HiLobrow
"Neither highbrows nor lowbrows nor midbrows, but elastic-brows.” — George Orwell
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The final paragraph of H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth’s The Lurker at the Threshold (1945) describes an uncanny scene that nicely limns the Cthulhu Mythos for those of us who may as yet be unfamiliar with it. Winfield Phillips, the formerly skeptical assistant to Seneca Lapham, an occult detective in the mold of Sheridan Le […]

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The New York Times Magazine recently published a cover story about Spike Jonze, whose cultural productions — for two decades, at this point — have hovered uncannily around the edges of the four heimlich dispositions: Highbrow, Lowbrow, Anti-Lowbrow, Anti-Highbrow. So is Jonze nobrow? Or is he hilobrow? It’s tough to say. (Same thing goes for […]

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The era of guilt- and con­sequence-free sex ended in 1982.

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OUR READERS already know that HiLobrow.com has a problem with — in fact, an animus against — quatsch. As of today, we’re going to start fighting back against its reign of terror. Building on my own mid-’90s research into the mainstreaming of camp, kitsch, and cheese, and perhaps also on Michael Hirschorn’s 2007 anti-quirk manifesto, […]

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WES ANDERSON’S Bottle Rocket (1996) raised the hopes of hilobrows everywhere, and his Rushmore (1998) fulfilled those hopes in spades. So what happened? Anderson once knew how to get a great performance out of his actors. In Bottle Rocket, Luke Wilson wasn’t yet the stiff romantic foil he’s since become; or, to be more precise, […]