At my home planet of Racialicious, I recently started up a True Blood roundtable, where five of us weekly go to town on the various racist-sexisms of everyone's favourite vampire show. As the grumpiest of the bunch, my opinions on True Blood are vastly more negative than positive, especially when the episode is heavy on violence against women—which increasingly seems to be the theme for True Blood's newest season. So sometimes we get commenters who ask us, why the heck do y'all watch this show anyways?
When my fellow Racializen Tami asked us all this question during our first roundtable, we didn't come up with any great reasoning. I talked about how in the past, I had quit watching the show over the persistent rape motif, only to be drawn back in. Others blamed the interesting plotlines and comparably good writing for keeping them watching.
It seems like radical, anti-racist feminist pop culture critics are not alone in this phenomenon—that is, the phenomenon of subjecting ourselves to hurtful viewings. Apart from exposing myself to regular doses of vampire sex violence, I also have a soft spot for bromances. And I've noticed a trend in bromances of late (or maybe it was always there): the rape-or-sexualised-humiliation-scene-as-comedy.
Talk of Christopher Nolan's latest film Inception seems inescapable; the buzz alone propelled the film into the top spot opening weekend. Granted, the only notable competition was Disney's truly dreadful Sorcerer's Apprentice. Inception isn't doing The Dark Knight numbers at the box office, but in a summer of uninspired remakes, reboots and franchises, it doesn't have to. Wildly derivative—evoking The Matrix, Minority Report, 2001: A Space Odyssey and several mediocre heist films not worth mentioning—Inception seems downright revolutionary when compared to the rest of the dreck being screened in neighborhood multiplexes this summer.
It's a Wonderful Life tells us a story about what it means to be a librarian. In this alternate reality, Mary is portrayed as a librarian in order to convey just how bad things got without George around. Mary is an old maid, and in 1946, "old maid" was synonymous with "librarian".
This character certainly reflects societal beliefs about librarians in 1946: that librarians were single, unhappy women. Librarian identity in film has become a bit more complex since then, but Mary's character is still all too familiar.
Writing on the series finale of MTV's psuedo-reality TV series The Hills, Chadwick Matlin makes the case that former cast member Lauren Conrad "has quietly become our country's most famous advocate for media literacy." Conrad's two thinly-veiled novels expose the extent to which the "reality" on the show is actually, well, real.
On Broadsheet, Tracy Clark-Flory writes on the French businessman who has pledged €1 million for the proposed fine against women wearing burkas. The ban is expected to pass in September against the estimated 1,900 in France that wear Burkas.
Obviously, summer is the best time to be crushin'. But, the formula for the ultimate date is still incomplete. I've already concluded (using sound statistical data, of course) that soft-serve ice cream, bicycle rides, red & white checkered vinyl table cloths, and nightswimming (and/or drive-in movies) are necessary components. Now, if I could create a time machine out of something other than a hot tub full of sweaty, middle-aged men and take my dates back to the 90s, the formula would be finished! (Insert mad scientist cackle here.)
Beware the leaders of plumbers. Okay, I don't really mean that. This is why generalizing is bad, because certainly there was only one plumber who helped people break into the Democratic National Headquarters offices in the Watergate facility. And really, they were just using "plumber" as a metaphor. None of these guys knew how to fix or lay pipe.
So I'm talking about G. Gordon Liddy, the main plumber behind the Watergate break-in.
The Gate that begat all the other gates to follow, except Bill.