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Reviews published during 2004.
2004 Tarnation and the State of the Nation: A New Yorker’s Perspective
Edward D. Miller
When Jonathan Caouette and his mother arrive in New York, they come to the city as refugees. They have been living in a country ruled by a harsh regime where women and gays are systematically oppressed. When they get to the City it is as if they have made it to a demilitarized zone where they can make sense of their experience, as well as just survive.
2004 Warporn Warpunk! Autonomous Videopoiesis in Wartime
Matteo Pasquinelli
IRAQ WAR CULTURE REVIEW. The anti-war public opinion that fills squares worldwide and the cosmetic democracy of international courts stand powerless in front of the raging US military. Against the animal instincts of a superpower, reason cannot prevail.
2004 Hadrian or Caligula?
Serena Anderlini D'Onofrio
For intellectuals like me, originally from Italy, who have spent a number of years in the effort of purchasing into a system whose myths we half-bought and which we intended to transform from within, Empire and Multitude have been the fount of serious reflections on what kind of enterprise that was and what kind of system.
2004 Living in Prison, Social Invisibility, and Legal Xenophobia
Ewa Pagacz
BUSH CULTURE REVIEW. The current administration’s inability to see itself in the international human rights mirror is a throwback to legal isolationism, and the lives and rights of two million prisoners in the United States suffer in consequence.
2004 Truthful Translations of Political Speech: Remixing the Bush II Agenda
John Anderson
BUSH CULTURE REVIEW. Media collage uses the targets of protest themselves as conduits to express dissent. There is something doubly subversive in twisting the words of such targets to attack them - especially when the final products, in many respects, are closer to the truth than the original rhetoric.
2004 Nathaniel Hawthorne’s License Plates
Joe Lockard, Ewa Pagacz
BUSH CULTURE REVIEW. Use of license plates as a forum for endorsing oppressive legal control of women’s bodies, as well as their conversion into sites of criminal punishment and shame, testifies to an intense culture war within the United States. No speech domain in the public eye remains untouched by this conflict, not even automobile license plates.
2004 Pictures at a Demonstration
Maia Ramnath
BUSH CULTURE REVIEW. Ditching Bush is the barebones prerequisite for slowing our disastrous trajectory. But if that comes to pass, will we seize that breathing space to go on the offensive toward a radical overhaul of our political and economic structures and social relations, or will we revert to complacency?
2004 Control Room
Jonathan Sterne
BUSH CULTURE REVIEW. The journalists highlighted in the film emerge as complex people with complex political worldviews. They believe, most strongly, in the standard western ideologies of journalism: get the truth out, cover all sides of the conflict, let the audience decide.
2004 Rock Against Bush, Vols. 1 and 2
Joe Lockard
BUSH CULTURE REVIEW. Whatever the trajectory of this album, it serves to emphasize the lived immediacy of culture. Rock Against Bush is timely and obtains its political value from that timeliness.
2004 Troy, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Bush Culture
Tomasz Kitlinski, Joe Lockard
BUSH CULTURE REVIEW. Troy is a social palimpsest for Bush culture, a point at which the values propagated by the Bush administration can be read for effect: determined militarism, subordination of citizens to aggressive state policy, and a campaign against male effeminacy. The Chronicles of Riddick, on the other hand, is a study in anti-Bush culture and a film of resistance.
2004 Fahrenheit 9/11
Joe Lockard
BUSH CULTURE REVIEW. Fahrenheit 9/11 does to George W. Bush what John Kerry should be doing.
2004 Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire
Eric Mason
Multitude might be described as a handbook for those who see democracy as a yet unfinished project, one that might still be pursued in ways that work through institutions to create a mode of social organization that is based neither on imperial sovereignty nor on anarchy.
2004 The Blackout
Rachel Swan
The strength of hip hop is that it lends itself to individual testimonials, and fierce personalities, that animate the narratives of urban life. That's why some of the best rappers out there are also the most politically abhorrent.
2004 Interstate Highways 405 and 5 between Los Angeles and San Diego
John Brady
I commute to work from Los Angeles to San Diego along US Interstate Highways 405 and 5. The drive is 240 miles round-trip and takes two hours each way if traffic is brisk, much, much longer if it isn't.
2004 The Perkin Experience: Hand2Fist Edition
Rachel Swan
As a female navigating in a space that's rife with hyper-male signifiers, I can't just dismiss all the stuff that makes me uncomfortable -- after all, some of the best rap, artistically, is the worst, politically.
2004 The Da Vinci Code
John Brady
Dan Brown's best-selling The Da Vinci Code enacts what it depicts. A story of deceit, it itself is deceitful.
2004 A Traveler's Guide to the Civil Rights Movement
Joe Lockard
History-seeking travel in the South and elsewhere has been oriented towards older towns and cities, rural plantations, battlefields, and the sights that confirm a once-dominant view of Southern civilization.
2004 David Sedaris's Boil
John Brady
I recently attended David Sedaris's reading at the University of California Los Angeles's Royce Hall. The first story Sedaris read ended with a description of how his long-time partner Hugh lanced a boil on David's behind.
2004 Anticon Label Sampler: 1999-2004
Charlie Bertsch
Hip-hop presents a challenge for 'grown-ups' who don't like imposing their taste on others, particularly when those others are children. The music sounds best coming out of anti-social car stereos that make pedestrians' teeth chatter.
2004 Bowling for Entertainment: The New Documentaries
Steven Rubio
In the current context of a news media too willing to serve as stenographers for the powerful, should it matter that filmmakers like Michael Moore are accused of a cavalier attitude towards facts?
2004 Smoke and Fire
Katje Richstatter
There is just something about the Teutonic aesthetic that feels so right, and almost soothing, right now.
2004 Electronic Darfur
Joe Lockard
This impoverished province on the Chadian border is a near-perfect example of an information colony, one where natives are the subjects of information provision but have no autonomous capacity to provide information concerning their own lives.
2004 A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America
Katje Richstatter
This analysis is concerned with what the author calls 'Improvisational Millenialism,' a subset of conspiracy theories that are not based on religious or secular canons, but are instead 'bricolages' culled together from disparate, unrelated, and sometimes contradictory elements into superconspiracies.
2004 Super Size Me
Joe Lockard
Santa Cruz, California is hostile territory for Ronald McDonald. There are regular anti-meat demonstrations outside the local McDonald's outlets and management greases the flagpoles so that the McDonald's flag can't be stolen.
2004 Black and White Women’s Travel Narratives
Joe Lockard
Black and White Women’s Travel Narratives theorizes nineteenth-century African American travel literature in a comparative perspective.
2004 Some Cities
Mike Mosher
The book is reminiscent of Berger's 1960s and 1970s collaborations with Swiss photographer Jean Mohr.

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