The Hip Strip of Missoula, MT


AMERICAN VULGARIA is an independent art and culture magazine based in Missoula, MT. We exist to defend artistic freedom against ideological corruption; to promote gratitude for — not censorship of — the arts. Our approach to art and culture mirrors our commitment to free speech and expression: all ideas are open to entertainment, and we believe that an entertained idea does not equal an accepted one.

We are artists for art’s sake.


“Vulgar” stems from the Latin vulgus, which means “common person” and not simply “saying naughty things” or “wearing provocative clothes.” Our universal baseline is vulgar: rot and reproduction, digestion and excretion, bodily urges and subconscious impulses — these are our common denominators, regardless of class lines or moral differences. The best art doesn’t evade our vulgar baseness. Art confronts our animal nature, sublimating it into beautiful monuments and enlightening experiences; and under conditions of excess beauty and enlightenment, art humbly reminds us of our inner murk and darkness.

Though often “vulgar” in speech, attitude, and fashion, the artist is, and has always been, an entirely uncommon person, a socially unacceptable weirdo looking in from the outside. As such, the artist benefits society not by moral leadership but by assault:

The poet, the artist, the sleuth — whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely “well-adjusted,” he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists between antisocial types in their power to see environments as they really are. This need to interface, to confront environments with a certain antisocial power is manifest in the famous story “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage

Our attitude, like the artist’s, towards the vulgus is ambivalent. We hate the vulgus, we love the vulgus. We judge the vulgus, we are the vulgus. As such, we’re quite stupid and conflicted; however, if there’s one advantage we claim, it’s that we, like the artist, can at least see the vulgus — and by giving the vulgus a name (“Vulgaria”), we, too, preserve for ourselves some distance from the vulgus and thus a certain antisocial power to truthfully depict, in elaborate detail, the world in which we truly live.


AMERICAN VULGARIA is independent and ad-free, and we’re able to maintain this status through community funding. To support us, please consider subscribing to AMERICAN VULGARIA at $5 per month through the following link: SUBSCRIBE.


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