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Latest Articles

Latest Topics


Does Netflix's The Crown Portray the British Monarchy Positively or Negatively?

Given that there are some creative licenses taken in the dramatization, does the humanization of the current British monarch make her more likable, respectable, relatable? Or less? Does the dramatization work in favor of public perception of the British monarchy or not?


    Critique the American Election Media Coverage as if it were a TV Show

    Critique the Presidential Debates like an episode of House of Cards. Additional areas to explore: plot, writing, review of characters, suggested improvements to next seasons…

    • This is almost too close to home! I've heard that in fiction, only trouble is interesting, so if you approach the election like it's a TV show, won't that make you root for disaster? (And is one of the main candidates already the star of a TV show...?) I think you could make the case that "winning" the TV show of the election by being the most entertaining is essentially the opposite strategy for winning the actual election. – tmatteson 8 years ago
    • This is a wonderful suggestion! I have little to add beside that it could be worthwhile to critique the 'cinematographic' aspects of the show. How has it been staged? How have camera angles been used to emphasise certain aspects of the show? How have ads been parallels of tv show trailers? I really like this. – IsidoreIsou 8 years ago
    • This sounds like it could be incredibly entertaining. I'd love to see plot suggestions. Writer could also mention the candidates' followers as opposing sides of fandom. There are a ton of ways they could take this and I love it. – Emily Schiemann 8 years ago
    • Having done some 250-300 appearances as a political analyst on local TV stations (but addressing primarily Presidential and Congressional elections), I have come to approach the issue of TV media coverage as, perhaps, much like old computers where there was no hard drive (Tandy TRS-80), so programs had to be reloaded every time the computer was turned back on. It is not really possible to build upon foundation information and then develop more complicated ways of looking at political or public policy issues. To talk about a significant Supreme Court case (McCulloch v Maryland from 1819) and explain the importance of one word (expressly) that existed in the Articles of Confederation but was left out of the US Constitution and how the Opinion written by then Chief Justice John Marshall matters to Constitutional interpretation in the present, cannot be easily addressed on TV news. As a result, simplicity dominates where it is believed by, perhaps, too many viewers that there is some truth to the notion that Conservatives are strictly adhering to the Constitution, while Liberals are broadly interpreting it. In real terms, both sides are practicing Constitutional interpretation and there are some ways to understanding a conservative approach (or approaches) to Constitutional interpretation versus more liberal ones. TV news by not bringing this complexity to the small screen fosters, unfortunately, a reality TV show approach to liberal versus conservative, which ends up not helping a broad based public understand complex policy issues. Shows like PBS's Frontline or listening to a lengthy dialogue on CSPAN, can show a contrast with the more popular cable TV news shows, but TV news shows need to generate a profit so hope for improvement (enlightenment?) is debatable. – Joseph Cernik 6 years ago

    What does anime tell us about how Japan views their involvement in WWII?

    Popular animes Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) and Full Metal Alchemist take place in settings reminiscent of WWII-era Germany, with characters sporting German names and wearing German-inspired costume. From a Western perspective, what can we tell about how the Japanese view their Axis counterparts (or themselves) in regards to the WWII-era through the stories told in these animes?

    • If you can't, you can't. – Tigey 8 years ago
    • The German influence in Japanese anime has less to do with WWII cooperation than it would seem. Germany and Japan fought the majority of their battles independently, and there were threads of mistrust between the two nations underneath the public declarations of support. Neither was WWII a great time to spread culture off the battlefield. Rather, a lot of the German influence seems to come from before the Second World War when Japan underwent several revolutionary changes in its government, public systems, and technologies. Many of the changes were influenced by German engineers, scientists, and public servants, some changes which remain to this day. Even then, I don't believe that specific cultural exchange is what's influencing anime. Aside from the aforementioned series, there isn't a serious investment in Germanic culture. There isn't enough significant evidence to concretely say that any other anime has strong ties to Germany for culture-specific reasons. German names just mesh well with the Japanese phonetic system to create exotic sounds. – Austin 8 years ago

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    Latest Comments


    Great arguments presented. As much as the Beats were documenting life around them and influencing it in turn in their era, today’s alternative lifestyle is still influenced by their work and observations.

    I completely agree with your thesis: “In the 21st Century, however, a reader does not need to know an iota about the sociological influences of the Beats to engage with their literature. Readers merely need to feel alienated and questioning, cynical yet romantic, searching but grounded.”

    Does The Beat Generation Still Matter?

    Great arguments and structure for your article! I think you brought some great perspectives and analysis that can be applicable across many more films than just the ones you chose here, but the ones you chose really made your point well!

    Sex in Cinema: Poetry vs. Pornography (Explicit Content)

    She was great at Mad Decent and I think the globalization of EDM (on the Western side) is opening up more opportunities for international stars from all nations!

    CL's Attempt at a Western Audience: Ambition or Folly?

    This is an interesting application of Zen philosophy to the problem of writing! Are there any exercises or practical examples of application you can share?

    Using Zen Philosophy to Improve Creativity and Overcome Writer’s Block

    Great article! I think something interesting to further speculate on is how these games simulate political and cultural consequences for space travel and colonization, both on the human-human level and the human-alien level.

    I felt like ME had a great representation of possible alien encounters/politics, and it felt great to be the representative of the human race as the first human SPECTRE.

    Space-based Games and American Space Policy

    I loved the Mass Effect series because of their blend of Action-Adventure. I spent as much time battling aliens as I did working on my alliances in the series. The story lines got so complex I wondered if my computer was going to explode from all the churning and calculating of different possible timelines as I progressed through the story.

    I think much of the investment in the game comes directly from being able to influence fate, as the gamer must live with their choices in the virtual world. The game is a fantastic illustration of choice; there are a limited number of available variables to affect (i.e. plot points, character relationships, morality dilemmas), but a seemingly unlimited number of plot experiences due to the different combinations of choices.

    Emotionally Investing in Games and Their Characters

    One of my favorite elements of Bojack Horseman is the show’s use of animal characters as subtle metaphors… or not. Sometimes a character is a lemur for no other reason than that they are a lemur. But sometimes a character as a manatee is a subtle jab at the character being too fat, or in the case of Mr. Peanut Butter, his optimism is symbolized in his being a dog.

    Bojack Horseman: Balancing Humor and Dark Themes

    This was a great read! On the Road is one of my favorite books.

    One thing I would have liked to have seen addressed is how and why the Beats became so successful as a movement and how the counterculture movement shifted from “Beatniks” to “hippies.” I would also be interested in the mechanisms of spreading their counterculture movement as a small group of artists and the role of publishers and other administrative entities in spreading the word.

    A “Beat” Generation: Influence and Knowledge from the Masters