Culture Pop Matters annual review of last year is a bit different this year. As well as listing highlights, there is also a list of Ten Reason American Culture Did Suck. Much of the article does rely on the reader either being in the US or a Phd in Americana, but there are some resonances:
"And let's consider the source material: did anyone read A Beautiful Mind before they ran out and caught the cinematic adaptation? Even if they did, you'd have to probably multiply that readership by a billion to catch up with the fiercely devoted and relentlessly picky Tolkien readership that has made his trilogy the second-most read literary work (after the Bible, which in many parts of the world isn't really considered a literary work anyway) of the century. Let's get real, Jackson got robbed. It doesn't take yet another Russell Crowe hissy-fit to realize that. The lamest move of the year, hands down."

"Sometimes Hollywood can't help but sicken even the hardiest of digestive tracts. And yeah, Whoopi Goldberg, is right: this is small-time stuff and the only reason that the Ryder case exploded was because she's a celeb. But that's the whole freakin' point! She's high-profile (and did I mention filthy rich?) and should be smart enough to know that stuff like this is what gets celebs sent to the dark cellars of the National Enquirer for life. It's a no-brainer, but that seems to be what Ryder is turning out to be these days. And to top it off, some sharp capitalist printed up (without a hint of irony, by the way) a line of shirts bearing the slogan, "Free Winona", which other stars then had the audacity to wear."
There is also a lucious deconstruction of FOX News which will be familar to anyone who has Sky. Whenever I see the pull pressed suits on that channel I can only imagine that their viewership are some loony hicks in a barn somewhere watching TV from a petrol generator spitting dried peas at soup tins.

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