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Indian actors on American Television and in Hollywood

Dev Patel, Aziz Ansari, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone: These are all actors of Indian origin who have played major roles in various television series and movies this past year. It would be interesting to analyze the reasons why this transition from stereotypical sidekicks to main characters has taken place.

  • Hear Hear. I love this topic and look forward to reading this article. – Munjeera 13 hours ago
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Literally Lost in Translation: The Difficulty in Properly Subtitling a Film and its Effects on the Viewer

How can the issue of cultural and linguist translation be tackled? Can it even be tackled at all? While a film may be able to translate the language, some cultural references are usually lost, especially when taking into consideration a unique language and culture like Japanese for example, and attempting to translate the language and culture relevance to an American audience. No easy feat.

Take a film like Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro” as an example – there’s something culturally amiss in the translation, so much so that more than one English version has been released since the original Japanese release in 1988.

There’s much room for exploration of what makes a film translation either good or bad, and this would make for an interesting project particularly if explored by bilingual folks who are fluent in both the linguistic and cultural nuances of the original film and its subtitled release.

  • Some ideas and subtexts are impossible to translate because those concepts may not exist in another culture. – Munjeera 13 hours ago
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Indictators of talent in creative writing

There are many talented writers, but many people still argue whether it’s nature vs. nurture. Is being a good writer a mix of the two, or is it solely based on talent? Also, what are some signs of talent or potential in someone’s writing?

  • It can be a mix of the two or one or the other. Personally, I showed a talent in writing from an early age. I passed with flying colors on literature and writing exams, and was always nominated to participate in school spelling bees. As I entered college, I tried pursuing the sciences, but that eventually led me back to writing. This is a great topic, but I feel as if there isn't a particular answer simply because it varies from person-to-person. Some individuals don't realize their talent until much later in their lifetime, where as for others it can be during adolescence. – Marina 3 months ago
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  • Very true. It is a mix of both talent and hard work ethic. – Afanos 3 months ago
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  • The answer is fairly simple - it's is a mix of both nature and nurture. Understanding the answer is a little more difficult. Writing is a hard skill and can be taught to just about anyone. However within this hard skill are many soft skills like creativity and problem solving which can not always be taught. That's why the degrees of good writing vary so widely and why we cannot say for certain that everyone is good by nature or even that everyone can one day be good by nurture. – ashleyab 21 hours ago
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  • Some is definitely nature; I've loved books and words since I was a little kid. But no writer ever reaches his or her potential without mentoring. Additionally, writers are always going to have different sub-gifts. One might be gifted at dialogue while another is better at setting, or one writer's talent might lend itself to poetry over fiction. Much of what is considered "creative writing" can't be taught strictly speaking, but can be nurtured. – Stephanie M. 19 hours ago
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The Impact of Fitzgerald's Personal Life on His Writing

F. Scott Fitzgerald lived a relatively hard life plagued by alcoholism and depression, yet was a powerful writer. Characters in his novels, such as Jay Gatsby from "The Great Gatsby" and Dick Diver from "Tender is the Night" seem to experience similar troubles. We know what Fitzgerald struggled with throughout his life; to what extent did he give his characters the same struggles? Was it a conscious decision, or a way of coping? In many cases the characters don’t find peace, just as Fitzgerald didn’t. How did Fitzgerald use his personal life, whether willingly or not, to influence his writing?

  • I think it is undeniable that Fitzgerald largely reflects upon his own life through the trials and tribulations of his fictional characters. Some of the parallels he draws are uncanny, however whether this was a conscious decision, or merely a demonstration of the artist's tendency to draw upon his own experiences, is difficult to ascertain. It would be interesting to look at essays written by Fitzgerald and critiques written about his works, as well as taking a closer look at his characters in order to craft a more solid perspective on the matter. – arhaydu 47 mins ago
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Do you think standardized tests are limiting high school students to becoming avid readers?

Reflect on how standardized tests are not preparing high school students for liberal arts courses in college. Liberal arts courses requires reading stamina, comprehension, and critical writing skills that are not taught in the classroom.

  • Oh, the heck yes! Thank goodness somebody said it. I was lucky because I always loved to read, but a lot of kids aren't born bookworms. I taught Freshman Comp as a grad student, and the lack of enthusiasm for reading, plus the lack of comprehension and skill, made me so mad for those students, I can't begin to tell you. – Stephanie M. 4 days ago
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  • Absolutely. I work as an ACT/SAT prep teacher and the tests do not teach kids to read critically or comprehensively. They only teach them to read for the answer or to barely understand main concepts. As a timed test, students don't have enough time to properly read every word and examine it like college students would be required to. They also are not required to write an essay based on the excerpt and are discouraged from bringing any outside knowledge to apply to the text. I would definitely say that standardized tests limit high school students from enjoying and pursuing reading. – krae29 1 day ago
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  • Yes! – Munjeera 21 hours ago
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  • Yes! I agree. Standardized tests teach students that answers are either right or wrong, and in literature that's not exactly true. As long as you back up your claim with evidence, then your answer could be correct. Literature is not all black and white, there's that gray area. And standardized tests hinder students from thinking beyond black and white. – simplykrizia 17 hours ago
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  • Teaching to the test is the absolute death of critical thinking. Having taught college for years, I can confirm just how unprepared students are for college in general, even more so for any course that requires thinking outside the box. Teaching English was just as difficult. None of my courses use exams as a method of evaluation, which completely throws students off because they are required to read and write and think and analyze materials. Assigned reading was a constant component to the course, as were brief exercises to evaluate knowledge gained. Since students couldn’t use memorization to complete assignments, many of them struggled. Other students however, were relieved to able to think freely and not within the constraints of rote memorization and regurgitation. If high school students were periodically given the freedom to choose their own reading materials, reading and comprehension rates would likely become much higher. – mazzamura 14 hours ago
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What Can Prose Writers Learn From Poets?

Poets and prose writers often receive different "instructions" on how to write well, and are encouraged to read widely in their own genre, but I would suggest that prose writers can vastly improve their craft by turning to poetry. Poets focus on imagery and concision – two tools that make immensely better prose writing too. Of course, these tools aren’t used in the same way, but reading and even writing poetry can strengthen a prose writer’s ability. Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar is a perfect example of this. Plath is best known as a poet, but her novel is unparalleled. While reading it, I was struck by the poetic use of language and economy of words (why use twenty when you could use five?). What other ways can prose writers improve from reading/writing poetry?

  • Good idea, especially about concision. I've written prose for years and still struggle with that. Poetry sometimes helps. – Stephanie M. 19 hours ago
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Why are we so in love with time loops, time travel, and body switching?

Film audiences love plots centered on time loops, time travel, body switching, and similar phenomena. From Groundhog Day to Freaky Friday, to the myriad of specials where a character wishes it were Christmas every day, we can’t seem to get enough of this type of plot device. Why though, when we know by rights, these devices should be stale?

A few reasons come to mind. Perhaps it’s because characters in a time loop or body switch are doing what we want to do–get another chance at doing something, or see how the other half lives. Perhaps it’s because we want to reassure ourselves time is dependable and thus, these things could never happen. Of course, these are only two possible explanations.

  • Consider expanding the topic to include literature, or connect this trope with how we view these films and how the films progress. – SarahKnauf 2 weeks ago
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  • Good idea, although I'm not as familiar with time travel literature. :) Does anyone out there have suggestions? – RubyBelle 2 weeks ago
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  • Interesting topic. I think that looking at the Harry Potter series use of time travel would be interesting. It was only really used in the third book, and they brought it back for the recent play (which most seemed to not enjoy from what I heard). – Daonso 3 days ago
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Black Mirror the New Modern Day Paranoia

Analyze the Netflix series Black Mirror by focusing in on the technological and communicative issues each episode reveals, with technology advancing so rapidly how could these events predict the future? Why do these things seem to make sense in the real world? How could it cause paranoia for the future of technology?

  • I think it might be productive to zone in on a few select episodes and show how they each deal with paranoia. Part of Black Mirror is having disconnected stories, which makes analysing it as a whole difficult. – LondonFog 6 hours ago
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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 week ago
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  • Love the topic! I enjoy reading memoir, but I do think that's all that comes to mind when most people hear "creative nonfiction." I haven't found a non-memoir CNF work I enjoy in awhile. I hope to see a lot of non-memoir works mentioned in the post. – Stephanie M. 4 days ago
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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 3 months ago
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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 1 week ago
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  • 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 7 days ago
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  • It might also be interesting to explore if such celebrities feel a responsibility to act a particular way once they have a large audience who assume they can predict their actions and if this leads to restricting, rather than empowering, a vloggers future explorations of their own craft. This may be particularly relevant here as their roles are often be portrayed as "This is the real me," rather than "I am pretending to be this character." – trevajc 3 days ago
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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 3 months ago
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • Just going to leave this right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG_P_1JnfXI – ProtoCanon 1 week ago
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  • 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 1 week ago
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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 1 week ago
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  • Interesting point...I would have never thought to connect those dots. – MikeySheff 1 week ago
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  • On the other hand, the follically challenged - Walt, Gus, Hank - all died, while the hirsute Jesse and Saul made the cut. – Tigey 4 days ago
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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 4 months ago
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  • 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 4 months ago
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  • 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 4 months ago
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  • 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 4 months ago
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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. 1 week ago
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  • Interesting topic. You might also consider how/why Netflix television shows have become more popular than Netflix movies. Each year, the number of movies on Netflix decreases because less and less people are watching them. Clearly, there is a market for TV shows and perhaps their high demand has something to do with these reboots. – JadeMV 2 days ago
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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 1 week ago
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  • 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 1 week ago
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  • I recommend Book Love for your topic by Penny Kittle. Kittle elaborates on the importance of reading. A good reader creates a great writer. Outside of the STEM majors, writing is an essential skill needed to complete college. – authoressalicia 5 days ago
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Why Minions Went Viral

I’ve been asking myself for a long time what made minions from the movie series Despicable Me get so out of hand in merchandise and web presence. With the third movie soon coming out this topic could get a lot of attention. People tend to be in one of two categories: they love minions or they hate them. But, why Minions? There are plenty of slapstick sidekicks in cartoons but none have blown up to quite such proportions. There’s a lot of them, they aren’t identified as individuals, and they don’t talk, but until they became mass-produced cringe inspiring merchandise, they contributed a heartfelt dynamic to the family image in Despicable Me and that’s now been forgotten. Did they catch fame so quickly because of their central role in the movie or was it just their slapstick humor that caught people’s attention… or was it something more subtle? From memes to merchandise Minions are presented as androgynous. Is this what made them so marketable? A non-gender creature appealing to anyone? In a world with so much gender controversy, maybe Minions were the solution to a time full of uncertainty and a need for PC? Study the marketing strategies presented for Minions, and perhaps on a anthropological level, explain their success.

  • I think either Ralph Sepe or IHE (Youtubers) may have covered this in their Minions videos. It's partially based on the simplicity of the character design that emphasizes 'cuteness,' and the nonsense-speak achieves a similar result (I know they speak Spanish occasionally, but they also say fruits or whatever; it's not a language). Gender....really has nothing to do with it. Lightning McQueen was pretty marketable, as was Frozen's Olaf, and both were clearly male. And I doubt the Minion-loving crowd cares about anything being PC or not. [They have traditionally-male names/mannerisms anyways, I don't know how you drew the androgynous conclusion?] I'd definitely like to hear the gender-argument you're proposing, but I don't think it's built on solid ground so far.But like, definitely prove me wrong because I love analyzing kids' movies (Sorry if that sounded aggressive; if so, it was unintentional). – m-cubed 1 week ago
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  • I agree with m-cubed that I don't feel like their lack of stated gender really did much. I also agree with the points the aforementioned Youtubers made about simplicity both in design and in their nonsense speak. I think "mass-produced cringe inspiring merchandise" might be a little too heavy-handed since it veers on personal opinion (even if I agree). I think looking at why they inspire so much hatred in particular might also be interesting. If I had to wager I believe it's a counter-culture attitude. When something is so all consuming in products, media, and, in the minion's case, social media it generates an over-exposure annoyance. This "annoyance" I think was made worse due to the fact that their content is rather culturally base. It's nonsense speak and slapstick, which are pretty low on the cultural totem pole and thus easy to hate if you are outside the common denominator. By distancing themselves from this cultural phenomenon, it was seen as a statement of having higher standards and taste above the lowest level of the "cultural totem pole". – LondonFog 5 days ago
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  • Yes, you are both really informed on this (as I'm not, I didn't look into it ahead of time and just threw this up because of the trailer). Anyone who takes this article shouldn't get caught on the androgynous thing, it really was just a call for an article going into why they were so mass-marketed and why the reactions to them were so strong in either direction. Taking already analysis into synopsis and adding to them would make a fine easy piece of writing to get views for the upcoming film. – Slaidey 5 days ago
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  • I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that Kevin is a male minion. – Tigey 4 days ago
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What creating an 'Anthology' series really means for Star Wars

With the success of Rogue One and the several other stand alone films that Disney has planned to release with the famous brand, explain how this decision changes the way that we look at Star Wars’ film legacy. Does it change? If so how? What does this mean for die hard fans of the series?

  • I think an important element of this discussion would be defining what makes a Star Wars film as opposed to other space stories. – C8lin 2 weeks ago
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  • It's also important to note that Star Wars has so much lore. Be that through the novels, comics etc. the franchise itself already has a huge knowledge base and anthology-like feel. This knowledge just isn't something the general public makes themselves aware of – Nicole Sojkowski 2 weeks ago
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Twitter and Election 2016

Today, many U.S. politicians are extending their public reach through Twitter accounts, and many other public figures are using Twitter as a platform to voice their opinions about those politicians. I think it would be interesting to explore the extent to which these Twitter presences affect broader public opinions of politicians. This topic could be applied to any current political figure or situation, but I think it could be particularly interesting to focus on Election 2016, given the consistent media attention devoted to tweets both by and about Trump, Clinton, and the other candidates throughout the process.

  • I think this would be interesting to talk about! Because of social media, certain candidates have become memes, and their reputations have gone up/down. One example is Tim Kaine; many tweets have described as a "soccer dad" which made him seem more affable. – seouljustice 3 months ago
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  • Although, this day and age are technologically advanced, the thought of candidates trying to extend their reach through twitter is very strange. This would be an article I would like to read about. – OrangeCitris 3 months ago
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  • Great topic. I'd love to see a chart showing numbers and trends of tweets reacting to some of the major bombshells, such as news of Hillary receiving debate questions prior to facing Sanders and Trump.Also, we may have seen another major shift in U.S. political strategy: Obama, a relative unknown, was elected president in 2008 and 2012. In 2016, Trump - a businessman with no public service track record - won the U.S. presidential election. In 2020, Waldo (of "Where's Waldo" fame) might be facing The Invisible Man for the Dem nod.No history it seems is better than bad history, ala the history of the Clintons as perceived by many U.S. citizens. The apparent new mantra: don't tweet 'til elected, don't tweet 'til elected. – Tigey 1 week ago
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  • Great topic. It is doable to collect all tweets talking about Trump and Hilary using Twitter stream API during a time. To gain a basic feeling of these comments, we can use machine learning to do sentiment analysis, and see whether people think them positively or negatively. – cicirao 22 hours ago
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  • Don't forget Turkey's Erdagon deftly handling his country's uprising with Twitter. It is a powerful tool that allows politicians to bypass mainstream media. It seems as if whoever rules on Twitter wins. – Munjeera 21 hours ago
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How does Binge Watching change the way we watch or engage with "television"

With the popularity of online streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon, who sometimes release an entire season worth of content at a time, how does this difference in presentation change how we watch and engage with entertainment. Just a few years ago, tv viewers had to tune in week after week to view the last hit t.v. show, but now, many famous and successful shows are released on Netflix at a season by season basis. For example, House of Cards, Marvel Shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage), and Master of None all dropped with their entire season available for viewing from day one of their release. What is the effect on our thoughts and perceptions of a show when we can sit down and view the whole thing in one sitting rather than having to wait week by week for the next episode. What is lost and what is gained in this shift?

  • Very interesting topic. Another facet of it that may be worth exploring in relation to this is how the binge-format is changing, not only how we watch, but also how content is created and structured. For example, something that I noticed while binging BoJack Horseman is that most of the episodes (especially in the later seasons) end very abruptly without a punchy joke or poignant conclusion to facilitate the landing. This would be incredibly frustrating if you then had to wait a week for the following episode to pick up where they left off, but because the show is conducive to binging by design, it works quite well. That's just one example that comes to mind, but I'm sure there are plenty of other ways in which this new form has influenced the content to be found if you take a closer look at it with this in mind. – ProtoCanon 3 months ago
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  • Queer film critic B Ruby Rich writes in her book "New Queer Cinema" that television and film used to be community activities. Everyone would gather around a TV and watch it as a family or as a community, but now, it's all personalized and individualized. While people still watch TV and movies together, services like Netflix and Amazon make it much easier to watch television by yourself and in copious quantities. – X 3 months ago
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  • Definitely an interesting topic... any polls out there to show what people prefer? Do young people who have grown up with netflix see it as normal? Does the availability make people watch more? What kinds of people prefer binging or prefer waiting? – Sboother 3 months ago
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  • This is a particularly alluring topic to explore, especially from a psychological point of view. The concept of binge watching shows has become extremely relevant with the advent of Netlifx and especially, as you mentioned, their originals. Just because the whole season is out doesn't mean that viewers have to scrap their whole Saturday or stay home from work to watch it. The fact that binge watching has become a phenomenon has really highlighted the matter that consumers are showing less and less self control in yet another facet of life. – gabyelan 3 months ago
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  • Binge watching would also affect how tv writers create stories because there's no more waiting around. Before Netflix we would have to wait for the next episode to air & there was a suspense/feeling of anticipation, but that feeling has disappeared now b/c all of these shows are now available under our fingertips – seouljustice 2 weeks ago
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  • There's also the new water cooler elitism of those who can afford to pay for up-to-date programming spoiling shows for those who can't afford paid shows. Can someone sponsor me and solve this catastrophic first-world problem? – Tigey 1 week ago
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  • Film Crit Hulk, an insightful if somewhat informal writer, wrote a column about this: http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/10/12/luke-cage-netflix-and-the-death-of-episodic-tv I absolutely recommend that any potential writer on this topic read Hulk's thoughts before writing. – bookstudent4 3 days ago
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American Horror Story and Rape as a Method of Terror

In every season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, rape, miscarriage, and other forms of vaginal trauma are used to highlight the horrors felt by the show’s female characters. Consider how effective these tropes are, or if female horror can extend beyond fears of mutilation or motherhood.

  • I don't watch the show, so I can't give insight on the show specifically...But considering how 'sacred' the vagina is, or is suppose to be anyway, when it comes to the process of making life, you can see how any trauma to it can be deemed horrible...Obviously there are other ways to scare of horrify females, but I must assume that rape is still a fear in the back of the mind of most women...Is it fair to say that women fear being raped more than hacked up by a deranged clown? – MikeySheff 2 weeks ago
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  • I see what you are saying and I think Ryan Murphy uses this concept of rape as a method of terror to really feed off that fear. In terms of evolution, ever species perceives reproduction as a means of survival. This probably adds to our own subconscious fear. – emilyholter 2 weeks ago
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  • At the same time I think using rape as a form of trauma is a poor way to capture how female characters feel because there are so many nonviolent ways to explore trauma. At this moment it feels more as a overused shock point – seouljustice 2 weeks ago
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  • Personally, I think rape is an effective conduit of fear. It's an extremely personal violation and an attack on womanhood, just as raping a man or otherwise harming his genitals would be an attack on manhood. However, I also feel female characters in the media get shortchanged because rape is often portrayed as the worst torment they can face, and the only thing they have to worry about. This is especially true in historical pieces because like it or not, getting raped or pregnant outside wedlock in past eras would ruin your life.What I would like to see more of, is women facing fears and terrors other than rape. Just like a man, a woman can contract a deadly superbug. She can face the horrors of war, on or off the battlefield, and that doesn't have to include being raped. She can survive life in slavery or a concentration camp, and survival alone is enough to show she's traumatized but tough. She can lose a limb, have a beloved child ripped from her, face down opponents in high-stakes intellectual conflicts...the possibilities are endless. Too much dependence on rape and rape tropes limits writers and limits women. – Stephanie M. 6 days ago
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The Personae of Tim Heidecker

Comedian Tim Heidecker first became famous for his oddball sketch comedy television series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Since the show’s run ended in 2010, he has pursued a number of creative projects in a range of media, including stand-up comedy, two rock albums with the duo Heidecker and Wood, and the web/television series On Cinema and Decker, as well as several podcast appearances and a sustained social media presence.

In many of these projects, Tim plays a version of himself as the consummate Hollywood boor: ill-tempered, egotistical, pretentious, vulgar, and desperately out of touch.

What does this character represent, and why does he have such appeal? Is he in fact one consistent character? How does the Heidecker persona change from one context to the next? What factors remain consistent, and how has the persona evolved over time?

Consider, also, the historical precedents for such a figure, such as Andy Kauffman’s toying with the media and Stephen Colbert’s persona on The Colbert Report, even characters like Barry Humphries’ Dame Edna.

  • "Ill-tempered..." Sounds like Don Rickles' racist jokes about Obama. I'd love to see Jiminy Glick interview this fluid character. – Tigey 5 months ago
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