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6 More Very Talented Percussion Masters

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 - by Allston

Once again, my thanks for all of the great suggestions. You keep ‘em coming, I’ll keep posting them up. And once again, the standard disclaimer – I can only post so many songs per/article, so if I did not (yet) post someone you feel is relevant and a great percussionist, please make a suggestion in the comments. This is one of several open-ended series of articles, and there are hundreds of great drummers out there, so please be patient.

Peart joined Rush in 1974, just two weeks before the beginning of a major tour, and just four months after their self-titled debut album.

1. Neil Peart – (with Rush) – “Tom Sawyer

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The Top 20 Films of the 1970s

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 - by Kyle Smith

Editor’s Note: This is an expansion of Kyle Smith’s list of the 10 best films of the 1970s published here in June. I’ve asked Kyle to expand his series as PJ Lifestyle begins offering more lists, articles, essays, and blog posts exploring culture, art, technology, and history by decade. Recently he expanded his ’80s list to a top 20 here, his ’60s list here, his ’50s list here, and his ’40s list here. Do you disagree with Kyle’s choices? Do you have your own ideas for lists of movies or other cultural subjects? Which years and what subjects would you most like to see covered at PJ Lifestyle? Email: DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail.com. Also check out Kyle’s top 10 movie picks for the ‘30s’90s, and the ’00s before he expands them to top 20s. Click here to read “What Makes a Great Movie?,” Kyle’s essay explaining his criteria for these lists.

20. The Way We Were (1973)

Mistakenly confused in the memory with the sentimental theme song, the film is actually a barbed character study that explores how politics can become a kind of obsession that in this case drives a wedge between a happy-go-lucky, apolitical screenwriter (Robert Redford) and his stridently leftist wife (Barbara Streisand) during the McCarthy period. 

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10 Films that Tell the Future of War

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 - by James Jay Carafano

Most Hollywood science fiction isn’t really all that “out there.” Take the computers on the original Star Trek. They operated a lot more like creaky 1960s IBM mainframes than 21st century iPads. Nevertheless, Hollywood has often been the inspiration for how militaries think about future wars. Here are 10 films that impress by their ability to presage the next weapons of war.

1. The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (1961)

The 19th century novelist pretty much single-handedly invented science fiction—and in the process he forecast military weapons from submarines to super bombs. The single best effort to bring his imagination to the screen was a 1958 Czech film, later released in the U.S. and dubbed in English. What makes this film so engaging is a unique visual style called “Mystimation” which combined flats that looked like Victorian engravings with live actors.

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24 Guitar Masters You Need To Know

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - by Allston

Among musicians are the rare few who are known as “guitar masters,” those who take the instrument to an entirely new level, which is what I hope to highlight for you here – the best of the best. These picks are not ranked in any particular order; they are entirely subjective and simply for your aural pleasure.

And so, another installment of Guitar Masters. As promised, many of your past suggestions are included here. Enjoy!

Rolling Stone magazine has rated Cooder as the 8th greatest guitarist of all time. The man can sure play the slide guitar, whatever his ranking.

1. Ry Cooder – “The Slide Man”

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The 20 Best Films of the 1940s

Saturday, November 1st, 2014 - by Kyle Smith

Editor’s Note: This is an expansion of Kyle Smith’s list of the 10 best films of the 1940s published here in July. I’ve asked Kyle to expand his series as PJ Lifestyle begins offering more lists, articles, essays, and blog posts exploring culture, art, technology, and history by decade. Last month he expanded his ’80s list to a top 20 here, his ’60s list here, and his ’50s list here. Do you disagree with Kyle’s choices? Do you have your own ideas for lists of movies or other cultural subjects? Which years and what subjects would you most like to see covered at PJ Lifestyle? Email: DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail.com. Also check out Kyle’s top 10 movie picks for the ‘30s, ‘70s,  ’90s, and the ’00s before he expands them to top 20s. Click here to read “What Makes a Great Movie?,” Kyle’s essay explaining his criteria for these lists.

In the 1940s, patriotic films meant to rally the nation competed for attention with escapist fare and wonderfully felt nostalgia, but some of the best films of the decade are the uncharacteristically dark ones that were far ahead of their time. Here’s one critic’s expanded list of the 20 best films of the decade.

20. Red River (1948)

An ambitious rancher (John Wayne) and the boy (Montgomery Clift) he adopts and turns into his heir clash on a massive cattle drive north on the Chisholm Trail. Howard Hawks’s film is a rambling, broad-shouldered Western that captures the courage, resourcefulness, self-sacrifice and the sometimes extreme measures involved in the building of great American fortunes. Wayne’s thorny, complicated hero give the lie to those who would claim his performances lacked depth.

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Ranking the Nightmare on Elm Street Films from Best to Worst

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 - by Ash Freeman

New Line Cinema is known as “The House That Freddy Built”, and rightfully so. The A Nightmare on Elm Street films were slow but steady in permeating America’s wider pop-culture, making child-murderer and punster Freddy Krueger into a household name. Freddy is a horror legend, and one of the “Big 3” of the slasher genre along with Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers. While having fewer films than those two, Freddy arguably has the best track record for being entertaining, if not actually being imaginative and scary. What follows is a look at the A Nightmare on Elm Street films, going from horror classics to diminishing returns.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors

Dream Warriors beats out the original film largely because it’s one of the few to have Freddy hit that sweet spot between horror and ham without diminishing either. The cannon fodder is probably the most likable cast in horror movie history, and that adds to the terror and the sadness when any of them get offed by Freddy.

Speaking of, Freddy isn’t as on his A-game with the nightmare settings when he goes to work on his victims, but his subtle manipulations of the environment to get at them has never been better. The paranoia invoked by this creative decision masterfully displays the dream logic of the scenes in which Krueger appears, and makes them that much more terrifyingly plausible as a result. Freddy takes out his victims methodically and with a twinge of dark humor that makes their deaths that much more disturbing, instead of the punchline they would later become.

We also get the return of Heather Langenkamp as Nancy, now older, wiser, and more prepared to deal with Freddy once she unintentionally finds herself back in his sights with the new teens. The film has been compared to Jason and the Argonauts, but I prefer Freddy Vs. X-Men. Dream Warriors succeeds as both horror and adventure, and it’s arguably the best performance Robert Englund gave as Krueger.

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Have You Forgiven ‘The Back Stabbers’ In Your Life?

Sunday, October 26th, 2014 - by Allston's Afternoon Rockout

On Soul Train, no less!

3.  The O’Jays – “Back Stabbers” (1972)

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A bonus track from Prager University on similar subject matter:

Editor’s Note: Over the spring and summer we launched the PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight feature, highlighting reader suggestions for great songs worth featuring. One contributor’s infectious enthusiasm and good nature won us over. He’s since expanded his music recommendations to a series of list-article-mix tapes. Now in this daily feature we’re going to start drawing from his lists (and growing an archive of them) to discuss the songs and artists included. Who should be included next? What ideas do you have for music or other culture or lifestyle ideas you’d like to see discussed at PJ Lifestyle? Get in touch DaveSwindlePJM AT gmail.com or @DaveSwindle on Twitter. Here’s Allston’s archive so far that will launch this feature, but he’s got more list-mix-tapes in the works:  

By Artist

5 Terrific Tracks from Horace Silver, Jazzman Extraordinaire

The 5 Musical Periods of the Yardbirds

Your 6 Song Introduction to Traffic

By Decade

Alternative 1980s: 15 More Songs Millennials Must Hear

15 Classic 1970s Songs Millennials Should Know

15 More Classic 1970s Songs for the Millennials

15 More 1970s Songs Showcasing the Decade’s Wide Range

By Genre

Your 15 Song Introduction to The New Wave Punk Sound That Ended the 1970s

15 Early Punk And New Wave Songs Bridging the 1970s to 1980s

By Instrument

6 of the Greatest Guitar Masters of All Time

NEW! 9 Violin Masters on YouTube

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9 Violin Masters on YouTube

Saturday, October 25th, 2014 - by Allston

For every Justin Bieber (shudder) “discovered” on Youtube, there are others who are so good at their music, it would be impossible to ignore them unless you’re tone-deaf. Lindsey Stirling is one such and deserves recognition and all of accolades you can name. Dubstep violin?  You go girl!

1. Lindsey Stirling – “Crystallize”

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The 10 Scariest Movie Monsters of All Time

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Pierre Comtois

Editor’s Note: This is the second pre-Halloween list this year. The first was “The 10 Worst Horror Films on Netflix: Drinking Game Edition.” What would you like to see next in this series before Halloween next week? 

As it is with art or humor, horror is subjective. What might frighten one person might do nothing for another. And especially today, when there are so many things in our modern world that are scary, fright has been parsed virtually to its constituent components.

What scares modern audiences is more likely to be found in threats that grow directly from real life. Thus, films of past decades, whose themes may have just rolled off the backs of viewers like water off a duck, now resonate with renewed discomfort.

A new uncertainty has gripped modern society as it struggles to meet a rising restlessness. New monsters represent the looming chaos that threatens to overturn our heretofore predictable and comfortable lives. We can sit before our theater-sized TV screens in our cozy McMansions snug in our gated communities and pretend the rising chaos of the outside world won’t effect us, but in the back of our minds we know that isn’t true. That when our leaders take their hands off the tiller, or drop the reins, control is lost and confusion ensues followed by a metaphoric zombie apocalypse. Thus, perhaps, watching our monsters where they remain safely imprisoned behind the television or movie screen, we can pretend all is fantasy and that really, there’s nothing to worry about…until the schools close due to an Ebola scare, or there’s a run at the supermarket when the power fails, or a riot breaks out at a pumpkin festival, or a bomb explodes at a marathon event…

10) Alien

A relative latecomer to the monster sweepstakes, the creature from the film Alien (1979) definitely deserves a place of honor among the best of all time. In a single move, the alien creature (not to be confused with Universal’s Gill Man) brought the haunted house genre into the 21st century and created a horrific being perfectly suited to an age where technology and science was reaching its apogee, threatening to get out of control on any number of fronts!

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1970s Music Debated: What Are the Best Van Morrison Tracks?

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 - by Allston's Afternoon Rockout

Van Morrison – “Moondance” (1970)

Editor’s Note: Over the spring and summer we launched the PJ Lifestyle Music at Midnight feature, highlighting reader suggestions for great songs worth featuring. One contributor’s infectious enthusiasm and good nature won us over. He’s since expanded his music recommendations to a series of list-article-mix tapes. Now in this daily feature we’re going to start drawing from his lists (and growing an archive of them) to discuss the songs and artists included. Who should be included next? What ideas do you have for music or other culture or lifestyle ideas you’d like to see discussed at PJ Lifestyle? Get in touch DaveSwindlePJM AT gmail.com or @DaveSwindle on Twitter. Here’s Allston’s archive so far that will launch this feature, but he’s got more list-mix-tapes in the works:  

By Artist

5 Terrific Tracks from Horace Silver, Jazzman Extraordinaire

The 5 Musical Periods of the Yardbirds

Your 6 Song Introduction to Traffic

By Decade

Alternative 1980s: 15 More Songs Millennials Must Hear

15 Classic 1970s Songs Millennials Should Know

15 More Classic 1970s Songs for the Millennials

15 More 1970s Songs Showcasing the Decade’s Wide Range

By Genre

Your 15 Song Introduction to The New Wave Punk Sound That Ended the 1970s

15 Early Punk And New Wave Songs Bridging the 1970s to 1980s

By Instrument

6 of the Greatest Guitar Masters of All Time

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The 10 Worst Horror Films on Netflix: Drinking Game Edition

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Jeremy Swindle

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 2.28.59 PM

1. Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Drink through the opening montage. It contains all the awesome deaths from Tobe Hooper’s original film. The rest is nothing but garbage.

The story focuses around Leatherface’s only surviving relative, an orphan who looks like she hangs out at the food court and listens to Evanescence in her spare time. She inherits the old Sawyer house from her grandmother. What could go wrong? SPOILER ALERT: Leatherface is still living in the basement. After hacking, bludgeoning, and hanging all of her friends, Leatherface turns into a hero at the end. Avril Lavigne tosses him the fabled chainsaw and she says, “Do yer thing, cuz.” Leatherface hacks up the town’s mayor. Then they both go home and listen to Rob Zombie in the Sawyer nu-metal basement.

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194 Articles and Blog Posts Showcasing Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Compelling Culture Commentaries

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

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Back in May I assembled this collection featuring “10 of Susan L.M. Goldberg’s Greatest Hits.” Today I present a broader assortment of her writings organized by theme and subject. The first section gathers Susan’s analysis of Lena Dunham’s HBO show Girls. Through dissecting the show Susan presents her “Biblical Feminist” approach to cultural analysis and ideological activism. The root of Susan’s variation of Feminism comes through understanding the Torah in the context of A) the competing ancient Pagan value systems in the Middle East which the Israelites fought against, and B) their parallels today in postmodernism. The conclusion of her Girls series captures her ethos which I share:

The western world tends to see time in a linear sense as if we are always progressing towards perfection as we distance ourselves from our primordial past. The God of the Bible has a completely different perspective, beginning with his name: YHVH (the Tetragrammaton) has a literal meaning “I Am, I Was, I Will Be.”  In other words, there is no beginning nor end point for God. Likewise, the Israelites were given a yearly schedule that flowed in cycles known as seasons. We may have moved away from our agrarian roots, but theEcclesiastical lyrics put to song by The Byrds still apply: “To every thing there is a season, a time and purpose under heaven.”

As the western world embraced and assimilated what is essentially Biblical Hebraism, adopting a biblical faith in a Messiah and melding pagan practices with adherence to the cultural norms of ancient Israel known as “commandments,” we grew as a  society. We overcame disease, poverty, and ignorance in many areas of life. Not ironically, the same forces that demand we turn away from our biblical foundation have also managed to plunge us into a neo-Dark Age. Modern medicine now faces new plagues, radical governments threaten new poverty, and ignorance is more rampant than ever. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the popular branding of Girls as a show that empowers women.

Modern feminism has returned us to the chains of ancient pagan culture. These goddess feminists think they can get away with it because they’re sure we see the world as they do: in lines. We are marching, they think, farther and farther away from the evidence of our ancient past when, all the while, we are being led back into the same ideologies that bound us as temple prostitutes and mothers of the state thousands of years ago.

Susan takes this moral clarity and creative style to a number of subjects beyond trendy TV shows. She covers cultural controversies, debates within feminism, political hot issues, and ideological squabbles. She also has deep things to say on history and philosophy and the news from Israel and the Middle East. This past summer she also developed a sequel to her Girls series in her writings defining “pop culture polytheism,” the way in which some worship celebrities as the ancient Pagans once worshipped nature gods.

But Susan isn’t waging culture war all the time. The concluding sections collect links to her writings on music and wine. Also be sure and follow Susan on Twitter here and see her Instagrams here.

A Biblical Feminist Confronts the Girls Goddesses:

  1. June 6, 2013: A Biblical Feminist Confronts The Girls Goddesses, Part 1
  2. June 16: Sex Mitzvah’d: Virginity Isn’t Easy for Girls
  3. June 23: Money: Is That What Girls Goddesses Really Want?
  4. June 30: Millennial Girls Are Easy: Sex, Power & Porn
  5. July 7: Sex for Girls’ Sake: Porn, Art, or Both?
  6. July 14: Single Issue Goddess: The War on Women’s Intellect
  7. July 21: Her Body, Herself: The Right Size & Shape of Girls
  8. July 28: Girls: Best Friends Forever-ish
  9. August 4: Girl on Girl Action: Girls and the Female Gaze
  10. August 11: Girls on Boys: The Body Politic of Goddess Feminism
  11. August 18: Girls: As Famous as their Daddies
  12. August 25: 5 Uncomfortable Truths About Girls

More Biblical Feminist Culture Critique and Analysis

  1. Full Frontal Equality
  2. The Tale of Miley Cyrus in the Words of Allan Bloom…
  3. How Women Can Transcend the Equality Barrier
  4. Presidential Sex & Powerless Feminists
  5. ‘Choose Life So That You May Live’
  6. Let’s Talk About Sex
  7. We Are the XX: Feminism’s Branded Sheep
  8. Porn, Sex & ‘The Talk’
  9. Biblical Feminism and the Dirty Male Myth
  10. Chicks Dig Porn
  11. A Biblical Feminist’s Take on Porn
  12. Can’t Touch This: American Feminism’s Racial Ignorance
  13. A Job Many Women Would Kill For
  14. White Chicks be Pimpin’ their Black Hos
  15. Feminism Doesn’t Need Re-Branding, It Needs a Revolution
  16. Abused Language, Aborted History
  17. Feminists: What Color Is Your Character?
  18. Brains Not Boobs: Re-Formulating for Feminist Success
  19. Nazi Is the New Sexy
  20. Feminists Must Go on the Offense
  21. Men: Act Like a Lady if You Want to Get a Job
  22. Girls vs Downton Abbey: Feminism’s Body Politic
  23. Girls: Take This Tour and Shove It
  24. 10 Reasons Why Camille Paglia Is the Champion of the Feminist Right
  25. Feminism: A Rich White Girl’s Game
  26. HBO’s Girls Get a Much-Needed Dose of Reality
  27. What the MSM Isn’t Telling You About Medea Benjamin’s Tweet-Fest in Egypt
  28. Our Bodies, Our Only Sense of Self
  29. Purim: The Cure for Vashti Feminists
  30. The Girls Season Finale: Second-Guessing Steinem Feminists
  31. Turncoat Feminists
  32. Why Women (and Men) Need Biblical Feminism
  33. Matt Walsh Demonstrates Why Christians Need Biblical Feminism
  34. 11 Star-Spangled Super Women
  35. Reality TV’s 10 Biggest Lies About America
  36. 10 Romantic Comedy Myths About Women
  37. 10 Ways ’90s Pop Culture Destroyed the American Male
  38. Beyonce’s 10 Worst, Anti-Woman Songs
  39. 10 Reasons Why I Will Forever Love Joan Rivers
  40. Ross Douthat Loves Lena Dunham for All the Wrong Reasons
  41. Millennial Actress Refuses to Hyphenate her American Identity
  42. Republican Gardner Buries the War on Women in Colorado Senate Race
  43. Feminists: You Will Abort Or Die Trying
  44. What Makes The West the Antidote to Radical Islam?
  45. Why Politicians, Cops & Feminists Turn a Blind Eye to 1,400 Rape Victims
  46. The East Proves the West Needs Feminism
  47. ‘Yes Means Yes’ to a New Generation of Powerless Women
  48. Spare Me the Vergara Defense
  49. The Feminist Response to Ferguson
  50. Islamic State Sex Slavery: American Feminists Ain’t Got No Time for That
  51. Republicans Whine, “Chicks, Man.”

Valerie Jarrett

  1. Valerie Jarrett Takes Adviser Role to Prime Time
  2. Obama’s Creepy 3-Way Date Night
  3. Oh My Goddess: Picture Proof of the Valerie Jarrett Cult

Pop Culture Polytheism

  1. HBO’s Picasso Baby: Jay Z Raps the Cult of Celebrity
  2. Paul, George, Ringo & the Prophet John
  3. 12 Signs You’ve Sought Redemption Through the Religion of Pop
  4. The Top 10 Gods of the Pop Culture Pantheon
  5. How to Become an Official Dude in 10 Easy Steps
  6. 10 Lessons on Abiding in Everyday Life I’ve Learned from The Dude
  7. 11 Lessons About Religion I’ve Learned from Pop Culture Polytheism
  8. Going Oprah: Sarah Palin Gives Up
  9. July 4, 2014: Salon Crowns Obama Our Messiah

The Intersection of Judaism, Religion, and Pop Culture

  1. The Unproductive Obsession with Hipster Anne Frank
  2. The 5 Most Tasteless Hanukkah Gifts for 2013
  3. Pajama Boy Jewish According to… Marx?
  4. Slamming Torah: There’s an App for That
  5. Noah Flooded with Potential for Interfaith Battle
  6. The New Morality Makes Animals of Us All
  7. Thank God! Who Is He, Again?
  8. Why the Non-Stop Punchline Shouldn’t Come as a Surprise
  9. The Latest Outbreak of Golden Calf Syndrome
  10. Glenn Beck, The Church & the Real Secret to Disney’s Success
  11. A Jew’s Take on Jesus Movies
  12. Noah: A Good Jewish Boy’s Cinematic Drash
  13. Altruism in Religion’s Free Market
  14. Religion, Politics & Screaming at the Internet
  15. The #1 Strategy for Happiness
  16. 10 More Movies Projecting the Jewish Experience on Film
  17. 13 Jewish Women Who Changed the World
  18. Debunking the Jewish Mother Stereotype
  19. Gay Marriage: Get Over the Theology and Look at the Law
  20. Judaism’s ‘Chained Wives’ Facebook-Shame Delinquent Husbands
  21. The Church is Afraid of Islam
  22. Gary Oldman & the Right’s Latent Antisemitism

Israel and the Middle East

  1. Forget Freedom! We Have #IranJeans!
  2. Obama’s Great Jewish Conspiracy That Isn’t
  3. Boycott, Divestment & ScarJo: Pop Culture Questions #BDS
  4. 18 Reasons Why You Wish You Were in Israel Right Now
  5. The Battle Against Israel’s Orthodox Patriarchy
  6. AP Reporter Reveals the Story Behind Anti-Israel Media Bias
  7. Obama Moves to Defend Hamas
  8. ‘Miracle’ Wind Saves Tel Aviv from Hamas Rocket
  9. One Soldier’s Faith Saves Hamas Female Suicide Bomber
  10. NDTV Exclusive Footage: Hamas Preps Rocket in Hotel Backyard
  11. Pro-Hamas Activists Blockade Israeli Arms Factory in Britain
  12. IDF: Hamas Planned to Wipe Gaza Town Off the Map
  13. Will the Power of the People Fund the Iron Dome?
  14. “Angry Black Woman” Schools Students for Justice in Palestine
  15. How Israel is Winning the PR Battle Against Hamas

Life Advice

  1. Admiring Ann: 5 Coulterisms for Counterculture Conservatives
  2. Student Survival Tactic: Think Big
  3. 15 Tricks and Tips for Getting the Most Out of College
  4. 10 Ways Not to Land Your Dream Job
  5. Liberty Island: Liberal’s Newest, Greatest Threat

A Series: Is Family Guy the Most Terrible TV Show of All Time?

Part 1: Boob Alert: Top 5 Side Effects of Watching Family Guy
Part 2: Totally Petarded: The Top 5 Masculinity Myths on Family Guy
Part 3: Who’s to Blame for Fueling Pop Culture’s 5 Worst Female Stereotypes?
Part 4: Quiz! What’s Your TV Sitcom Family Lifestyle? Family Guy Vs The Middle
Part 5: 4 Easy Steps to Pitching Your Own TV Sitcom

More TV Criticism, Appreciation, and Analysis

  1. Game of Downloads: HBO’s Bad Spin on Media Piracy
  2. Proud Member of the Cumberbatch Brigade
  3. It’s Not Porn, It’s HBO!
  4. The Goldbergs & Michael J. Fox Sending Millennials Back to the Future
  5. Nostalgic for MOM Power
  6. 3 Reasons to Get Addicted to Call the Midwife
  7. Pop Culture’s Sexy Double Standard: It’s Elementary
  8. HBO Girls Just Wanna Have Boys
  9. HBO Green Lights Men & Capitalism
  10. The #1 Worst New Sitcom for Fall
  11. The Ultimate TV Geek
  12. Seeking Relevance, Networks Broadcast Live
  13. The #1 Reason We Watch Call the Midwife
  14. NBC Declares Jerusalem Television’s City of Gold
  15. The 10 Most Cringe-Worthy TV Flops
  16. The 10 Most Underrated TV Comedies of All Time

War, History, and Ideology:

  1. A Punch in the Gut: The Aftermath of 9/11
  2. Technology & the Vertical Caveat in Generational Theory
  3. Queen Ann Advises Republicans: Always Listen to Mother
  4. The 2 Mitzvot That Can Restore Unity on the Right
  5. My 5 Favorite Ann Coulter Columns
  6. 5 Ways the GOP Screws Up
  7. 75 Years Later, You Can’t Forget What You Don’t Know
  8. 70 Years & Counting: Hitler Is Still Hot
  9. Conservative is the New Liberal
  10. Untold War Stories: My Family’s Secret Agent
  11. James Foley, Radical Islamic Terror, and How Quickly We Forget
  12. Survey Says Millennials Think Socialism is a Joke
  13. The Real Reason Why Liberals Are Scared of Women with Guns
  14. Putin Actively Trolls Your Favorite Websites

Analyzing Ion Mihai Pacepa and Ronald Rychlak’s Disinformation: Useful Intellectuals: Framing Marx for the Next Generation

  1. Red or Dead: How Stalin Re-Defined American Liberalism
  2. The Assassination of Patriotism: Intellectuals, Disinformation and JFK
  3. The Framing of Hitler’s Pope
  4. Sontag’s Kulture Kamp
  5. Jesus Was a Socialist: Soviet Liberation Mythology Invades the West
  6. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  7. Vietnam, Hippies & False Peace
  8. Political Gods: Framing a New Reality
  9. Nomenklatura on Free Speech: Duck That!
  10. The Winning Move in the War Against the Nomenklatura
  11. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge: Starting Down the Yellow Brick Road…
  12. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 1: The Mask of Marxism
  13. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 2: Getting to the Heart of Social Justice
  14. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 3: Who Needs a Brain?
  15. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 4: Are Conservatives Cowards?
  16. Pacepa’s Seeds of Knowledge, Part 5: The Drug of Disinformation
  17. Transcending the Illusion of Left Vs Right
  18. The Dude Dissects Disinformation

Music Appreciation and Analysis

  1. Christmas Carol Classic: Romanian Style
  2. 6 Degrees of Separation: Phil Everly to Llewyn Davis
  3. Rolling Stone, Privately Traded Company, Advocates Millennials Share the Wealth
  4. The Story You Shouldn’t Miss Inside Llewyn Davis
  5. The Religion of Beatlemania Still Going Strong
  6. A Day in the Life of the Fest for Beatles Fans 2014
  7. Fifth Beatle Brian Epstein’s Unsung Revolution
  8. Those Silly, Savage Homophobes
  9. Paul McCartney’s New Video Aims at #GenerationHashtag
  10. 9 Essential Paul McCartney Music Videos
  11. 13 Reasons to Fall in Love with Lana Del Rey
  12. 15 Songs Millennials Must Listen to in Order to Understand the 1980s

Wine Appreciation:

  1. New Jersey Wines: Challenge Your Assumptions
  2. 5 Tips for Novice Winos
  3. Valenzano Winery and the Surprising Appeal of the Garden State
  4. Cold Soil White: The Finesse of German Wines, American Style
  5. Sip Spanish Style Wines While You Walk Leisurely Among the Vines
  6. Savoring Almondberry with My Cousin Vinny
  7. What Exit for Great New Jersey Wine? Old York, Of Course!
  8. A Revolution in High Class Winemaking
  9. 5 Indispensible Wine-O Tools
  10. Beneduce Vineyards: The Next Big Thing in Jersey Wine
  11. Give Thanks with these Jersey Wines
  12. Mulled Wine: Spice Up Your Holiday Table

 

Also check out my two previous collections of PJ Lifestyle writers:

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Your 15 Song Introduction to The New Wave Punk Sound That Ended the 1970s

Saturday, October 11th, 2014 - by Allston

Editor’s Note: PJ Lifestyle’s Commenter-In-Chief and classic rock guru Allston has been developing an extraordinary series chronicling the best songs by era. Get caught up on his previous installments: “Alternative 1980s: 15 More Songs Millennials Must Hear,” “15 Classic 1970s Songs Millennials Should Know,” “15 More Classic 1970s Songs for the Millennials,” “15 More 1970s Songs Showcasing the Decade’s Wide Range.”

In prior articles, I’d noted that I did not include 1978 and 1979, as these are, in my estimation, very transitional years. In fact, this really all begins in about ’76 or ’77, but I didn’t want to truncate the 1970s list quite so early.

As usual, there is so much music to cover, it is impossible to do so in a single list, so a few more in this series will follow. If I didn’t post something you think is essential, it is very likely it will be featured in a future article. But, as always, suggestions are welcome.

Now there’s an anthem for you. We certainly thought so.

1. Ian Dury – “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” (1977)

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The 20 Best Films of the 1950s

Saturday, October 4th, 2014 - by Kyle Smith

Editor’s Note: This is an expansion of Kyle Smith’s list of the 10 best films of the 1950s published here in June. I’ve asked Kyle to expand his series as PJ Lifestyle begins offering more lists, articles, essays, and blog posts exploring culture, art, technology, and history by decade. Last month he expanded his ’80s list to a top 20 here and his ’60s list here. Do you disagree with Kyle’s choices? Do you have your own ideas for lists of movies or other cultural subjects? Which years and what subjects would you most like to see covered at PJ Lifestyle? Email: DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail.com Also check out Kyle’s top 10 movie picks for the ‘30s,  ’40s, ‘70s,  ’90s, and the ’00s before he expands them to top 20s.

In the 1950s, the Golden Age of Hollywood faded and glorious old-school films like The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur began to give way to grittier, wised-up films like those of Billy Wilder, creating an interesting tension between impish youth and pompous elders. Here’s one critic’s list of the twenty best films of the decade.

20. Sabrina (1954)

Billy Wilder’s romcom starred the unmatched trio of Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden as a poor chauffeur’s daughter and the two rich brothers angling for her after ignoring her while she was growing up under their noses. Though effervescent and elegant, the film had typically Wilder-ish dark touches, such as the scene where the title character nearly succeeds in committing suicide.

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10 Comic Book Ads That Destroyed Your Faith in Humanity Before You Hit Puberty

Saturday, October 4th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard

Sea Monkey Ad

Comic books that circulated from the 1950s to the 1970s were jam-packed with ads that promised everything from fame and fortune to live miniature puppies. You could buy a shrunken head, print your own money, or grow 3″ taller, all for 99 cents, C.O.D. (which meant you paid the mail carrier cash on delivery). Most of the items were junk and for many of us, it was the first buzzkill of our idyllic young lives. Millions of boys were disappointed that they didn’t end up with bodies like Charles Atlas and millions more were devastated when the x-ray specs didn’t allow them to see under the dresses of the girls at school. It was probably a good thing that the FTC eventually stepped in and put some regulations in place so kids could find more productive uses for their allowances, like Wacky Packages and Bubble Yum. Nevertheless, it was fun to dream about what might arrive in the mail after you filled out the coupon from the back of the comic book and waited 4-6 weeks for delivery. Because you never knew…

Here are 10 comic book ads that destroyed your faith in mankind before you hit puberty…

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10 Plague Movies That Won’t Help with Ebola

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 - by James Jay Carafano

Screenwriters are not known for being sticklers for facts. And when it comes to disasters, writes University of Texas Professor David A. McEntire, “many of Hollywood’s portrayals are based on myths and exaggerations….” That’s certainly the case when it comes to disease disaster films. Here are 10 “fun” movies that are of no use whatsoever in terms of helping viewers respond wisely to a pandemic.

10. Panic in the Streets (1950)

“Patient Zero” is carrying the pulmonary version of bubonic plague. A public official (played by Richard Widmark) has 48 hours to find him before the disease spreads throughout the city. Director Elia Kazan delivers a moody, atmospheric, underappreciated film. But if this is how the police, public health officials and reporters will really act during a crisis, well, we’re all doomed.

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15 More Classic 1970s Songs for the Millennials

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 - by Allston

Once again, I have been forced – forced, do you hear? – to listen to hundreds of songs from my music collection, so as to pick out the best of the best for you. Woe is me. My music collection is vast (seriously, 13.5k songs and climbing). This is a huge chore. (If I have to tell you that I’m pulling your leg here…)

Back when, stations had a lot more room to fool around with their playlists and they generally did.  In our time, it was not unusual to hear Eric Clapton followed by Henry Mancini, Gladys Knight and then Glen Campbell.  So we didn’t actually have a genre, we had genres.

I saw them during the late ’70s in a huge, circus-like tent (along with The Grateful Dead). Just awesome, what a show.

1. Santana – “Evil Ways” (1970)

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15 Classic 1970s Songs Millennials Should Know

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 - by Allston

In a continuing series of musical highlights to help educate those younger and less well-musically informed, here is a small list of 1970s songs that, in my humble opinion, they absolutely must know.  As always, this is far too brief a list and, of course, you may disagree with my picks.  Suggestions are always welcome and I will fold them into future articles.

Marvelous, simply marvelous.  We Moondanced the night away.

1.  Van Morrison – “Moondance” (1970)

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10 More Movies Projecting the Jewish Experience on Film

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

10. Daniel Deronda

A multi-part BBC series based on the powerful English classic penned by Zionist George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Daniel Deronda tells the story of a young gentleman who discovers, through a series of almost mystical events, that his mother is Jewish. A fantastic examination of Jewish identity in Victorian high society, the novel was cited by the likes of Henrietta Szold and Emma Lazarus as influential on their decision to become Zionists. Wonderfully cast, the BBC version is grossly engaging and well worth a marathon viewing.

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The 20 Best Films of the 1960s

Friday, September 26th, 2014 - by Kyle Smith

Editor’s Note: This is an expansion of Kyle Smith’s list of the 10 best films of the 1960s published here in June. I’ve asked Kyle to expand his series as PJ Lifestyle begins offering more lists, articles, essays, and blog posts exploring culture, art, technology, and history by decade. Earlier this month he expanded his ’80s list to a top 20 here. Do you disagree with Kyle’s choices? Do you have your own ideas for lists of movies or other cultural subjects? Which years and what subjects would you most like to see covered at PJ Lifestyle? Email: DaveSwindlePJM [@] gmail.com Also check out Kyle’s top 10 movie picks for the ‘30s,  ’40s, ’50s, ‘70s,  ’90s, and the ’00s before he expands them to top 20s.

20. A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Though the film’s historical accuracy is a matter of debate, an exacting and precise Paul Scofield made one of the great principled heroes in screen history as England’s Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas More, who for a time was canny enough to evade the death penalty from Henry VIII (Robert Shaw) as the king purged his kingdom of clergymen who opposed his break with the Church of Rome. More, who is both canny and devout, refuses to sign an oath declaring Henry the head of the church, but he refuses to say why he is not in violation of law. Rich with palace intrigue and legal maneuvering, the film is thrilling on both the level of personality and plot, and its historical reverberations are immense. 

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Alternative 1980s: 15 More Songs Millennials Must Hear

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 - by Allston

Recently, Susan L.M. Goldberg posted this aforementioned list. It is a good list, don’t get me wrong, but I politely disagree that these songs typify the sound and feeling of the 1980s generation, as it is only one narrow “slice” of them (and a very “top 40 Pop” one at that). So here is an alternate list of our music for the millennial. Disclaimer – I am a member of this ’80s musical age group, so I am biased in this. Sue me, I got’s nothing.

To correct a misnomer, many people of my age-group generally do not hear Bruce Springsteen and connect with him. He is, and always was, far too generic, raspy “Pop” Rock for our tastes, background noise in a sea of great tunes. Remember, a big part of the thrust of this genre was to stake out a musical claim that was different than our recent forebears, not just copy them.

If we wanted to listen to 80s “Rock” done our way, we’d probably listen to something like this. These guys are basic and generic, yes, but they were ours -

1. The Smithereens – “Only a Memory” (1986)

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10 Ways Not to Land Your Dream Job

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

Sure, you know how to write an assertive cover letter and you have a wardrobe of freshly pressed black and navy blue suits. But, just because you’re doing everything the manual tells you doesn’t mean you aren’t going to make a mistake in your job search. From my other life working in human resources, I give you the ten best mistakes applicants have made in pursuit of a job.

10. Want to include the fact that you taught an adult education course on photography on your resume? Don’t dub yourself “Adult Photography Instructor.”

Language matters. In the age of social media and Google, applicants should understand that lying on their resume isn’t an option. Just be sure you aren’t getting so creative with your wording that you make yourself sound more qualified for porn than a professional environment.

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The 50 Greatest Counter-Culture Films of All Time, Part II

Friday, September 19th, 2014 - by Dave Swindle

Click here to start reading Part I of this list-letter to the CEO of Liberty Island with ideas for his team of creative counter-culture writers drawn from my years practicing “pop culture polytheism,” the worship of the images in mass media today.

Dear Adam Bellow,

As this series of films continues I’ll expand the opening index to include links to each of the films that have come before it. Here are links to the first titles I discussed, establishing the paradigm of celebrating both mainstream, big budget films and also more obscure titles that more traditionally conjure up the idea of counter-culture:

50. Disinformation: The Complete Series

49. Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson

48. Yellow Submarine 

47. Dark City

46. By Brakhage, An Anthology: Window Water Baby Moving

45. Dog Star Man

44. Mothlight

43. The Dante Quartet

42. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

41. The Two Towers

40. Return of the King

39. Dick

38. The Avengers

37. Watchmen

I was nervous when publishing the first installment of this series, knowing that I was leaping off into the unknown again and certainly not going as detailed as I’ll need to when explaining these ideas in my book someday. A few commenters pushed back, with criticisms I anticipated — too long, all over the place, titles insufficiently “counter-culture” — and that are partially justified:

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 7.38.04 AM

How do I defend such a broad understanding of “counter-culture” that the term can include both experimental shorts with moth wings taped to the film and hundred-million-dollar blockbusters? The fourth title from my list of ”23 Books for Counter-Culture Conservatives, Tea Party Occultists, and Capitalist Wizards” remains my favorite definition and general history:

 

4. Counterculture Through the Ages: From Abraham to Acid House by Ken Goffman and Dan Joy

Publication Date: September 13, 2005
Official Description:

As long as there has been culture, there has been counterculture. At times it moves deep below the surface of things, a stealth mode of being all but invisible to the dominant paradigm; at other times it’s in plain sight, challenging the status quo; and at still other times it erupts in a fiery burst of creative–or destructive–energy to change the world forever.

But until now the countercultural phenomenon has been one of history’s great blind spots. Individual countercultures have been explored, but never before has a book set out to demonstrate the recurring nature of counterculturalism across all times and societies, and to illustrate its dynamic role in the continuous evolution of human values and cultures.

Countercultural pundit and cyberguru R. U. Sirius brilliantly sets the record straight in this colorful, anecdotal, and wide-ranging study based on ideas developed by the late Timothy Leary with Dan Joy. With a distinctive mix of scholarly erudition and gonzo passion, Sirius and Joy identify the distinguishing characteristics of countercultures, delving into history and myth to establish beyond doubt that, for all their surface differences, countercultures share important underlying principles: individualism, anti-authoritarianism, and a belief in the possibility of personal and social transformation.

Ranging from the Socratic counterculture of ancient Athens and the outsider movements of Judaism, which left indelible marks on Western culture, to the Taoist, Sufi, and Zen Buddhist countercultures, which were equally influential in the East, to the famous countercultural moments of the last century–Paris in the twenties, Haight-Ashbury in the sixties, Tropicalismo, women’s liberation, punk rock–to the cutting-edge countercultures of the twenty-first century, which combine science, art, music, technology, politics, and religion in astonishing (and sometimes disturbing) new ways, Counterculture Through the Ages is an indispensable guidebook to where we’ve been . . . and where we’re going.

Why Counterculture Conservatives Should Read It:

The key insight in reconciling counterculture and conservatism comes when we define the term historically, beyond just the caricature of the 60s hippie counterculture.

A counterculture is just any group of people who choose to reject some aspect of a dominant culture and then live peacefully in opposition to it. The Jews were a counterculture. So were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. So were the Christians in ancient Rome. So were the Pilgrims. And the Transcendentalists. And the Mormons.

Counterculture Through the Ages presents an alternative way of understanding the West: what if “Western Civilization” was actually just the compilation of all the best countercultural ideas that worked? What if Western Civilization wasn’t really about places or people or things but about a process to understand ourselves, one another, and our purpose in the world? And how do we figure out what that purpose is?

So yes, I admit it — my list was a mess, and so it shall be going forward. (I can only un-messify Aleister Crowley and Robert Anton Wilson and their basis in Kabbalah and Tarot so much! Learning how to jump from mess to mess is kind of the point. God hides in the spaces between the letters and in the connections between the cards, in the invisible gap between my mind and yours.) Counter-culture is messy — it’s a big muck mixing and gurgling together. But that’s no excuse. I’ll employ the new media tool highlighted in the last segment in an effort to cut down on the word count in this and future installments. Here’s a basic start, as I’ve progressed through writing the list I’ve begun exploring new ways to utilize Instagram, Hyperlapse and other tools:

(I will try to improve the handwriting in future hyperlapses. Over the course of this list I experiment with a number of different configurations improving on that early one. I think for the next round I’ll pick up a white board and dry erase markers…)

In trying to define Western Civilization in broad we have to confront that WE are a mess. Americanism, the idea of the West — we are a mess of conflicting ethnic, religious, and philosophical traditions all crammed together.

But we must overcome our primitive tribal nature. Unfortunately some of film’s most glorified filmmakers rose to prominence through glamorizing and glorifying their tribal identity, building whole careers on mythologizing their tribe, obscuring the ugly truth of their primitive ideologies. The next three titles on the list are by filmmakers I once idolized, though now look at with skepticism. However, each still has a film in their canon that runs counter to their usual output and offer useful lessons for counter-culture crusaders.

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15 Songs Millennials Must Listen to in Order to Understand the 1980s

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - by Susan L.M. Goldberg

You’ve seen Thriller and heard all about Madonna, but what do you really know about the decade that ushered in the millennial generation? Think the era of scrunchies, boom boxes, pump sneakers and DeLoreans was just a fad? Think again. Some of the 1990s’ greatest pop culture trends were birthed in the millieu of Reaganomics, cable television, and a music video-loaded MTV.

15. Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon”

The ’80s was the decade of John Waters, the B-52s and all things camp coming to fruition. Decked out in eyeliner, lipstick and braids, Boy George popularized the aesthetic of this gay subculture with a poppy little tune about conflicted relationships. As for the music video, where better to set a gay guy’s love song in the ’80s than an 1870s riverboat called the “Chameleon” where a cheating gambler’s karma comes back to haunt him? Dude, it’s the ’80s: “Don’t ask, don’t tell” started here.

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