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The Mainly Annual
EastWesterly Review/Postmodern Village
17th Annual
Conference

T. Crystal MackLawrence of Awelkia: Accord-ions and Counter-Insurgency, a Guidebook for "Going Native"
by T. Crystal Mack

Mack's bullheaded presence belies his "soft power" stance, but his Myron Florenesque lusty eyework drove all the ladies wild. And that was sort of the point: there's no power without the attraction of the locals, and peace breaks out when the invader slips easily into the available orbit. We weren't sure that the sherbet-orange suits of the backing band would win the hearts of Guy and Ralna, though.

M. Nesmith AlbrightTrue Bielebers: Cultural Imperialism, Pop Music, and the Hegemonic Powers of Justin Bieber, a Proposal for a More Effective Foreign Policy
by M. Nesmith Albright

As opposed to T. Crystal Mack's imperial incursion through insidious traditionalism, Albright goes the other way, hooks the world in a slab of colonial bubble gum. Judging by the tunes oozing from the local disco, she might not be wrong. But that still fails to make lite right.

Miles Shay-RussIn-Sync Clown Posse, or From Shock to Schlock, Pop Music as Faux Refuge and Faux Rebellion
by Miles Shay-Russ

Shay-Russ shakes up your Faygo with this hard slam on how pop music makes us feel rebellious while actually placating the otherwise restless masses. It's disarmament through catharsis of the treble clef, he says, and only high art can erode the co-optation of high-finance. We'll believe it as soon as we can get over our PBR hangovers from last night's Fallout Boy concert.

Dieter von BordeauxSecuritease: the Full Body Scan as Metaphor for the Body as Political Object
by Dieter von Bordeaux

Beginning with a series of audience-selected XXX-rays helped Bordeaux reveal his message: using the "security" excuse for the most intimate form of pub(l)ic invasion is merely a manifestation of what we already were becoming. From drunken Facebook photos to uploading sex clips as a means to garner fame, Bordeaux succeeds in getting into our heads as well as beyond our travel togs; our complicity strips bare the last thing we're hiding from: ourselves.

Mike C. GramBartyles and James Joyce: Alcopops and the G(r)ift of the G(r)ab
by Mike C. Gram

The pub has always been a place to loosen tongues, but bending the friendly elbow making us susceptible to commercial messages would appear to be a new side-effect. Not so, says Gram, who contends the whole success of viral marketing campaigns by the likes of Gray Goose is presaged in Finnegan's Wake. If so, the homespun and aw-shucks marketing campaigns of the titular wine cooler company is just another indication of how far we've fallen: from modern art to trailer park, this Zima is raised over the grave of culture.

H. Pap BrownSlummer Reiding Pogrom: the Real Agenda Behind the White, Demo-Mormon Agenda (Interpolating the Fried Chicken Manifesto)
by H. Pap Brown

Brown excerpts his upcoming critique of consumer culture by showing how "the soft bigotry of low expectations" has morphed into promoting mediocrity up. This, coupled with simply redefining the "left behind" children as incorrigible criminals allows the Dems to appear "law and order" and "compassionate" free-market reformers all at once. This requires a numbers game that factors out the collective failure of either party to actually, you know, help the poor. Point taken, but we fear Brown's ancillary attempt to bring soul food to France will be the more effective of his campaigns.

Papers, Part 2