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Postmodern Village
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The Mainly Annual
EastWesterly Review/Postmodern Village
14th Annual
Conference

Alton Amatta and Rachel RayhalChicken Karmann-Ghia: the Food Network meets the Speed Channel in a Knock-Off Drag-Strip (Mario) Batali
by Alton Amatta and Rachel Rayhal

This reporter would not intimate that the best part of this paper's presentation was the mini-Indy car race weaving its way through the cooking demonstration, but it was the only part anyone could hear. Kudos to the Rayhal pit crew, though, for being able to assemble an indestructible soufflé in ten seconds and under a yellow caution flag.

X. Remment and Flo SewardsRoto-Rooter-Scoping: How Hollywood Animation Techniques Are Revolutionizing Modern Plumbing: A Visual and Olfactory Essay
by X. Remment and Flo Sewards

It wouldn't be too punitive to say that this paper's presentation stank. In fact, that would be the point. Those few who retained their dahl—or rather their hamburgers—throughout the oration were subject to a provocative, or at least evocative, concept of Hollywood as the technological equivalent of war. Practical advances used to be accelerated during times of national conflict, but in these days of war without end, the baton has passed to those most experienced at creating nightmare scenarios for every ticket buying cineaste. With H-wood staging war games and the digi-wonks in the movie industry's special-effects houses creating training software, the entertainment industry may just be more important than the military-industrial complex could ever hope to be. Instead of buying war bonds, argue Remment and Sewards, just go see Saw 3. You know, so the world can be safe for Saw 4.

Ignatius "Bird Bones" PiltdownDodo-Scoping: How Postmodern Animation Techniques are Revolutionizing the Imaging of Extinction, an Essay in Ossification
by Ignatius "Bird Bones" Piltdown

It wasn't so much the calcified delivery of this paper that disappointed—we're academics and used to that. The problem was that it took so long.

Amy Illion-DollermannFrom Jane to Steve: Assessing the Austen Groove from 19th Century English Moors to 20th Century Bionic Beefcake
by Amy Illion-Dollermann

This paper defines po-mo the way heads on stakes define good government: perfectly. Combining cultural criticism, post-feminist criticism of the sexually-aggressive Camille Paglia sort, and a hip-hop beat, Illion-Dollermann shook not just the notion of how criticism ought to be done, but our bootays as well. New Historicism be damned: I'm plugged into New Anachronism. And the Farrah Fawcett look-alike playing "Emma" in the dramatic interpretation section didn't hurt either.

Maggie Meade-BridwellClifford the Big Red Geertz: Cultural Confusion as Anthropological Animation
by Maggie Meade-Bridwell

A follow-up to her gleng-baking work "Notes on a Bally-Kneed Cocktease," Meade-Bridwell builds on that work and Geertz's own theories to meta-morphose pop-culture misconceptions about science into scintillating ethnography. The giant dog is just a metaphor, but America's unswerving belief that science has cloned Ronald Reagan's chimp, Bonzo, has become its own dire reality.

Miller C. CrestIdol Judgments: Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Carrie Underwood and Jordin Sparks, or Mediocrity Without Irony: American Idol as Cultural Crucible
by Miller C. Crest

If fascism is the form of government that perfected tyranny, the representative democracy is the form of government that perfected mediocrity. So argues Crest, and judging by what passes for "good," this correspondent finds himself suddenly unable to imagine what kind of bland crap might pass for "great." The lowest common denominator isn't necessarily bad, notes Crest, but with the likes of Cowell and Abdul guiding our tastes, we'll frankly never graduate beyond the cultural equivalent of Kraft Mac n' Cheese washed down with eight ounces of lukewarm Tang. The notions are cogent, but the soundtrack, frankly, put me to sleep.

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