High school English teacher interested in the interaction between culture and media.

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    True Crime and the American Fascination with Murder

    True crime is a quintessentially American genre of television, literature, and more recently, podcasts. The fascination with the dark, disturbing, grotesque, and downright deranged have been entrenched in American media since Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood captivated audiences in the 1960s. While true crime has its benefits: revisiting cold cases and even identifying murderers, rapists, and other such criminals, where is the line between seeking justice and becoming a voyeur in a victim’s tragedy? Can there be an ethical consumption of true crime when it has been transformed into casual brunch conversation and a quirky pastime? What does the growing popularity of murder podcasts (notably mainly hosted by 30-something white women) say about American culture?

    • What are some examples of those podcasts hosted by middle aged white women? – T. Palomino 2 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    You hit the nail on the head calling The Flash campy–especially when compared to the rest of the Marvel universe. Though, perhaps some of the reason for its surprising success stems from our current cultural moment: we’ve been inundated with news of the downfall of everything from democracy to our planet, so it’s nice to escape a while into something more lighthearted. Whereas other shows in the Marvel universe (from the Netflix canon to Arrow) may be too heavy to allow for the escape we seek, The Flash is just fantastical enough; the plot is too ludicrous (as mentioned in the article) and the graphics are too unrealistic, even for a fantasy show.

    Even if the show may try to be allegorical or allude to current events like the other shows in the Arrowverse, it doesn’t do so well enough to be successful and so we can keep going on seeing Zoom as just an evil speedster that needs to be defeated. The world of The Flash stays mostly in the realm of good vs. evil, where there is no gray area, and perhaps, in some way we long for the simplicity of that world.

    "The Flash" as the Modern Equivalent of 1960's "Batman"

    *that gears themselves

    Why We Should Educate Our Children with Chaplin instead of Disney

    As someone who has suffered from the negative effects of how Disney portrays young women–which I believe skews young girls’ ideas of self-worth–I truly appreciated this article. Although I agree with other commenters that it doesn’t stop at Disney, I can’t think of a more influential animation studio that fears themselves towards young girls. I found it quite interesting to think of the negative affect the prince/princess portrayal has on young boys.

    I would like to perhaps complicate the idea of Mulan’s return to a more “traditional” role. Although the film is riddled with racial stereotypes and is very racial insensitive, I can’t help but see Mulan as having some agency and a complex figure of empowerment. I can see her feeling forced back into the domestic realm, but it is also completely possible that she chose to return to her previous home life, just as she chose to embark on that adventure in the first place. I think it is important to note that a woman choosing to live a domestic life is not oppressive and can be just as empowering as a woman who chooses to join the imperial counsel. And of course this all goes into how you read the film, so perhaps it’s up to an informed adult to help a child decipher Mulan’s (and the rest of the Disney characters, although some of them are blatantly misogynistic and I would argue more detrimental for children than magical) choices in a positive way.

    Why We Should Educate Our Children with Chaplin instead of Disney

    Although many consider slavery to be an issue of the past in the country, the effectives of this history are still very prevalent and the reemergence of the slave narrative is an opportunity for us to more critically examine the importance of authentic authorial voice in the more general context of oppressed groups. This article does a wonderful job of highlighting how important it was for people like Douglass and Jacobs, among others, to retell the stories of their enslavement and escape–powerful pieces that challenge the dominant ideology and even evoke change. Reading this article brought to mind for me how difficult it still is for oppressed groups to have their voices heard today; how instead of turning to people of color to tell their own stories, we still rely on white men, such as Quentin Tarantino. Perhaps in our “post-racial” culture we haven’t come that far, as the slave narrative aptly reminds us.

    Discussing the Importance of the American Slave Narrative