Cultural criticism: The Geto Boys’ self-titled third album rattled America’s cultural gatekeepers, making N.W.A and 2 Live Crew look like a society luncheon.
“Araki was the only drink on offer, and the owner sloshed it into a plastic bottle from an unwieldy jerrycan before moving around the room to refill clients’ glasses for ten cents a shot.”
“Whatever Johnny Wadie Red Tabel was, it wasn’t whisky; its flavor was a medicinal blend of anise, vanilla, and laundry detergent, and its buzz arrived in tandem with its hangover.”
Lyric essay: This prose poem jumbles passages from slave narratives and self-help books, Walden and the Hadith, online therapy forums and celebrity memoirs, weaving together a series of age-specific moments that shed light on the boundaries of memory and the complexities of self-presentation.
Satire: “Hey there, I’m a TV show set in New Orleans. I’m about art and integrity, and I don’t give a shit what you think of me.”
Found poetry: “I loved drawing out / the symbols / of the alphabet. / They were all / their own kind / of monster with / their own kind of tongue.”
Sports commentary: During Kansas City’s inspired 2014 playoff run, social media only heightened the gloriously irrational, neurotic nature of baseball fandom.
Graphic memoir: Aided by illustrations by his adolescent nephew, Rolf plumbs the humiliations, triumphs, and idiosyncrasies of his own adolescence.
Personal essay: Thirty years ago, Rolf and a friend from elementary school created a vision of the future—a space opera put to tape—and buried it in a time capsule. Listening again today reveals how we remember the present as it never quite was.
TV criticism: HBO’s series about post-Katrina Louisiana obsessively works to prove it’s not a tourist in New Orleans. It ends up losing the city — and the viewers — in the process.
Cultural criticism: Dennis O’Rourke’s 1988 documentary “Cannibal Tours”, which probed the absurdities of global tourism, was as brilliant and cringe-inducing as any episode of “The Office” or “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Twenty-five years after its initial debut, the rise of social media self-documentation has made the film feel more relevant than ever.