Hey hey hey just in time to be timely, my latest Opium Traces column has been posted on PopMatters…a meditation on Han Bang Qing’s 1890s novel The Sing-song Girls of Shanghai and Hou Hsiao Hsien’s 1998 film adpation Flowers of Shanghai.
Check out the full article here: http://www.popmatters.com/column/life-in-the-interzone-in-old-shanghai/
…and Popmatters needs your help!
Background: Joe Butler was one of my favorite profs during my undergrad years at SDSU (two decades ago). He had a maxim he called Butler’s Law which reads: “Things will always get more chickenshit.” It’s a hallmark of post-modernity.
Now Butler’s Law has come to internet advertising which is rapidly falling prey, like all media, to the corportization of everything. So while a company like Disney Inc earns a trillion (yes with a T) dollars a year churning out formulaic drek for the masses, smart and small web-based companies like Popmatters have to go begging just to buy new computers.
This isn’t the internet we were promised back in 2000 but it’s the internet we’re getting. Try to turn the tide a little by giving some of your precious ducats to Popmatters.
Here’s their spiel with a link at the end so you can send your cash-based love:
“PopMatters readers have come to this magazine for its smart and entertaining articles of cultural criticism since October 1999. Our 17-plus years of quality online publishing have earned us respect and loyalty from our educated and savvy readers. We continue to work hard to bring you an intelligent, cool reprieve from all the hype and blather that crowds the Internet these days. We always will.
We remain committed to the essay and longform writing, in other words, we publish smart writing for intelligent readers, not SEOed clickbait for search engines.
We urgently need help from our readers to fund an upgrade of the technology that powers PopMatters, help cover our increasing hosting costs, as well as some modest funds to help pay editors.
We come from humble economic backgrounds, and we have, for 17 years, run a lean, reputable, hardworking operation. PopMatters is a wholly independent small company owned and run by women with no outside investment.
The economic and business challenges of online publishing are rarely understood outside of the industry. Briefly, among other things: there is a huge economic disparity between print and online advertising; businesses are increasingly solidifying their advertising through agencies that take as much as 60 percent of ad revenue and; although we attract 1.5 million monthly visitors with our high caliber content, the advertising monies we earn do not even begin to cover expenses anymore. Furthermore, with the advent of adblocking and low-priced programmatic advertising, our primary source of revenue is endangered.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay vital — and grow — through these changing and challenging times.
We can’t do this without you. Thank you for your support.”
Here’s my latest Opium Traces article, a meditation on the book and film The Year of Living Dangerously, set in Indonesia on the eve of the 1965 coup.
Check it out along with all the other great material on popmatters and support independent media by sharing with your like-minded friends.
My latest Opium Traces feature column is now available at popmatters.com. It’s a take-down of the latest John Burdett novel The Bangkok Asset which misses the mark so widely that it may signal the end of the once incrediable Jitpleecheep detective series.
So my most recent Opium Traces article on popmatters.com actually came out about a month ago and I totally missed it!
But you don’t have to: http://www.popmatters.com/column/death-tripping-enter-the-void/
A discussion of Gaspar Noe’s film Enter the Void and the so-called Tibetan Book of the Dead…ready to get your psychedelic groove on?