South Of The Clouds – Photo Essay

Yunnan province, its name literally meaning “south of the clouds”, is a beautiful region in the southwestern periphery of China. Early in 2015 I was fortunate enough to spend six weeks wandering around this mysterious land. Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar border Yunnan to the south. In the west, the Himalayas loom, separating the Tibetan plateau from the east. An incredible diversity of landscapes ranging from alpine forests, dusty plains, and tropical lowlands make for a place that will not disappoint those itching to satiate their wanderlust. These photos were taken on a Nikon F2 camera, using Kodak Ektar 100 film.

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Billy And The Cloneasaurus: ImportantCool Reviews Jurassic World

Jurassic Park 3 was the first film I ever walked out on. Just got up and left right in the middle. It was July 2001 and I loved exactly three things: dinosaurs, going to the cinema, and not wasting what little money I earned.

Yet, I still couldn’t get to the end of that movie. I shuffled through the sticky-floored foyer of Loughborough’s Curzon Cinema, past the film’s silver and red promotional cardboard cutout of a non-distinct pterosaur, and got on with my summer holiday.

Back home, I still had the dinosaur magazines I’d collected as a child, and the balsa wood model triceratops skeleton which came, a bone at a time, with the week’s edition at the local shop.

As I said, I loved dinosaurs. But I no longer loved dinosaur films. If Jurassic Park 3 was the death throe of a franchise that started off jaundiced and sustained itself simply by placing T-Rexes in ever-increasingly incongruous situations, then I was fine with that [1].

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Intergenerational Report: The Mad Men Finale

After the runaway, viral success of The Intergenerational Report on House Of Cards, associate Austin Mackell asked co-writers Jeff Hewitt and Kenny Laurie whether they wanted to get the band back together and write about the Mad Men finale. Before they could even say, “You’re goddamn right we do – where’s the groupies?” Mackell was off and running, doing the writerly equivalent of getting to the rehearsal studio two hours early by committing his thoughts to paper before the final two episodes had even aired.

Each writer carried out their own investigations into the end of the Mad Men era (19 July 2007 – 17 May 2015), before reporting back to the group. True to ImportantCool methodology (which includes but is not limited to radical journalistic transparency), each writer’s complete findings are available to read as artefacts, the links for which are at the bottom of the page. Continue reading

The Intergenerational Report On ‘House Of Cards’

Following the launch in Australia of Netflix, ImportantCool associates Kenny Laurie and Austin Gerassimos Mackell, and IC Padawan Jeff Hewitt, decided to release the findings of their intergenerational report on House of Cards, so-called because: (A) IT’S TAKEN NEARLY A GENERATION FOR US TO PRODUCE IT and (B) it includes a comparison with the first generation of House of Cards as a TV series: the BBC’s version beginning in 1990 starring Ian Richardson as Francis Urquhart – a character only superficially transformed into Kevin Spacey’s Frank (actually Francis, too) Underwood. Continue reading

India vs Pakistan: Inside The Biggest Sports Match You Never Heard Of

Even though the 2015 Cricket World Cup is just now moving into the quarter-finals, it has already served as a stage to the biggest sporting event in history: to wit, the India vs Pakistan match played at South Australia’s Adelaide Oval.

Most Westerners assume the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup are the world’s biggest sports fixtures. Yet the last India vs Pakistan Cricket World Cup game, played in 2011, was watched by an estimated 988 million people. The audience figure eclipsed that of both the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final (figures for the 2014 Final have not yet been released). Continue reading

From Ferguson to Finance: Understanding America via Matt Taibbi’s ‘The Divide’ (2014)

Matt Taibbi invites readers to compare how US law enforcement selectively enforces the law based on class and race
Matt Taibbi shot to fame in 2009 as Rolling Stone’s white-collar crime correspondent. Documenting Goldman Sachs’s role in the 2008 sub-prime mortgage scam, Taibbi dubbed the bank “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

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Day Of The Dead: From The Other Side


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Photo essay by Aliya Alwi. Article by Adriana Medina.

[Editor’s Note: While many celebrated  “Día de Muertos” by painting their faces and boozing it up in the aftermath of Halloween’s debauchery, the significance behind the tradition goes beyond the cultural appropriation we have witnessed in such cities as New York, London, and even Cairo. In some ways, it seemed like an excuse to continue the festivities from the night before. Yet, the tradition has long outlived its various appropriations throughout history and continues to be practiced as an indigenous ritual in Latin America where homage is paid to those who have passed away, whether by resurrecting their memory through dance as seen in Toronto, or from Quito’s cemeteries where families share their long-lost loved ones’ favorite dishes. Here we offer a more nuanced reflection on what “Day of the Dead” is with a photo essay by Aliya Alwi exploring the phenomenon in Quito along with a dispatch from Adriana Medina, who took part in the tradition in Toronto, away from Colombia, her home country.] Continue reading

Russell Brand’s Revolution

When reviewing Revolution, by British comedian turned revolutionary Russell Brand, many fair-minded critics have allowed their writing to degenerate into ad hominems, portraying Brand as naive, hypocritical, or worse. Hadley Freeman for one should have her line, “all credit to the man for making politics seem sexy to teenagers,” carved in gold letters in a backhanded compliments hall of fame somewhere.

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