Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Die Antwoord's Destruction of Western Pop Music
The video for Die Antwoord’s "Fatty Boom Boom" features a depiction of Lady Gaga adorning her infamous meat outfit while she’s seated in a car that’s cruising through a de-militarized zone in South Africa. There is a definitive theme that points a middle finger toward supposedly irreverent artists in the U.S. music scene that sell what they claim is originality as trending spots on social media versus imprinting a subversive mark on modern art.
The Redundant Dream of Ridley Scott's Alien Prequels
Ridley Scott has reanimated the deceased Alien series with the announcement that he is starting production on the prequels to the 1979 classic. But he is completely ditching the original concept of Prometheus (2012). Instead, he has opted to tell the story of yet another ship with yet another crew encountering yet another Xenomorph called Alien: Covenant. At the end of Prometheus, Rapace (Shaw) and Fassbender (David) depart LV-223 aboard a hijacked ship with the promise of real mystery and possibility in a future installment. However, the presence of a giant face hugger and subsequent baby alien bursting from the chest of the Engineer arguably doomed any hope that Scott would once again inspire the dark sci fi noir.
Superman is Dead and Hollywood Killed Him.
Over the last century the man of steel has soared through the American collective consciousness. Since his first appearance in Action Comics, Superman symbolized freedom, justice, faith, perseverance and triumph over evil. But in 1978 the hero’s story received a script treatment and director Richard Donner turned it into a Hollywood blockbuster. However, subsequent sequels suggested that it was a property with diminishing box office returns. Though television shows such as "Smallville" and "Lois Clark" had many successful seasons, the efforts to bring Superman back to the big screen in a meaningful way have failed horribly. The Kevin Smith and Tim Burton proposal disaster, the hugely unpopular Superman Returns and now the Zack Snyder version(s), may have mortally wounded the son of Jor-El. Is this a nuanced observation? No. However, what is significant is that people have stopped caring about Superman. Why does this matter? Children won’t be adorning red capes to jump off their beds and try to save the world. Thus not as many people will think twice before saying something hurtful. Others might not hold a door for the next guy or extend that hand to a struggling neighbor. It is not just about another bomb at the multiplex, it’s really society’s rejection of a loving steward of the human race that protected us from dark forces and brought us a joyful uplift to our spirit. And this will prove deadlier than all the kryptonite in the galaxy.
MRW I See OC and TL;DR:Landing on Imgur's Front Page
My Reaction When (MRW), Original Content (OC) and Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR) are just a few acronyms and abbreviations that "Imgurians" use to categorize their gallery submissions. The Reddit inspired site has allowed users with profiles the ability to create unique GIFs and MEMEs to share with a community of cynical counterparts and cohorts. The quest for upvotes, "fake internet points" and notoriety motivate people to compete against one another for the most authentic posts. Imgur’s meme template enriches participatory media while simultaneously developing a homogenous form of originality. Thus does the platform’s production of cookie cutter memes contribute to this trend?
The "It's Complicated" Relationship of Deadpool and Spiderman
There are always characters stories intersecting within the Marvel universe in print and on screen. This volatile dynamic is created when two or more superhero egos are positioned against one another. The result might be a tension that forms a bond or such irrevocable differences stage a violent confrontation. Occasionally, the latter changes when each character encounters a situation where the enemy of my enemy is my friend applies and they invariably join forces. The relationship between Deadpool and Spiderman is one example when a dialectal bond forms but not necessarily for the traditional reasons of completing a shared objective. Although this juxtaposition of good vs. evil or forming unlikely alliances is a commonplace plot convention, what makes the merger of Deadpool and Spiderman narrative so compelling?
Queen of the Fanboys: Comicbookgirl19's Reign as Pop Critic Champ
YouTube celebrities have worked hard to gain followers, fans and lurkers by creating original programming. Talk shows that cover uncensored topics like politics, pop culture or in the case of Comicbookgirl19, comics, have become quite popular in recent years. This recipe has wet the palate of millions of subscribers. However, maintaining that level of notoriety is challenging. Due to the fact that the novelty of their shtick eventually wears off, and the groundswell of crowdsourcing funds plateau, keeping viewers requires increasing the lure of merchandising, re-orienting the show’s focus or set designs, which may have diluted the purity of Comicbookgirl19’s appeal.