“To sweat is to think – which evidently rests on the postulate, appropriate to a nation of businessmen, that thought is a violent, cataclysmic operation, of which sweat is only the most benign symptom. In the whole film, there is but one man who does not sweat and who remains smooth-faced, unperturbed and water-tight: Caesar.” – Roland Barthes, Mythologies
We believe cultural criticism can be surprising, funny, and even lyrical, all while maintaining a keen insight into human experience. We feel it should not only analyze, but also shape the ways we receive the phenomena of our lives. This includes, of course, those topics often left out by our most eminent critics. We enjoy reading about “Presence Theory,” but who is going to make a useful critique of the absurdity of bubblegum? Likewise, while we appreciate and admire the various outlets for reviews of new releases in writing, music, and cinema, we can’t restrict our criticism only to what is fresh.
As such, 300 Reviews began with a basic goal – to find a home for criticism of subjects that are neglected in traditional venues. As soon as it was decided to be net-bound, we also thought about format, because we like parameters and constraints. So the idea came to include restrictions on length and number – a finite number of concise reviews, each one being (right around) 300 words apiece, and when we have 300 of them, we’ll be finished. Through the process, hopefully we’ll discover some things we had previously overlooked. At the very least, we’ll have a good time wearing our thinking caps.
Think Barthes on sweaty Romans in cinema. Think Eagleton on David Beckham as a figure of dissent. Think Žižek on European toilettes.
Think in 300 word installments.
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300 Reviews will not accept unsolicited submissions, but we gladly welcome queries if you have a great idea for a topic you’d like to cover. Email us with your proposals: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Founding Editor: Jeremy Allan Hawkins
Editor: Lucas Southworth