Featured Articles

Literature
19
Anime
33
Film
27
Games
49
Animation
47
TV
40
Arts
31
Film
35

Latest Topics

2

The importance and validity of Creative Nonfiction

Creative Nonfiction (CNF) has been one of the hottest and most expansive literary genres since the mid-90s, but many still fail to understand the concept of the genre. As a genre that tells truthful stories in an artful and engaging way, there can be roadblocks to the genre’s validity when it comes to the use of creative liberty.

How has the mainstream introduction of CNF altered the way we read and trust our authors? How can CNF be directed within the periphery of the public mainstream in a way that credits the genre with more than just memoir? Additionally, how do we deal with the ethical dilemmas that creative liberties create within the genre?

  • This is a very interesting topic that I know all too well, as someone who loves using imagery and creative literary tools in my writing, I've encountered issues between how realistic the writing sounds. Creative Nonfiction can fall into a gray area for many writers as they want to tell their true story realistically and honestly, to a point where there isn't much room for creative freedom. I feel the balance can be made, and introducing more creativity and freedom to nonfiction can add a new layer to honest and truthful story telling. – theanding 1 day ago
    1
2

Vlogging: Is it healthy for subscribers to have such an enormously one sided relationship?

YouTube has become one of the largest vlogging platforms online. Some of the biggest YouTube stars such as Casey Neistat have over 5 million subscribers and garner over 1 million views in just one day. After watching videos every day about someone’s day to day life for months on end, how does one not feel like they personally know the vlogger, even consider them a friend? Is this mindset healthy?

  • I am all too familiar with this. I frequently watch a channel called Just Kidding News while at work and it is difficult not to feel a sort of bond with these people, despite the fact that they have no idea who you are. But is this any different than those who frequently watch TMZ? The gossip alone is evidence of this happening in Hollywood; "Did you hear about Brangelina getting a divorce?" People think they know these stars. Is it healthy? I would suggest that if one has an active social life, sure. If one's source of interaction between others is solely coming from this medium, however, that is when it becomes a problem. Very, very interesting topic and I believe it is one that should be addressed due to the ever-increasing popularity of this medium and the possible adverse effects it could have. I would suggest implementing examples of psychology if a claim was to be made here. Good Luck to whoever grabs this. I look forward to reading it. -Brad – Brad Hagen 2 months ago
    3
  • This is an interesting topic, and I feel it coincides with similar topics involving how people portray 'celebrities'. With YouTube as popular and widespread as any other form of media entertainment, it is no wonder that the more popular users are being treated like movie stars. Like the movies, YouTube has become a place where people escape from reality by watching others do things they want to do or wish they had the ability to do. It is unhealthy in the movies, and I feel it is quickly becoming the same with vlogging.At least with movies, actors/actresses take breaks between acting, and can escape the limelight. With vlogging, however, most of these people have to be constantly producing media in order to maintain the status quo, therefore making them more visibly accessible to the public. Couple that with the fact that you can more readily access a vlog than you can movie, you can see how these vlogging stars are more popular then some movie stars. – MikeySheff 2 months ago
    1
  • I think this can also be dangerous. Because some fans might feel entitled to know everything about vloggers and boundaries might be crossed. – seouljustice 2 months ago
    0
  • These are called parasocial relationships and I'm pretty sure that there's a decent amount of research out there on them! – phaasch 2 months ago
    0
  • I think it is impossible to pin down an answer for all. Each individual would make sense of their experience with a vlogger, wildly popular or not, based on their own circumstances. I must say some could get a lot out of such an interaction, however lop-sided it may seem, like courage, solace, inspiration and entertainment. Besides, friendships are very much possible in form of exchange of comments and messages where fans get in touch with their idols and what not. Of course it is impossible for anyone to reply every single comment (complaint/compliment/sharing) they get, which is pretty much the case for most of us. How many friends do you have on your social media accounts and how many do you actually talk or respond to? It's just the matter of perspective and although it is fascinating to ponder upon topics like this we really should avoid making blanket judgments that rule out possibility for good things to happen. – rubynvm 2 days ago
    1
  • Since you mentioned Casey Neistat, he talked about this one-sided, always appearing happy type of relationship in one of his latest videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVnI_2JgXGY. – KennethC 12 hours ago
    0
5

Wonder Woman and Sailor Moon; The Parallels between two classic feminist superheroes

With the Wonder Woman live action film on its way, many people might be excited to see one of the west’s greatest superheroines come to life…but let’s take a second to compare and contrast Diana Prince to another superhero from the east: Usagi Tsukino.

    4

    The Role of Opening Credits

    TV opening credits obviously let viewers know who the main cast is as well as give everyone involved in the process their due. The aesthetics and artwork of each individual show’s credits can also persuade the audience into participation. How do opening credits function depending on what shows one is watching? There are certain shows that begin with catchy themes, eye-catching graphics, or contain "easter egg"-like codes/foreshadowing. There are others which keep the visibility of opening credits to a minimum, perhaps to heighten the realism of the show’s fictional world. How does the nature of certain shows determine the way opening credits are presented to the audience?

    • Approved this, but I was going to say would you be able to add some examples? One that always springs to mind for me is the minimalistic credits for Hannibal – Francesca Turauskis 2 months ago
      2
    • How about a little bit of comparison and contrast with the opening credits from previous decades? I've notice several old programs that have opening theme songs that the lyrics were actually displayed on the screen as they were sung. – NoDakJack 2 months ago
      0
    • This would be such a great prompt to expand on--once I get to the point where I can publish articles I may take this on myself! So many nuances and storytelling aspects can be found in a good opening credits sequence. There's so much to talk about! Context clues and interpretation of the cinematography and any song lyrics would be good points to discuss. – RachelHart 2 months ago
      0
    • Just going to leave this right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG_P_1JnfXI – ProtoCanon 2 days ago
      0
    • Wonder if there's much of a difference between opening credits and opening titles, but here's a fairly enlightening video by Cinefix i hope you find useful :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8twthdaqB8 – Matchbox 2 days ago
      0
    3

    The Art of Trolling

    Internet trolling has become an even hotter topic in the wake of the 2016 election and the rise of the "other" Alt-Right. Explore the roots and history of trolling. Is it the legacy of Socratic rhetorical styles meant to expose societal hypocrisy or just plain bullying.

    • I wonder, however, if there is much history to this phenomenon yet. – mmastro 5 days ago
      1
    • There is. As you will note from the topic it arguably goes back to Socrates. – Christen Mandracchia 5 days ago
      0
    • Whenever someone has an idea, there will almost certainly be people waiting to tear it down...The internet made it worse because it allowed anyone with internet to become a critic. – MikeySheff 3 days ago
      0
    • MikeySheff,true. Opening access causes problems, limiting access causes others. The dilemma recalls Madison's yin-yang-like result of securing specific Constitutional rights: allow gun ownership, reap gun violence; ban gun ownership, risk totalitarianism. True too of free speech allowing far-right and -left perspectives, freedom of religion allowing Branch Davidians, Jonestown, etc. Even the double-jeopardy protection for the monsters who murdered Emmitt Till is understandable vis-a-vis the certain damage that would occur were that protection removed. – Tigey 1 day ago
      1
    2

    Baldness as a Symbol of Power in Breaking Bad

    Analyse what shaved heads/baldness might mean in relation to power structures in Breaking Bad. Why are so many of the characters in seats of power bald, and what does it mean when both Walt and Jessie shave their heads? How does this theme interact with cancer, arguably the shows most powerful antagonist?

    • Interesting observation, but one could even take it further to other AMC original series. For example, in S02E03 of The Walking Dead, Shane shaves his head immediately after killing Otis, to cover up where his hair was torn during the struggle. The scene is very reminiscent of Walt shaving his head in S01E06 of Breaking Bad, as both circumstances signify these characters' shifts to the "dark side" (so to speak). – ProtoCanon 3 days ago
      1
    • Interesting point...I would have never thought to connect those dots. – MikeySheff 3 days ago
      0
    5

    A reflection on (Netflix) television reboots

    With a Gilmore Girls and Fuller House reboot on the horizon and a continuation of Arrested Development already completed… it is worth looking into Netflix (or arguably other network’s) choices to reboot old shows.

    Does this have any connection with the countless rebooted movies (or Disney’s rebooted classics)? Is this a general trend in popular media? Why is Netflix perfectly placed to bring back old shows? Is there a market for this sort of television/does it generate enough money to keep warranting it? Also does this trend erode the need for original works? What about nostalgia pandering or nostalgia marketing?

    There is a lot you could tackle with this subject and you could easily expand it into the general culture of reboots or focus it in on one Netflix reboot show. Either way, examine the place of these reboots in our social and economic climate.

    • Certainly a worthwhile topic. Something interesting to address on this subject: this tendency is parodied in season three of BoJack Horseman (which happens to be a Netflix original series) with "Ethan Around" as a clear surrogate for "Fuller House." This coy self-awareness on Netflix's part merit's a place in this discussion. – ProtoCanon 3 months ago
      1
    • This is a great topic in that Netflix has hit the reboot market. Today there is much more creative license than in the past so it makes sense that these successful ideas can be recreated with a fresh updated look. Who was who said there are only 7 stories anyway? Everything is just a variation on the same themes. – Munjeera 3 months ago
      0
    • I think the reboots are a good marketing strategy, I'm sure they're looking at what age groups are now adults that had those shows and movies as children. It's to profit off of nostalgia while also trying to dissuade people from thinking it's childish and old (obvious because now it's new, rebooted and "more mature" most must tell themselves). Honestly I'm sure there's a trend going on right now where if production companies don't tie in to something older and make something completely new the demographic is smaller and less profitable. It'd be neat to see the success of reboots over originals in this climate. – Slaidey 3 months ago
      0
    • Perhaps also exploring the requirements for something to be rebooted, would be helpful for this topic. How successful did a show have to be in it's primed to be considered? What are the parameters for a reboot? I love this idea, particularly as it's so relevant with the reboots that are coming up or rumoured to be coming up. Good luck! – Abby Wilson 3 months ago
      0
    • Interesting topic. In terms of reboots, I believe that they can be a hit or a miss. I think the big reason why there are so many reboots is because people and Hollywood have simply run out of ideas. This will be an interesting article for whoever goes through with it. – CreativeDreamer 3 months ago
      0
    • Must be a good crop of member-berries this winter... Putting out a reboot is a safe option financially - it's a proven method to attract an already loyal audience and possibly bring in a new one as a bonus. However, I think that Netflix has shown that there is an appetite for clever original works. I know that they don't release them, but it would be really interesting to see what the viewing figures are for the service to see if my claims are justified. – SightUnsound 3 months ago
      0
    • Great topic! IMHO, reboots are shameless nostalgia pandering, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. We loved the old shows, and keep retuning to them, because they're good. I feel like the reboots might cause TV network execs to say to themselves, "Okay, what did those shows do correctly, that we aren't doing anymore?" Reboots don't erode the need for original work, either. If anything they're a jump-off point for new shows that embrace the conventions people like. – Stephanie M. 2 days ago
      2
    3

    The Importance and Practicality of 'Reading like a Writer'

    The phrase has been used and essays have been written about HOW to read like a writer, but many of the people I’ve encountered think this theory about breaking down the word choices of an author is ‘looking for something that isn’t there’. An article explaining the use of rhetoric and manipulation of the reader through writing would be an interesting read and shows the practical application to people who would otherwise dismiss the theory.

    • This is an extremely interesting topic....I tell my students to attempt to 'model' their writing after a particular article/essay/short story, etc., that left an impression on them. This is really referred to as reader response theory, and it is a great topic. Sometimes, we as readers and writers, spend too much time analyzing every minute aspect of a writer's intentionality of diction, syntax, theme, symbolism, etc., that we miss the simple pleasure of leisurely reading! – danielle577 4 days ago
      2
    • As an English writing major, this is a concept I deal with various times every week. I think reading like a writer is a genuinely important practice, but I also understand that value in reading for pleasure. Therefore, I think it is imperative to initially read for the sake of reading, and then to reread through the lens of a writer. Especially if you aspire to one day write your own pieces, the importance of understanding your predecessors is astronomical. In order to create your own style of writing, you must first study those who have already branded themselves. Through doing this, you can work with various writing styles, adopt a few as your own, and then adapt them to how you want to tell a story. – Sarah Swanigan 3 days ago
      1

    Film

    Tarantino Speaks Out: Police Brutality vs. Cinematic Violence
    Tarantino Speaks Out: Police Brutality vs. Cinematic Violence
    Horror Movies, Why We Love [Some of] Them
    Reservoir Dogs: The Game and Deception
    The Nightmare Before Christmas: Why Being Unique in Hollywood Still Matters

    TV

    “Balance of Terror”: Star Trek, History, and National Security
    “Balance of Terror”: Star Trek, History, and National Security
    Relationship Entertainment: Navigating the Struggle between Romance and Friendship on TV
    A Hidden Racism in American Horror Story: Roanoke
    Freaks and Geeks: One Season, 17 Years of Cultural Influence

    Animation

    Feminism and Disney: They’re Not As Different As You Might Think
    Feminism and Disney: They’re Not As Different As You Might Think
    Disney and the Perils of Adaptation
    Masculinity in Steven Universe: A Matter of GEMder?
    The Legend of Korra: Empathizing with Villains

    Anime

    Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: The Symbolic and Ironic Deaths of the Homunculi
    Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: The Symbolic and Ironic Deaths of the Homunculi
    Death Parade: Humanity in Yuzuru Tachikawa’s Anime
    An Overview of Anime in the Mecha Body of Japan’s Economy
    The Anime Guide to Spring 2016

    Manga

    One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
    One Punch Man vs. My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of Comics
    Manga: How to Travel Between Dimensions
    Naruto: The Unresolved Revolution
    The 5 Saddest Moments in One Piece

    Comics

    What Should Happen To Captured Super Villains?
    What Should Happen To Captured Super Villains?
    Finding the Bridge Between Superhero Comics and Hip-Hop
    Superheroes and Super Villains Who Use Guns
    Disability Bound Superheroes and the Representation of their Struggles

    Literature

    Fahrenheit 451: What’s In a Tale?
    Fahrenheit 451: What’s In a Tale?
    Poetry: An Appreciation of Repetition in Stan Zumbiel’s “Standing Watch”
    The Brutal Presentation of Modern Society in The Play ‘Shopping and F***ing’
    Me Before You: How the Movie Changed the Story

    Arts

    Hamilton and the Construction of Post-Obama Americanism
    Hamilton and the Construction of Post-Obama Americanism
    Bob Dylan and The Nobel: Greatest Living American Writer?
    Theatre Beyond the Ground: Staging a Defiance of Gravity from Aeschylus to Živadinov
    Lively Objects: Curating ‘Broken’ Electronic Art

    Writing

    Parallel and Alternate Realities; Fiction Tells us the Difference
    Parallel and Alternate Realities; Fiction Tells us the Difference
    Genre Fiction in University Writing Programs: No longer the MFA’s Red-headed Stepchild
    Can you Teach Someone how to Become a Writer?
    Using Zen Philosophy to Improve Creativity and Overcome Writer’s Block