Artist Makes Astonishing Armor for Cats & Mice

As a child, Jeff De Boer, the son of a sheet metal fabricator, was fascinated by the European plate armor collection in Calgary’s Glenbow Museum:

There was something magical or mystical about that empty form, that contained something. So what would it contain? A hero? Do we all contain that in ourselves?

After graduating from high school wearing a partial suit of armor he constructed for the occasion, De Boer completed seven full suits, while majoring in jewelry design at the Alberta College of Art and Design.

A sculpture class assignment provided him with an excuse to make a suit of armor for a cat. The artist had found his niche.

Using steel, silver, brass, bronze, nickel, copper, leather, fiber, wood, and his delicate jewelry making tools, DeBoer became the cats’ armorer, spending anywhere from 50 to 200 hours producing each increasingly intricate suit of feline armor.  A noble pursuit, but one that inadvertently created an “imbalance in the universe”:

The only way to fix it was to do the same for the mouse.

“The suit of armor is a transformation vehicle. It’s something that only the hero would wear,” De Boer notes.

Fans of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard series will need no convincing, though no real mouse has had the misfortune to find its way inside one of his astonishing, custom-made creations.

Not even a taxidermy specimen, he revealed on the Making, Our Way podcast:

It’s not an altogether bad idea. The only reason I don’t do it is that hollow suit of armor like you might see in a museum, your imagination will make it do a million things more than if you stick a mouse in it will ever do. I have put armor on cats. I can tell you, it’s nothing like what you think it’s going to be. It’s not a very good experience for the cat. It does not fulfill any fantasies about a cat wearing a suit of armor.

Though cats were his entry point, De Boer’s sympathies seem aligned with the underdog – er, mice. Equipping humble, hypothetical creatures with exquisitely wrought, historical protective gear is a way of pushing back against being perceived differently than one wishes to be.

Accepting an Honorary MFA from his alma mater earlier this year, he described an armored mouse as a metaphor for his “ongoing cat and mouse relationship with the world of fine art…a mischievous, rebellious being who dares to compete on his own terms in a world ruled by the cool cats.”

Each tiny piece is preceded by painstaking research and many reference drawings, and may incorporate special materials like the Japanese silk haori-himo cord lacing the shoulder plates to the body armor of a Samurai mouse family.

Additional creations have referenced Mongolian, gladiator, crusader, and Saracen styles – this last perfect for a Persian cat.

“I mean, “Why not?” he asks in his TED-x Talk,Village Idiots & Innovation, below.

His latest work combines elements of Maratha and Hussar armor in a veritable puzzle of minuscule pieces.

See more of Jeff De Boer’s cat and mouse armor on his Instagram.

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Why Goya Made His Haunting “Black Paintings” at the End of His Life

Though most of us see Francisco Goya’s Saturno devorando a su hijo, or Saturn Devouring His Son, at least every few months, we were never meant to see it all. The same is true of all fourteen of the so-called “Black Paintings,” which Goya executed late in his life on the walls of his villa outside Madrid. They now hang at the Prado where, as one tour guide put it to the Guardian‘s Stephen Phelan, “some people can hardly even look at them.” When visitors enter the room that contains these often grim and bizarre visions, “they are always surprised. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a visitor whose expression hasn’t changed.”

What could have moved Goya to create such paintings? In the new Great Art Explained video essay above, gallerist and Youtuber James Payne lays out the relevant factors in Goya’s life and the turbulent society in which he lived. His Enlightenment views and penchant for brazen satire drew suspicion, as did his willingness to paint for French and pro-French clients during that country’s occupation of Spain.

At the age of 72 he ended up putting himself into a kind of countryside exile, taking up residence in an estate called the Quinta del Sordo (the “Villa of the Deaf,” and suitably enough, since Goya himself happened to have lost his hearing by that point).

It was in the Quinta del Sordo, and indeed on it, that Goya (or, according to certain theories, Goya’s son) set his artistic worldview free to realize its most grotesque and jaundiced forms. Even apart from Saturn’s act of cannibalistic filicide, Phelan writes, “a humanoid billy goat in a monkish cassock bleats a satanic sermon to a gasping congregation of witches. A desperately expressive little dog appears to plead for rescue, submerged up to its neck in a mud-colored mire beneath a gloomy, void-like firmament of negative space.” Known as El Perro, or The Dog, that last artwork is one of the most beloved in Spain — and, in its ascetic way, the most haunting Black Painting of all.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Carl Sagan Issues a Chilling Warning to America in His Last Interview (1996)

Until the end of his life, Carl Sagan (1934-1996) continued doing what he did all along — popularizing science and “enthusiastically conveying the wonders of the universe to millions of people on television and in books.” Whenever Sagan appeared on ”The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson during the 70s and 80s, his goal was to connect with everyday Americans — people who didn’t subscribe to Scientific American — and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of science.

At the end of his life, Sagan still cared deeply about where science stood in the public imagination. But while losing a battle with myelodysplasia, Sagan also sensed that scientific thinking was losing ground in America, and even more ominously within the chambers of the Newt Gringrich-led Congress.

During his final interview, aired on May 27, 1996, Sagan issued a strong warning, telling Charlie Rose:

We’ve arranged a society on science and technology in which nobody understands anything about science and technology, and this combustible mixture of ignorance and power sooner or later is going to blow up in our faces. I mean, who is running the science and technology in a democracy if the people don’t know anything about it.

20 years later, figures like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye are out there, trying to popularize science with new forms of media. But the same structural problem, so well articulated by Sagan, remains largely in place. And yet there’s reason to hope. Because even as establishment politicians still play the same games with science, there are early signs that, as with other important issues, public opinion is shifting beneath their feet.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

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M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity: Watch the Free Art Documentary Online (with Voicing from Stephen Fry)

As previously mentioned here on OC, the film distributor Kino Lorber has been quietly making complete art films available to stream on YouTube and its own website. Last week, they uploaded to YouTube the documentary, Beyond the Visible: Hilma Af Klint. This week, they’ve followed up with M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity, which they describe as follows:

M.C. Escher: Journey To Infinity is the story of world famous Dutch graphic artist M.C Escher (1898-1972). Equal parts history, psychology, and psychedelia, Robin Lutz’s entertaining, eye-opening portrait gives us the man through his own words and images: diary musings, excerpts from lectures, correspondence and more are voiced by British actor Stephen Fry, while Escher’s woodcuts, lithographs, and other print works appear in both original and playfully altered form. Two of his sons, George (92) and Jan (80), reminisce about their parents while musician Graham Nash (Crosby, Stills & Nash) talks about Escher’s rediscovery in the 1970s. The film looks at Escher’s legacy: one can see tributes to his work in movies, in fiction, on posters, on tattoos, and elsewhere throughout our culture; indeed, few fine artists of the 20th century can lay claim to such popular appeal.

You can find M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity listed in our collection of Free Documentaries, a subset of our larger collection 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, Documentaries & More.

To watch more free-to-stream Kino Lorber films, click here.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

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Cats in Medieval Manuscripts & Paintings

Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer  (1471-1528) never saw a rhino himself, but by relying on eyewitness descriptions of the one King Manuel I of Portugal intended as a gift to the Pope, he managed to render a fairly realistic one, all things considered.

Medieval artists’ renderings of cats so often fell short of the mark, Youtuber Art Deco wonders if any of them had seen a cat before.

Point taken, but cats were well integrated into medieval society.

Royal 12 C xix f. 36v/37r (13th century)

Cats provided medieval citizens with the same pest control services they’d been performing since the ancient Egyptians first domesticated them.

Ancient Egyptians conveyed their gratitude and respect by regarding cats as symbols of divinity, protection, and strength.

Certain Egyptian goddesses, like Bastet, were imbued with unmistakably feline characteristics.

The Vintage News reports that harming a cat in those days was punishable by death, exporting them was illegal, and, much like today, the death of a cat was an occasion for public sorrow:

When a cat died, it was buried with honors, mummified and mourned by the humans. The body of the cat would be wrapped in the finest materials and then embalmed in order to preserve the body for a longer time. Ancient Egyptians went so far that they shaved their eyebrows as a sign of their deep sorrow for the deceased pet.

Aberdeen University Library, MS 24  f. 23v (England, c 1200)

The medieval church took a much darker view of our feline friends.

Their close ties to paganism and early religions were enough for cats to be judged guilty of witchcraft, sinful sexuality, and fraternizing with Satan.

In the late 12th-century, writer Walter Map, a soon-to-be archdeacon of Oxford, declared that the devil appeared before his devotees in feline form:

… hanging by a rope, a black cat of great size. As soon as they see this cat, the lights are turned out. They do not sing or recite hymns in a distinct way, but they mutter them with their teeth closed and they feel in the dark towards where they saw their lord], and when they find it, they kiss it, the more humbly depending on their folly, some on the paws, some under the tail, some on the genitals. And as if they have, in this way, received a license for passion, each one takes the nearest man or woman and they join themselves with the other for as long as they choose to draw out their game.

Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal bull in 1484 condemning the “devil’s favorite animal and idol of all witches” to death, along with their human companions to death.

13th-century Franciscan monk Bartholomaeus Anglicus refrained from demonic tattle, but neither did he paint cats as angels:

He is a full lecherous beast in youth, swift, pliant, and merry, and leapeth and reseth on everything that is to fore him: and is led by a straw, and playeth therewith: and is a right heavy beast in age and full sleepy, and lieth slyly in wait for mice: and is aware where they be more by smell than by sight, and hunteth and reseth on them in privy places: and when he taketh a mouse, he playeth therewith, and eateth him after the play. In time of love is hard fighting for wives, and one scratcheth and rendeth the other grievously with biting and with claws. And he maketh a ruthful noise and ghastful, when one proffereth to fight with another: and unneth is hurt when he is thrown down off an high place. And when he hath a fair skin, he is as it were proud thereof, and goeth fast about: and when his skin is burnt, then he bideth at home; and is oft for his fair skin taken of the skinner, and slain and flayed.

Pigs and rats also had a bad rep, and like cats, were tortured and executed in great numbers by pious humans.

The Worksop Bestiary Morgan Library, MS M.81 f. 47r (England, c 1185)

Not every medieval city was anti-cat. As the Academic Cat Lady Johanna Feenstra writes of the above illustration from The Worksop Bestiary, one of the earliest English bestiaries:

Some would have interpreted the image of a cat pouncing on a rodent as a symbol for the devil going after the human soul. Others might have seen the cat in a completely different light. For instance, as Eucharistic guardians, making sure rodents could not steal and eat the Eucharistic wafers.

Bodleian Library Bodley 764 f. 51r (England, c 1225-50)

St John’s College Library, MS. 61 (England (York), 13th century)

It took cat lover Leonardo DaVinci to turn the situation around, with eleven sketches from life portraying cats in characteristic poses, much as we see them today. We’ll delve more into that in a future post.

Conrad of Megenberg, ‘Das Buch der Natur’, Germany ca. 1434. Strasbourg, Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire, Ms.2.264, fol. 85r

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Lizzo Plays James Madison’s Priceless, 200-Year-Old Crystal Flute

In the annals of modern popular music, one does not find a surfeit of flautists. Tim Weisberg, in partnership with singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg, did score a modest his or two in the seventies. More incongruously, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson set his band apart with his decision to take up the flute not long before their earliest performances. But today, outside the realm of orchestral music, there is surely no higher-profile flautist than Lizzo. Though best known as a pop singer, she continues to put to use the flute skills she honed at the University of Houston, without which she wouldn’t have been able to handle a precious piece of American history.

Last month, writes the Library of Congress’ April Slayton, one of that institution’s librarians Carla Hayden “saw that the one and only Lizzo was coming to D.C. for a concert.” Given that “the Library has the world’s largest flute collection,” Hayden took the opportunity to point out that fact to the pop star on Twitter. “One of about 1,700 flutes in the collection, she teased, is the crystal flute made for President James Madison by Claude Laurent — a priceless instrument that Dolley Madison rescued from the White House in April 1814 as the British entered Washington, DC during the War of 1812.. Might she want to drop by and play a few bars?”

Indeed she did, with results you can see in the video above: at the Library itself, Lizzo tries out one of the collection’s many flutes; then she plays the crystal flute itself on onstage at Capitol One Arena, having been handed it by the instrument’s own security detail. “It’s like playing out of a wine glass,” she tells her thrilled audience. One wonders if the comparison would ever have occurred to its first owner: “It’s not clear if Madison did much with the flute other than admire it,” Slayton writes, “but it became a family heirloom and an artifact of the era.” Now it has become a uniting symbol of American culture past and present: however forward-looking the Founding Fathers were, we can safely say they never imagine twerking.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

How Writing Has Spread Across the World, from 3000 BC to This Year: An Animated Map

The oldest known writing systems first emerged in Mesopotamia, between 3400 and 3100 BC, and Egypt, around 3250 BC. The Latin alphabet, which I’m using to write this post and you’re using to read it, gradually took the shape we know between the seventh century BC and the Middle Ages. Over the eras since, it has spread outward from Europe to become the most widely used script in the world. These are important developments in the history of writing, but hardly the only ones. It is with all known writing systems that historical map animator Ollie Bye deals in the video above: not just those used today, but over the whole of the past five millennia.

The conquests of Alexander the Great; the Gallic Wars; the colonization of Latin America; the “scramble for Africa”: these and other major historical events are vividly reflected in the spread of certain writing systems.

Up until 1492 — after the expiration of eight and a half of the video’s eleven minutes — the map concerns itself only with Europe, Asia, and the northern three-quarters of Africa (as well as an inlaid section depicting the civilizations of what is now Central America). Thereafter it zooms out to include the New World, and indeed the whole world, though centuries pass before most of its blank spaces fill up with the colors that indicate the adoption of a dominant script.

Arabic and Persian appear in lime green, simplified Chinese in red, and Cyrillic in light blue. Before Bye’s animation reaches the middle twentieth century, most of the world has turned medium blue, which represents the now-mighty Latin alphabet. The use of these very letters for all written communication by such a wide variety of cultures merits a volumes-long history by itself. But perhaps most intriguing here is the persistence of relatively minor scripts: Cree, used among the natives of northern Canada; hiraganakatakana, and kanji in Japan; and also hangul in Korea — which I read and write myself every day of my life in Seoul, and to whose continued dominance here I can confidently attest.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

What It’s Like to Work in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Iconic Office Building

Frank Lloyd Wright, who drew so much inspiration from the wide open spaces of middle America, designed just two high-rise buildings. The second, completed late in his long career, was 1956’s Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The first opened six years before that, as an addition to one of his already-famous projects. That was the headquarters of S. C. Johnson & Son, better known as Johnson Wax, in Racine, Wisconsin. Seen at a distance, the Research Tower stands out as the signal feature of the complex, but it’s the earlier Administration Building that offered the world a glimpse of the future of work.

The Administration Building’s construction finished in 1939. Back then, says Vox’s Phil Edwards (himself an established Wright fan) in the video above, “offices were small and cramped, or private. This building had a spacious central room instead, meant to encourage the spread of ideas.” Such a concept may sound familiar — perhaps all too familiar — to anyone who’s ever worked in what we now call an “open-plan office.” But it was daring at the time, and it seems that no architect has ever implemented it quite as strikingly again. What other office makes you “feel like you’re underwater, that you’re in, maybe, a lily pond”?

That description comes from architect and Wright scholar Jonathan Lipman, one of the experts Edwards consults on his own pilgrimage to Johnson Wax Headquarters. He wanted to spend some time working there himself, something easily arranged since S. C. Johnson has by now moved most of its operations into other facilities. But however satisfying it feels to sit in the shade of Wright’s “dendriform columns” sprouting throughout the Great Workroom, the experience proves unsatisfying. “It wasn’t a real thing without any people around,” Edwards says, “without the energy of being in that office.”

Wright spoke of his intentions to create “as inspiring a place to work in as any cathedral ever was to worship in.” Today, amid the silent absence of typists on the ground floor and managers on the mezzanine, the Administration Building must feel holier than ever. The space exudes a magnificent loneliness, and opening a MacBook to log into Slack surely intensifies the loneliness rather than the magnificence. “In 1939, this was the future of work,” Edwards says. “These big corporate campuses, the Googles and Metas and Amazons: they owe a debt to this campus here.” But for the increasingly many living the remote-work life, even those twenty-first-century big-tech headquarters have begun to seem like temples from a passing era.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Behold the Medieval Wound Man: The Poor Soul Who Illustrated the Injuries a Person Might Receive Through War, Accident or Disease

Do you swoon at the sight of blood?

Suffer paper cuts as major trauma?

Cover your eyes when the knife comes out in the horror movie?

If so, and also if not, fall to your knees and give thanks that you’re not the Wound Man, above.

A staple of medieval medical history, he’s a grisly compendium of the injuries and external afflictions that might befall a mortal of the period- insect and animal bites, spilled entrails, abscesses, boils, infections, plague-swollen glands, piercings and cuts, both accidental and deliberately inflicted.

Any one of these troubles should be enough to fell him, yet he remains upright, displaying every last one of them simultaneously, his expression stoic.

He’s hard to look at, but as art historian Jack Hartnell , author of Medieval Bodies: Life, Death and Art in the Middle Ages writes in British Art Studies:

The Wound Man was not a figure designed to inspire fear or to menace. On the contrary, he represented something more hopeful: an imaginative and arresting herald of the powerful knowledge that could be channelled and dispensed through the practice of medieval medicine.

A valuable educational resource for surgeons for some three centuries, he began cropping up in southern Germany in the early 1400s. In an essay for the Public Domain Review, Hartnell notes how these early specimens served “as a human table of contents”, directing interested parties to the specific passages in the various medical texts where information on existing treatments could be found.

The protocol for injuries to the intestines or stomach called for stitching the wound up with a fine thread and sprinkling it with an antihemorrhagic powder made from wine, hematite, nutmeg, white frankincense, gum arabic, bright red sap from the Dracaena cinnabari tree and a restorative quantity of mummy.

The Wound Man evolved along with medical knowledge, weapons of warfare and art world trends.

The woodcut Wound Man in Hans von Gersdorff’s 1517 landmark Fieldbook of Surgery introduces cannonballs to the ghastly mix.

And the engraver Robert White’s Wound Man in British surgeon John Browne’s 1678 Compleat Discourse of Wounds loses the loincloth and grows his hair, morphing into a neoclassical beauty in the Saint Sebastian mold.

Surgical knowledge eventually outpaced the Wound Man’s usefulness, but popular culture is far from ready for him to lay down and die, as evidenced by recent cameos in episodes of Hannibal and the British comedy quiz show, QI.

Delve into the history of the Wound Man in Jack Hartnell’s British Art Studies article “Wording the Wound Man.”

via Public Domain Review

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto. Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Meet the Hyperpolyglots, the People Who Can Mysteriously Speak Up to 32 Different Languages

Polyglot, as its Greek roots take no great pains to conceal, means the speaking of multiple languages. Somewhat less obvious is the meaning of the associated term hyperpolylot. “Coined two decades ago, by a British linguist, Richard Hudson, who was launching an Internet search for the world’s greatest language learner,” the New Yorker’s Judith Thurman writes, it refers not just to the speaking of multiple languages but the speaking of many languages. How many is “many”? “The accepted threshold is eleven,” which disqualifies even most of us avid language connoisseurs. But Vaughn Smith easily makes the cut.

You can meet this formidable hyperpolyglot in the Washington Post video above, which complements Jessica Contrera’s story in the paper. Smith grew up in D.C. speaking not just English but Spanish, his mother’s native language. On his father’s side of the family, distant cousins from Belgium expanded Smith’s linguistic worldview further still.

At 46 years of age, he now speaks just about as many languages, “with at least 24 he speaks well enough to carry on lengthy conversations. He can read and write in eight alphabets and scripts. He can tell stories in Italian and Finnish and American Sign Language. He’s teaching himself Indigenous languages, from Mexico’s Nahuatl. to Montana’s Salish. The quality of his accents in Dutch and Catalan dazzle people from the Netherlands and Spain.”

Unlike his fellow hyperpolyglot Ioannis Ikonomou, profiled in the Great Big Story video above, Smith is not a translator. Nor does he work as a linguist, a diplomat, or anything else you’d expect. “Vaughn has been a painter, a bouncer, a punk rock roadie and a Kombucha delivery man,” writes Contrera. “He was once a dog walker for the Czech art collector Meda Mládková, the widow of an International Monetary Fund governor,” which was “the closest he ever came to having a career that utilized his languages.” Having brought him most recently to the profession of carpet cleaning, Smith’s life resembles a beloved genre of American story: that of the undiscovered working-class genius, most popularly told by movies like Good Will Hunting. Contrera’s investigation adds a chapter in line with a major 21st-century trend in reportage: the brain activity-revealing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan.

Under the fMRI scanner, “Vaughn works through a series of tests, reading English words, watching blue squares move around and listening to languages, some he knows and some he doesn’t.” The results were surprising: “the parts of Vaughn’s brain used to comprehend language are far smaller and quieter than mine,” writes the monoglot Contrera. “Even when we are reading the same words in English, I am using more of my brain and working harder than he ever has to.” Perhaps “Vaughn was born with his language areas being smaller and more efficient”; perhaps “his brain started out like mine, but because he learned so many languages while it was still developing, his dedication transformed his anatomy.” Smith himself seems to have enjoyed the experience — not that it took his mind off a matter of great importance even to the less intensive language-learners: keeping his Duolingo streak intact.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Why Predator — A Discussion of the Film Franchise on Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #133


Thanks to the new film Prey by Dan Trachtenberg and Patrick Aison, we now have six films (starting with 1987’s Predator) featuring the dreadlocked, camouflaged, infrared-seeing race of alien hunters who have apparently been flying around collecting our skulls for 300 years.

Thankfully, the new film is good, and adds to the recent spate of Indigenous-centered media, with its young, female Comanche protagonist taking on evil French bison-killers, her sexist peers, and a mountain lion, in addition to a relatively low-tech version of what many comic books have called a Yautja.

We talk about what makes for a good Predator film, the appeal of the monster (and when in the films it gets revealed), the pacing of the films, the music, direction, effects, humor, social commentary, and more.

A few of the articles we consulted included:

This marks the first episode of Pretty Much Pop season three, where Mark Linsenmayer’s recurring co-hosts will by default tentatively be those you will hear today: Philosophy prof/entertainment writer Lawrence Ware, novelist/writing prof Sarahlyn Bruck, and ex-musician, ex-philosophy grad student, and now ex-research manager Al Baker. The various convocations of musicians, comedians, et al, will still happen too, but will at least alternate with some permutation of that core group.

Hear more Pretty Much Pop. Support the show and hear bonus talking for this and nearly every other episode at or by choosing a paid subscription through Apple Podcasts. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network.

Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast is the first podcast curated by Open Culture. Browse all Pretty Much Pop posts.

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