global Art" (pdf) - Asiatic,Vol. 6, No. 2, December 2012, pp. 136-155.
Getting all professorial about piledrivers and powerslams.
Retro Remote #30: Love-Drenched Gunfighters in The Guns of Will Sonnett, "Ride the Long Trail", 8 September 1967 - PopMatters, 10 December 2012.
For a couple of gunfighters, these guys sure do talk about love a lot.
Review: Battle Royale: Director's Cut (2000) - Heroic Cinema, 25 October 2012.
Yes, I also compared it to Hunger Games.
Iron Sky and the Pursuit of Lowbrow Propaganda - Metro #173, August 2012.
More Three Stooges talk (plus some Chaplin) to suggest that Iron Sky is just smart enough to know that there are more pertinent enemies today than 1940s-style Space Nazis.
Retro Remote #29: The Three Stooges' Chaotic Neutrality in 'I Can Hardly Wait' (1943) - PopMatters, 9 August 2012.
An early appeal for the next Stooges movie to be "The Three Stooges Meet Emile Zola".
Retro Remote #28: No Contract for Old Men: Five "Old Folks" in Pop Culture That are 5Xs Tougher Than You - PopMatters, 1 June 2012.
An old-folks follow-up to last column's "Go Play in Traffic" kid-list, that makes me seem like an old curmudgeon. Only half of which is true.
Review: Joss Whedon's The Avengers Reaches Apex of Averageness, True Believers - PopMatters, 27 April 2012.
In which I alienate just about everyone I know by once again failing to discover genius in the works of Joss Whedon.
Retro Remote #27: Go Play in Traffic: 5 Movies About Kids That Are Better Than Hugo and True Grit - PopMatters, 29 March 2012.
Cheap shots at the universally loved 'Hugo' and the Coen Brothers remake of 'True Grit' and some rare examples of kids in movies that aren't completely obnoxious.
Retro Remote #26: Kafka Noir: Serge Marcotte's The Sickroom and Franz Kafka's 'A Country Doctor' - PopMatters, 3 Feb 2012.
Four adaptations of 'A Country Doctor', and making a claim for Kafka's new image as hard-boiled film noir tough guy.
"The Slap: Hard-Hitting or Heavy-Handed?" - Australia on the Small Screen, Metro #171, December 2011. How a one-episode farce turned into eight hours of histrionic misanthropy and called itself art.
Retro Remote #25: Tough Guys Recite: The Top Five Poetry Spittin' TV Characters - PopMatters, 26 October 2011.
Well, four tough guys and one bank ad. Plus some subtle cross promotion for the poetry conference "The Poetry and Poetics of Popular Culture".
Review: Matthijs van Heinjningen Jr.'s "The Thing" (2011) - PopMatters, 14 October 2011.
Bringing quiet tones and space-vaginas back from the '80s: it's finally time to dust off the old Lacanian psychoanalytic theory again, kids!
Retro Remote #24: Jean-Teddy Filippe's "Forbidden Files": Found Footage Lost (and Found Again) - PopMatters, 7 October 2011.
A ten-years-too-late attempt to reclaim a borrowed VHS tape lent to my high school drama teacher, disguised as a discussion of the "found footage" genre and Jean-Teddy Filippe's creepy and under-appreciated "Forbidden Files" or "Documents Interdits".
Heels vs Corporate Hedonism in the WWE - PopMatters, Channel Surfing, 30 September 2011.
With Linda McMahon running for Senate (again) and a new round of workplace safety and worker classification investigations (hopefully) on the way, WWE tries to convince us that only heels unionize.
'Blame: Revenge Served Warm' - Metro #169, July 2011.
On Michael Henry's 'Blame', resonant complexities, soap-opera style sensationalism, and the goals of Australian film schools.
Retro Remote #23: Robot Dreams: Transformers 3 and Sex Kittens Go to College - PopMatters, 28 July 2011.
Michael Bay's misogynist robot heroes: not quite as classy as the cigar-smoking, chimp-friending, stripper-dreaming frat-boy robot from Albert Zugsmith's 1960 'Sex Kittens Go to College'.
Retro Remote #22: Killing Osama bin Laden, and David Mamet's 'The Unit' - 'Old Home Week', 31 October 2006 - PopMatters, 20 May 2011.
In response to any criticism of major military action, David Mamet's 'The Unit' makes sure we target two threats to global security: 1) terrorists who would disrupt the democratic world, 2) the democratic world. (Plus: Jon Hamm as Bizarro peacenik Don Draper).
'An Idea Too Many in The Human Resources Manager' - Metro #168, April 2011.
On Eran Riklis' 'The Human Resources Manager'.
This One Time, on ADFA Camp... - The Punch, 13 April 2011.
How retrograde niche cultures in the Australian Defence Force Academy are far less 'niche' than the media would like us to believe.
Retro Remote #21: Betty Boop and Bimbo Get into a Sexual Tangle in 'Barnacle Bill', 31 August 1930 - PopMatters, 31 March 2011.
Prurient interest, the joys of punishment, dog-eared maidens, and the pleasures of the perpetrator in pre-code Fleischer Studios animation.
Homophobia Alive and Well on TV at the WWE - PopMatters, Channel Surfing, 30 March 2011.
Moving into Wrestlemania XXVII, the WWE's biggest event of the year, Vince McMahon's bigotry reminds us why the WWE doesn't deserve high-profile sponsors, toy licensing deals, or viewers.
Retro Remote #20: La Femme Nikita, 'End Game' 30 August 1998 - PopMatters, 22 February 2011.
Why 'La Femme Nikita' is still one of the toughest shows around, and what its oddly blunt season 2 finale has to say about unrest in the Middle East and US support of brutal dictators.
Retro Remote #19: Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Ocean Software, 1985 - PopMatters, 11 January 2011. The Commodore 64's 'Frankie Goes to Hollywood' offered the prize of aponia, the Epicurean philosophical state of freedom from pain, complete with kickin' soundtrack. Beat that, Xbox 360.
'You Must Survive': Mother Fish and the Narrative of Suffering - Metro #167, December 2010.
On Khoa Do's 'Mother Fish' (aka 'Missing Water') and the isolation of refugees in modern Australia.
Feel-Good TV Show Hides Corporate Reality - The Punch, 29 November 2010.
'Undercover Boss Australia', undercover propaganda, Kurt Vonnegut, Baucis and Philemon, and the need for media education in Australia.
Retro Remote #18: Paul Robeson in Australia: 50 years later - PopMatters, 10 November 2010.
50 years since Paul Robeson came to Australia, became the first international performer to sing at (or on) the Sydney Opera House, and swore he'd make the Australian government 'sit up and listen'.
Retro Remote #17: Medic, 'A Flash of Darkness', 14 February 1955 - PopMatters, 22 October 2010.
A Valentine's Day PSA from doctor drama 'Medic', reminding us to eat well, floss regularly, and await the inevitable doom of mutually assured nuclear destruction.
'Sesame Street' Has More to Worry About than Katy Perry's Low-Cut Top - PopMatters 'Channel Surfing', 6 October 2010.
Sesame Street delivers the perfect mix of kids' TV and conformist consumerist homophobic ideologues' marketing ploys.
Retro Remote #16: Motion Comics, Newspaper Strikes, and Mayor LaGuardia reading the funnies - '17 Days' 1945 - PopMatters, 17 September 2010. Who needs downloadable digital motion-comics when 1945 New York Mayor LaGuardia can read the funny pages to ya over the wireless fer nuttin'?
Retro Remote #15: 'Leave It To Beaver' is probably closer to real life than plenty of people would like to admit - 'Beaver's Short Pants', 13 December 1957 - PopMatters, 10 August 2010.
God forbid a modern hipster should let loose a chuckle at one of Wally and Beaver’s brotherly mishaps and thus irrefutably acknowledge dull suburban roots or ambitions!
Retro Remote #14: Crime Classics, 'The Seven-Layered Arsenic Cake of Madame LaFarge' 14 October 1953 - PopMatters, 1 July 2010.
How a smarmy radio reminder of the futility of existence and pointlessness of human suffering seemingly didn't help Plymouth sell a bunch of shiny new cars. (Marketing students, take note.)
Retro Remote #13: Pete Seeger's 'Rainbow Quest': The Anti-TV TV - PopMatters, 26 May 2010.
Why an awkward 'Auld Lang Syne' sing-along around a fake kitchen table on low budget UHF television is still one of the best music moments ever.
Retro Remote #12: Robert Culp, from 'I Spy' to 'Hickey & Boggs' - PopMatters, 29 April 2010.
Robert Culp dies, 'Hickey & Boggs' is not on dvd, but the 2002 film version of 'I Spy' continues to exist. There is no justice.
Mickie James' WWE Firing the Last Stop on a Road of Employee Bullying and Misogyny - PopMatters 'Channel Surfing', 27 April 2010.
Former WWE co-owner Linda McMahon is running for the US Senate, which means that this is not mere wrestling gossip but, in fact, 100% verified authentic honest-to-goodness political commentary.
Retro Remote #11: Beyond Barthes, Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker, Wrestlemania XXV - PopMatters, 25 March 2010.
Bringing healthy doses of sensitivity and spooning to professional wrestling.
Retro Remote #9 and #10: The Simpsons, 'Radio Bart', January 9, 1992 - Part 1 and Part 2 - PopMatters, Feb 4 and 15, 2010.
Timmy O'Toole, Floyd Collins, Kathy Fiscus, KTLA, Billy Wilder, 'Ace in the Hole', Jessica McClure, Peter Singer, Beaconsfield, Balloon Boy. No, not a new verse of 'We Didn't Start the Fire', it's a Simpsons reference so big it needed two articles.
Yes, TV is Art. Can we talk about Wrestling now? - PopMatters 'Channel Surfing', January 4, 2010.
TNA vs WWE vs Retro Remote.
Retro Remote #8: Amos 'n' Andy, 'Mister 1943', December 31, 1943 - PopMatters, January 4, 2010. Spending New Years Eve with Edward G. Robinson and a couple of white guys pretending to be a couple of black guys.
The Minstrel Show Goes On - Newmatilda, November 25, 2009.
Paul Robeson, Mark Twain, the UN and Harry Connick Jr vs entrenched Australian racism. Guess who wins.
Retro Remote #7: The Prisoner, 'Fall Out', February 1, 1968 - PopMatters, November 12, 2009.
Multiple analyses of an inaudible speech from Patrick McGoohan's 'The Prisoner' finale, and a needless dig at Ian McKellen.
Retro Remote #6: Pete Kelly's Blues, 'Dr Jonathan Budd', September 19, 1951 - PopMatters, October 20, 2009.
Seemingly my attempt to 'strip music of any real personal or cultural power' disguised as a review of Jack Webb's great jazz radio show. Retro Remote: 1, 'Music as Transcendental Entity': 0.
Retro Remote #5: Frontier Doctor, 'Queen of the Cimarron, September 26, 1958 - PopMatters, September 23, 2009.
Actress Jean Willes' best part, tough bad-gal Miss Fancy, gets what's coming to her: a solid dose of gumdrops and church.
Retro Remote #4: All in the Family, 'Gloria Sings the Blues', March 2, 1974 - PopMatters, August 27, 2009.
How to compress a nine-hour Ingmar Bergman marriage-angst film into a half-hour sitcom (BONUS: super-profound phrases to copy-and-paste into your college essays, kids).
Retro Remote #3: Ric Flair v Kerry Von Erich, WCCW Heavyweight Title Match - December 25, 1982 - PopMatters, July 21, 2009.
This article is probably the greatest thing to happen to professional wrestling since Georg Hackenschmidt submitted to Frank Gotch's ankle lock in 1908.
Retro Remote #2: Have Gun - Will Travel, 'Return to Fort Benjamin', January 30, 1960 - PopMatters, June 18, 2009.
Uber-cool cowboy Paladin tries to shut down US military torture shack in the 1880s (complete with Guantanamo Bay style pep and Dick Cheney style nutcase). Coincidentally published on what would have been star Richard Boone's 92nd birthday.
Star Trek's Lost Legacy of Literary Pretension - PopMatters, May 22, 2009.
One step away from writing internet fan-fiction about Kirk and Spock holding hands.
Retro Remote #1: Gidget, 'Dear Diary -- et al.', episode 1, September 15, 1965 - PopMatters, May 8, 2009.
In which I find an academic excuse for watching 'Gidget'. It's the same old Lacanian psychoanalytic media theory, but 15% more adorable.
Who Needs an Oscar Anyway?: Mickey Rourke's 'Homeboy' - PopMatters, 'All Things Reconsidered', May 6, 2009.
A desperate attempt to get 'Homeboy' released on DVD so that I can finally retire my last remaining VHS tape. (BONUS: attempt #1 at convincing the world that Wrestlemania is a far more important cultural event than the Academy Awards.)
The Risks of Writing Off Pop Culture - Weekend Australian Review, October 11, 2008.
A whole article on pop culture and not a single mention of Superman, William Shatner's spoken-word album, or that episode of Xena where she fights vampires. What a sell-out.
Pirates Become Canon Keepers - The Australian Higher Education, September 10, 2008.
To be followed by an article in which I explain the cultural benefits of stealing a car and stealing a handbag.
This Postgraduate Life - The Weekend Australian Higher Education Special Report: Postgrad, September 6, 2008.
"Special Report", eh? Found only in the dying medium of print. (BONUS: terrifying supervillain-style photo)
Pop Goes the Canon - The Australian Higher Education, August 20, 2008.
Combining literary analysis and cultural theory to demonstrate: a) the pop culture I like is art; and b) the pop culture you like just proves how stupid you are. (BONUS: Full length version, horribly cut in print for blowing too many minds (aka being too long))
'Dark Knight' Batman Bad for Comic Book Literacy - Weekend Australian Review, August 16, 2008.
When I'm Batman, things will be different. (BONUS: extra long, extra cranky version)
When Will the Internet Catch Up to Futuristic Plagiarism? - The Australian Higher Education, July 21, 2008.
Is plagiarising from the Internet plagiarism? Not according to Dr Dale Spender's futuristic space age world of down-load and web-site, hu-man.
Despairing Lack of Yoof Delinquency - The Australian Higher Education Blog, May 30, 2008.
Giving the kids a one way ticket out of Squaresville, pops.
The Really Important Music Trivia Question - Weekend Australian Review, February 16, 2008.
The ABC's Spicks and Specks, SBS' Rockwiz, Channel Nine's Keynotes with Richard Wilkins, The Final Countdown by Europe. Just because I love 'em doesn't mean I don't have nasty things to say about 'em. (BONUS: senseless use of the word 'hipsters')
The Real Reason Monster Movies are Scary - Weekend Australian Review, February 02, 2008.
Cloverfield, King Kong, Godzilla, Panic in Year Zero!, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, Armageddon, The Core, disaster movies, monster movies, the reason Peter Jackson's King Kong remake sucks, and a cheap shot at J. J. Abrams.
Alan Alda: Republican Role Allowed Hawkeye to Reinvent Himself (below main interview) - Weekend Australian Review, December 08, 2007.
More backhanded compliments than my high-school reunion.
The Sopranos finale: The Unkindest Cut - Weekend Australian Review, October 27, 2007.
An attempt to revive a 40 year old controversy over Patrick McGoohan's finale of The Prisoner, sidetracked by David Chase's The Sopranos finale and references to Blake's 7, Roseanne, The Wonder Years, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, Doctor Who (the old one), Doctor Who (the bad one), Cheers, M*A*S*H*, and St. Elsewhere. (BONUS: an always welcome reference to Xena: Warrior Princess)
The Chaser's War on Nothing Much - Weekend Australian Review, October 13, 2007.
Remember, joking that your show is not funny is only funny if your show is, in fact, funny.
'I see a Darkness' by Bonnie "Prince" Billy and 'Mule Variations' by Tom Waits - from PopMatters, 'The Edge of Change: The Albums of 1999', June 22-23, 2009.
Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats - Umbrella Entertainment DVD review, memorable tv.
Contributions and Quotations (aka things I found while Googling myself):
Our Universities Get High Score in International Wage Test - by Luke Slattery and Andrew Trounson, The Australian, November 14, 2008.
In which I manage to talk about casual-academic working conditions without referencing even one TV show or comic book. (BONUS: hideous 'harry high-pants' photo in print version)
MacFarlane, K. 'A Sport, A Tradition, A Religion, A Joke: The Need for a Poetics of In-ring Storytelling and a Reclamation of Professional Wrestlingas a Global Art' (pdf). Asiatic, Vol. 6, No. 2, December 2012, pp. 136-155.
MacFarlane, K.; Albrecht, T.; Sawyer, T.; Birbeck, D.; King, S. (2012), 'Tensions, Values, Emotions: The Affective Domain, and the Weight of Expectation'. Paper at 7th HERGA conference, "Partnerships", 19-21 September 2012, The University of Adelaide.
Petrescu, I.; MacFarlane, K.; Ranzijn, R. (2012), 'Psychological effects of poetry workshops with people with early stage dementia: An exploratory study'. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, August 17, 2012.
MacFarlane, K. (2011), 'Unplugging the Affective Domain: Can "Slow Spaces" Really Improve the Value of Cultural Literacy?'. Transformations, Issue No. 20, 2011 - Slow Media issue.
Petrescu, I.; MacFarlane, K. (2011), 'Poetry and Cultural Bridges: Beyond Politics and Economics' (pdf). Paper presented as part of "International Symposium on the Potential for Artistic Expression to Cross Cultural Barriers and the Relationship Between Art, Culture, and International Relations", Berlin 17-20 February 2011.
MacFarlane, K. (2011), 'Wrestling with Their Ghostly Fathers: Bloom, Bordwell, and Bodyslams; Poetry, Poetics and Piledrivers'. The Poetry and Poetics of Popular Culture, University of South Australia Poetry and Poetics Centre online conference, video presentation 25-26 November 2011.
MacFarlane, K.; Duruz, J. (2011), Workshop presentation: 5th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, CandT 2011 workshop, 'Food(ing): Between Human-Computer and Human-Food-Experience', Brisbane, 29 June 2011.
Voigt, C.; Barker, S.; King, S.; MacFarlane, K.; Sawyer, T.; Scutter, S. (2010), 'Conceptualising Social Networking Capabilities: Connections, Objects, Power and Affect'. Ascilite 2010, 7 December 2010, Sydney, Australia.
Voigt, C; MacFarlane, K. (2010), 'The Affective Domain and Social Networking: Definitorial Issues and Misleading Assumptions' (pdf). Workshop: 5th EC-TEL, 28 September - 1 October 2010, Barcelona, Spain.
An Isomorphic Vacuum in the Fourth Dimension
H. G. Wells' The Time Machine, Edgar Allan Poe's The Sphinx, Douglas Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach, Slavoj Zizek, Euripides, Batman, silent cinema and the films of Lon Chaney Sr. Isomorphic madness, baby.
Full abstract coming soon.
Blind Machines: Euripides and the Deus Ex Machina
Euripides' use of the deus ex machina in Ion, Alcestis, Medea, and The Bacchae. Lesson: respect the 'Rip.
Full abstract coming soon.