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IN THIS ISSUE OF RUMINATOR:
THE GAME OF ATTRACTIONS AND THE ART OF PLAY
Essay by Ben Davis
Video games are an indisputably huge part of American pop culture. But what do they-and can they-mean from an artistic perspective? Ben Davis outlines a new theory of the game-as-art.
COLLECTING MYSELF INTO A CORNER
Essay by Harvey Pekar
The author of American Splendor has a problem: he can't stop collecting. Comics, jazz records, sports cards are all piling up, and may never stop. Here's a glimpse into Harvey's mind-one that anyone who's ever just had to get that missing piece will recognize.
COPYRIGHT, JESUS AND THE ART OF COLLAGE:
An Interview with Mark Hosler of Negativland by Jon Nelson
For twenty-five years, Negativland has been making smart, witty sound collage albums, questioning copyright restrictions and media assumptions, challenging concepts of art. In this interview, founder Mark Hosler discusses his quarter-century in the avant-garde.
Fiction by Kenneth J. Harvey
Deep in the Canadian wilderness, a single letter shows up at a post office for mute, reclusive Ruddy Shear, changing his life in just a few paragraphs.
THE RUMINATOR HOLIDAY EXTRAVATACULAR
Everything the discerning gift-giver needs to know. Plus: What your favorite writer doesn't want for Christmas, and a look at Charles Dickens's original Christmas Carol manuscript.
R. David Unowsky's random thoughts on politics, the price of produce, and faux-"hometown" marketing
Jessa Crispin takes a trip back through adolescence, with the help of Christopher Pike's horror novels
the high life
Acclaimed travel writer Bill Holm considers the importance of classical music in today's America
the low life
A few of our favorite totally made-up rock bands
Neal Pollack looks at literary classics-reconfigured to maximize sponsorship dollars
the ruminator calendar
November and December in history (real and imagined)
Our enterprising boozehound finds unique doings afoot at Superior, Wisconsin's Anchor Bar and Grill
the last word
The election made Steve Almond say some things he regrets. Here, he apologizes to all and sundry.
Daniel Raeburn's monograph on the work of comics artists Chris Ware
The spate of "what's wrong with the media" books-and why they don't tell the whole story
Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation
The history and future of surveillance
Plus: Bob Dylan, the birth of the comic book, and the destructive side of idealism
Philip Roth's The Plot Against America
Kate Atkinson's Case Histories, her first novel in four years
Miriam Toews's tale of a girl longing to escape rural Canada for the East Village
Michel Faber's trio of supernatural novellas
Playwright and film director Neil LaBute's first foray into fiction
Plus: A girl in a mineshaft, a slacker in a mental hospital, and a pair of couples in exile
Indie-rocker elder statesman Tom Waits and Nick Cave return with some of their most ambitious projects to date
Rilo Kiley and Kimya Dawson offer up some decidedly un-hip earnestness
Friends pay tribute to Warren Zevon on Enjoy Every Sandwich
Fat Possum Records' latest Not the Same Old Blues Crap compilation aims to save the label
Matthew Shipp merges jazz and electronica
Plus: Swedish pop master Jens Lekman, Welsh folkie James Yorkston, Minneapolis indie-rap, Tennessee rockabilly, New York art-rock, Akron blues, and the overarching genius of William Shatner
Fourteen essential rock ‘n roll DVDs, from the Beatles to beatboxing
Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story and Jandek on Corwood explore the deep pop underground
The Battle of Algiers gets a long-overdue deluxe DVD release
Eric Bogosian's ranting again in the one-man show Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Plus: Festival Express takes quite a trip, The Mother takes a grown-up look at sex, and Eternal Sunshine takes a few viewings to get