A Head-On Collision with Desensitized Narcissism – Pop Zeitgeist

James Spader as Ballard-- about to be rear-ended and turned on

The intimate time and space of a single human being had been fossilized forever in this web of chromium knives and frosted glass.                                                                 […]

A Man Named Hirohito & His Legacy – Pop Zeitgeist

The famous photograph of MacArthur and Hirohito

“He is a little man, about five feet two inches in height, in a badly cut gray striped suit, with trousers a couple of inches too short. He has a pronounced facial tic and his right shoulder twitches constantly. When he walks, he throws his right leg a little sideways as if he has no […]

Pop Zeitgeist – A Great Society for the Hundred-Percenters

Is Utopia a dream of sleeping fools?

What is it about storytellers’ imagination that it is inspired by the dystopian rather than the utopian? Dystopian novels are intriguing, for sure, and they reconfigure our social, political, and economic failings in a contextualized environment. They are literary caveats, Cassandra-like parables about what our world could become if we give in to our fears […]

Pop Zeitgeist – The Great Spaz-Be


In America, our cultural institutions tend towards blowing shit up — think Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman and various buff villain-thrashing superheroes. Yet for all our notorious bubblegum philistinism, we read too, and there are certain literary characters that are quite beloved: Sal Paradise, Holden Caulfield, Ignatius Reilly, and Captain Ahab, to name but a […]

Best Spy Films

Ipcress File Michael Caine

What is the allure with espionage? Where does the public fascination come from? Is it the admiration of the lone man (or woman) who, using his (or her) advanced tactical survival skills, against all odds, manages to find the right combination of intelligence tidbits, which added up, end the evil machinations of runaway discretionary programs […]

Born To Run

Billy & Caballo © Christopher McDougall

“Poetry, Music, Forests, Oceans, Solitude—They were what developed enormous personal strength. I came to realize that spirit, as much or more than physical conditioning, had to be stored up before a race.” —Herb Elliot, Olympic Champion and World-Record Holder the Mile who trained in bare feet, wrote poetry and retired undefeated. Rising up, a head […]

Pop Zeitgeist Empire Folly

"Tenochtitlan" at the National Palace by Diego Rivera

“Who could conquer Tenochtitlan? Who could shake the foundation of heaven…?”   It is the winter of 1519 and there is much ado in Old Worlds and New: the Roman Papacy, led by Leo X is doing its best to suppress a renegade heretic named Martin Luther from spreading his blasphemies; Ferdinand Magellan is outfitting […]

Pass The Ayahuasca, Watson…

Pass the Ayahuasca, Watson (HESO Magazine)

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made…” — [Genesis 3:1] Where does life come from? It’s a question that has plagued man since the first spark of consciousness emerged. To seek it, people have looked to the sky, opened up sacred books, peered through microscopes, […]

Pop Zeitgeist Day of the Locust

The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West (HESO Magazine)

Of all the major metropolitan cities in America, none deserve the misanthrope’s fury more than Los Angeles. After all, what urban area better represents the false promises of contemporary American Dreams than the one that declares you’re special and deserve your own TV show, only to exchange that dangling carrot for a dishwasher’s rag or […]

Lost Analogs A Critique of Global Capitalism in Roberto Bolaño’s 2666

2666 - Roberto Bolaño, FSG 2008 Cover Design by Charlotte Strick (HESO Magazine)

“This is increasingly emerging as the central human right of advanced capitalist society: the right not to be ‘harassed’, that is, to be kept at a safe distance from others.” — Slavoj Žižek, Against Human Rights We can thank people like Bob Moog for his eponymous synthesizers, Tsutomu Katoh for his Korg brand of musical […]