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Pop Culture in Hudson Valley

Everybody Get Together

From arguing about the rankings of the greatest movies of all time — AFI, you call that a list? — to engaging in the age-old Ginger vs. Mary Ann debate, pop culture is useless unless it brings people together. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing for me like poring over every aspect of cultural minutiae

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Oh, the Horror!

January is tricky for movie studios. They all released their awards-bait films in December, hoping that a just-under-the-wire release will help their Oscar nomination chances. Now in January, with these prestige movies still in theaters, they don’t want to compete with themselves, but they don't want to leave holes in the release schedule. So, what's left? Horror movies.

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Kara DioGuardi's First Week on American Idol

American Idol is still a ratings juggernaut but, after seven years, the Goliath is not as mighty as it once was. So, in order to shake things up a bit, the show's producers called one of our own. Enter new fourth-judge Kara DioGuardi, daughter of former Congressman Joseph DioGuardi, who was born in Scarsdale, grew up in New Rochelle, and attended the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry.

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Obama's Inaugural Poet and Our Local Press

When President-Elect Barack Obama finishes his inaugural speech on January 20, don't jump off the couch and turn off the TV set. He's chosen poet Elizabeth Alexander — who recently published a chapbook with the Hudson Valley Writers' Center's Slapering Hol Press — to read a new work after his speech. He's a tough act to follow, and she actually might be up to the challenge

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Holiday Movie Guide

With studios trying cram in their movies for Oscar consideration, there are so many films to choose from. What are the must-sees? Which films should be avoided? I did my best to sort through the current fare, from safer bets, to calculated risks, to flat-out bombs.

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Last-Minute Pop-Culture Gifts

Not done holiday shopping yet? Have a culture-vulture on your list? Poptional Reading to the rescue!

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Jacob Burns Media Arts Lab Open for Business

Okay, the outside still doesn't look like much — but it's what's inside that counts, right? A bit of ongoing construction didn't stop the folks over at the Jacob Burns from holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Media Arts Lab, the new home for a host of hands-on filmmaking classes, in Pleasantville last Friday.

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Where on the Web?

Like everything else, I want my pop culture delivered to me through the Internet. But the more I talk to my fellow Valley residents, the more I realize that some people are lost when it comes to finding the good stuff online. Luckily, I'm here to help.

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The Westchester Baby-Name Generator for Celebrities

Over the weekend, Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz had a baby, and in true celebrity fashion they gave it an unusual name: Bronx Mowgli. Yes, that's Bronx, as in the borough, and Mowgli, like the protagonist of The Jungle Book.

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The Simpsons: Who's Next?

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Where are the Oscar Movies?

What's going on? Usually by now, we're drowning in a schedule of awesome Oscar-bait movies and fun holiday-event films. Is it me, or is this November a little… weak?

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Election Mania!

After two long years of campaigning, the election is finally here. By now, you (hopefully) know who you're voting for — if not, what's wrong with you? — and you've even researched all those pesky down-ticket races that aren't even lampooned on Saturday Night Live. You go into the booth. You pull those retro levers. (They may be antiquated, but at least they leave a paper trail.) Now what?

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The Joker & Sarah Palin

There are few metrics by which we can judge popular culture, but Halloween costumes come close. The general rule of thumb is that the more of a certain character you see popping up at Halloween parties, the more prevalent that character is in pop-culture-land.

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Is the Valley Humorless?

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The Music Industry Keeps Trying

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Stop Complaining About SNL

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Pop Culture in Hudson Valley

About This Blog

Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY


Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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