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Postmodern Village
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The Mainly Annual
EastWesterly Review/Postmodern Village
15th Annual
Conference

Jolane GrayeWheat Camp: Prissy Broadway Meets Plains State Reality TV, or a Ho-Down in the Heartland
by Jolane Graye

Certainly the most festive of the presentations at this year's conference, Graye's combination of do-si-do and Modernist vamping left us all wondering why such lesser works as Cats lasted as long as they did. But the reality show aspects to Graye's field study were telling as well: it's somehow comforting to know that Stephen Sondheim can milk more than just a rhyme.

Russell O. MeierTrophy Wife Fight: the Buxom Battle for Silicone Valley, or May the Breast Wife Win
by Russell O. Meier

In a land where bigger is better, from the amount of storage on one's flash drive to the size of one's master bedroom, would it not also make sense that the trophy wife's bosom be included? Meier takes us to the underground world of Trophy Wife Fights, where big breasted women battle not only for the Booby Prize, but also for a week off in the carpool. What do you mean marriage equals prostitution?

Felonius MonqueRandom Lugubrious Jazz Tune: Corny Cornets and the Apotheosis of Kenny G
by Felonius Monque

Jazz, as we all know, is dead, killed soundly by Chuck Mangione in the late 1970s. Monque, in this paper, makes a decent case for the lifeless body of jazz having been brought to a zombie-esque quickening by the likes of Kenny G and—one shudders even to think it—John Tesh. The worship these figures receive by an odd but powerful allotment of American seniors has tortured hapless elevator riders for years now, but this, argues Monque, in turn shows how America is creating its own unique pop culture Pantheon. If he's right, our own gods and goddesses, in imitation of their pagan forebears, seem intent on causing unending trouble for the mortals over whom they reign.

Brian RenalMusic for Airport Bars: Minimalism as Central Nervous System Depressant
by Brian Renal

The decluttering philosophy of the housekeeping shows has long argued "clean house, clean mind," just more Eastern philosophy minus the Eastern and the philosophy so it's easy for the masses to accept. Yet Brian Renal took that clean philosophy to his music and stripped out all unnecessary notes, playing only four in our sixty-minute presentation, and lulling us all to a peaceful feeling. It's no wonder he's in constant demand for places with some of the unhappiest people in the world: airport watering holes.

Mark DeDikkensOliver Twisticles: Nutcracking Tales of Proto-Victorian Suffering, a New Histrionicist Approach
by Mark DeDikkens

You've never suffered until you've stuck your nether-tresses in a truss.

Mark DeDikkensBra-strap Girl: Planet Sub Meets Planet Dom in Cockdown Drag Queen Fisticuff Mayhem
by Lilly B. Allgagg

Allgagg turned the tables on us not just with her gender-bending tag-team, but also with the tasty meats and cheeses her presentation combined on a whole-wheat bun. Themes feed deep, but the scratches, lashes, and bruises were only on the surface.

M. Buntu TorvaldGremlins Gone Wired: Redefining Digital Beauty at 20,000 Feet
by M. Buntu Torvald

As geekdom subsumes more and more of our lives, our notions of attractiveness shift alongside. Torvald took an open-source approach to this piece, using a freeware PowerPoint clone to show how teh hotttness transmogrified from 1988 to the present. We now make passes at gurls who wear glasses, Torvald explains, but also go "squeee" for the guy with the Wii.

Rachel RayskolnikovNotes from Alexander Solzhenitsyn's Underground Barbecue, an Anti-Repression Recipe Book
by Rachel Rayskolnikov

Rayskolnikov's otherwise chirpy demeanor was undercut by the very oppressiveness of her sources: bedsheet stew with steamed lice was certainly inventive for those forced to eat the Gulag goulash, but the grey color and remaining squirminess of the ingredients failed to win over her audience. Liberation as gustatory independence is an important point of historical critique, but we'd still rather not have it forced down our throats.

Page 4: "How're you gonna keep them on the farm
once they've deconstructed Paris?"