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September 11 in the Arts

September 11, 2001 changed the world as we know it. Mere weeks after the terrorist attack that destroyed the Twin Towers, artists from all mediums responded to the tragedy with forms of self-expression that gave themselves and their consumers safe, multifaceted outlets to express their complex emotions. September 11 is now the subject of everything from hard-hitting documentaries and touching memoirs to gentle, yet serious episodes of kids’ shows and perhaps controversial country-western songs.

Analyze and discuss some of your favorite, or least favorite, tributes to September 11 within the arts. What makes these tributes powerful, or conversely, disturbing or controversial? Which pieces do the best job of honoring the 9/11 survivors and victims? Do we need more 9/11 pieces, and if so, what should their focus and goals be? Can new pieces be tied into more current tragedies, historical ones, or a mix of the two?

  • Jonathan Safran Foer's "Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close" and Art Spiegelman's "In the Shadow of No Towers" are both deeply profound works revolving around 9/11. Both provide insight into the aftermath of 9/11, particularly how it affected families of the victims and the mindset of Americans. Any article on this topic would be incomplete without mentioning these books. – Zack Rynhold 1 month ago
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The value of friendship

There is a lot of amazing TV out there to watch at the moment, however, a lot of it is heavy, deep, meaningful and dramatic. There is nothing wrong with this as it explores the experiences of humanity in a meaningful way. But there needs to be a balance of good, low-impact, moral, pleasing shows that are also not just about romance. Whatever happened to the value of friendship in TV?

An Australian comedy-drama Rosehaven is a show with a simple premise. A son returns to the small town he grew up in, in Tasmania to help run his mother’s real estate business. His best friend who was going off to her honeymoon is left by her husband. She decides to go join her bestie in Tasmania, and just stays. Although the show includes sub-plots on romance, the dramas of small town, emotional growth, it is primarily about friendship and what that means. [SPOILER] The show ends with a faux wedding with the town wanting them to end up together, but they don’t – they are just good friends.
Yes, boys and girls can just be good friends without everyone needing to be pared off within the friendship group (looking at Friends here).

Friendship is a huge part of everyone’s experiences. Too many shows use this framing to drive drama, especially in young adult shows such as Gossip Girl or The OC. When in fact for most people it is the friendships that endure not always the relationships and lovers.
This topic is proposing a dive into all the shows that should be celebrated for their focus on the value of friendship above all else. In a period in time when we are living a life full of angst, trauma and drama, perhaps a greater focus on shows that perpetuate positive experiences of real life values is needed. What do you think?

  • I think an examination of platonic heterosexual friendship is worth examining, especially with the popular consciousness being, "you have to hook up" it would be good to shine a light on shows and other media that reject the premise and elevate the idea of just being good friends. – SunnyAgo 1 month ago
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  • It is noteworthy that starting a paragraph with a discussion about friendship, in general, is appealing. Friendship: What is it? What exactly qualifies as friendship and what doesn't? Does friendship come in a variety of forms? There are three different types of friendships, for instance, according to Aristotle: friendships that are useful, pleasant, and virtuous. According to Aristotle, true friendship is the third type of relationship. What then are the qualities of such a friendship? The author may investigate the potential lines of male and female relationships to determine whether they are compatible with such traits. And most likely, yeah! Another thing to think about is to find an example of a show that has the opposite result from the one shown here. In other words, a scenario in which a man and a woman start off as friends before falling in love. By doing so, the author is able to compare the two examples and determine the types of friendship that existed in each case, as well as how one example of a friendship evolved into a different form of relationship as time went on, but not the other. – Samer Darwich 1 month ago
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  • This is more in response to sunny's note. This also could quickly turn into a conversation about love. As in Bleach Zangestu before finally teaching Ichigo the final Gestugaitensho, Zangestu states he loves Ichigo. Now this is clearly not a sexual love and more of a mentor to student relationship. And he does not want to see Ichigo hurt, which over the course of the series Ichigo has done many things to protect his friends and Karukara town. And this is ultimately is what is causing Ichigo so much stress, which finally leads to Zangestu telling him he does not care about any of things Ichigo values. He only cares about Ichigo, which puts him in a difficult position as he helps Ichigo achieve his goals because only wants to see Ichigo happy, but helping him is also leading him to suffer more. I believe we often take platonic displays of affection and interpret it as romantic. This isn't even just limited to Bleach (Naruto and Sasuke, Batman and Robin, House and Wilson, Dominic Toretto and Brian O'Conner are all character who have a platonic relationship that is often subject to the idea they're secretly gay for one another.) Which I somewhat understandable as in the past before homosexuality was accepted, many gay men would get married to women only to dissuade rumors that their gay. These women were often called these men's "beard". This is part of the reason all relationship whether it is between a man and woman, woman and woman, or man and man is subject to the idea that character a romantically attracted to one another, when it is mostly just a platonic relationship, and individuals simply care about each other deeply. – Blackcat130 1 month ago
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BreadTube and The Politics of Media Consumption

Youtube and Twitch have quite notable political niches respectively, but with regards to Leftist Thought, there was/is a loose subgroup of notable creators, Contrapoints, Philosophy Tube, Big Joel, Hasanabi, amongst others who all in someway were affiliated with the term, "Breadtube", taken from "The Conquest of Bread" by Kropotkin.

As universal marker there was a general tone of rebuttal to right-wing political talking points and media but as time has gone on and the subgroup more tenuous it can be asked what is/was "Breadtube" and why did/does it exist?

There has been a marked pushback against many of the creators for a variety of reasons such as their seemingly lacking political advocacy and poor racial representation.

It could argued that there was never a "Breadtube" and that fans of the creators were reading too much into various creators friendships.

There is also room for discussion of the idea of using vaguely Anti-Capitalist talking point a brand without delving into what the concepts actual mean.

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    The Marxist reading of Jaws

    The climax of Jaws focuses on the endeavor of three men to save the town. Each comes from a different economic background: Hooper (wealthy), Brody (middle class), and Quint (working class). Quint’s ultimate demise and the use of his gun to destroy the shark could certainly be read as the working class man sacrificing himself for the security of the upper classes. I am curious if someone better versed in Marxism could dig deeper into Jaws as Marxist tale, or more generally as a tale of class and consumerism.

    • Fidel Castro used to argue that “Jaws” was a Marxist tale. Slavoj Žižek summarized this in his documentary “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology,” where he also gives his own reading of the story. As a matter of fact, “Jaws” has been interpreted in so many ways, such as being about patriarchy, immigration or fascism. This is a nice topic that could become a great article, as long as it acknowledges all the discussions and interpretations that the Spielberg’s film provoked in the last forty years (not an easy task), offering a new and original angle of analysis. – T. Palomino 2 months ago
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    • A Marxist reading of Jaws could definitely work though it sounds a bit abstracted. If you read Jaws, the shark as the fascistic "Other" it works. Because the unity of the in-group classes they're able to destroy the "Other" but importantly the working class is destroyed in the process. – SunnyAgo 1 month ago
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    YouTube Kids: Harmless or Dangerous?

    In past decades, children got their television "diet" from specific shows on specific channels, or program blocks on one or two channels tailored for them. Today, our children have an endless list of shows to choose from thanks to streaming services and 24-7 content.

    One example of such content is YouTube Kids, a network of channels that are given new content daily, sometimes several times daily. Some of this content is positive, but just as much if not more is allegedly detrimental to kids. Writer and artist James Bridle, for instance, gave a TED Talk for YouTube that, while three years old, has 4.8M views. His TED Talk posits that YouTube kids is actually dangerous to kids’ mental health and development.

    Examine this TED Talk as well as other sources, such as the Momo controversy from the late 2010s, or certain shows and videos on YTK. What content is the most detrimental, and why? Is there anything parents, guardians, and tech experts could do to make content more educational and child-friendly? Perhaps most importantly, what exactly is the draw of YTK, and why do so many adults welcome its content, questionable or not? Discuss.

    • You should look into a youtube channel called "How to cook that" by Ann Reardon. She does debunking videos (normally 5-minute craft kind of videos) and discusses the implications of having these dangerous videos widely accessible to children. She also discusses the legalities of these videos being on youtube in the case that someone is injured following a video. – scampbell 10 months ago
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    • I think youtube isn't a very informative platform for today's generation – Olivergoodwin 1 month ago
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    Book Influencers and Their Impact on the Publishing Industry

    The concept of social media having an impact on various marketing strategies is nothing new. However, one industry that has been increasingly affected by social media is the publishing industry due to "Booktube" and "Booktok". In recent years, there has been a rise in how these influencers are starting to shape the books that people are reading. There are now tables displaying the latest trending titles in local and big box bookstores, regardless of when they were published. There are stories of writers who gained enough of a following to self-publish their highly anticipated and praised books. How does this impact the publishing industry? What does the future of the publishing company look like? How will authors be influenced by their audience as the distance between writer and reader shrinks with the aid of social media?

    • Interesting topic, but there was an article published about this exact topic about 2 weeks ago on this site. – CulturallyOpinionated 4 months ago
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    • The impact of "Booktube" and "BookTok" will be revolutionary in the new procedures and willingness to work with new writers in different genres rather than a specific one. The publishing industry's future will be influenced by the readers' choices, popular genres, and tropes that are gaining the most traction. The future of publishing companies depends on what they are willing to accept without backlash from the intended audience or cult favorites. The question of how authors will be influenced also depends on the independent person and what they value. Do they value feedback from their audience? Do they want to see what their next book should be about? – byrdsy 2 weeks ago
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    The Appeal of Wednesday Addams

    The original Addams Family series graced our televisions in the 1960s. The show was already an adaptation of Charles Addams’ successful comic strip, but has since spawned a series remake, a cartoon, two live-action movies, one animated movie, and a musical.

    Netflix is now set to stream yet another addition to the Addams canon. However, this one is a bit different, in that it focuses mainly on daughter Wednesday. This makes sense, as Wednesday seems to be one of the family’s more popular members. But, why is she? Does this have to do with Christina Ricci’s treatment of her in the live-action films? Is it her personality, or a way she stands out in her already unusual family? Explore these or other facets of Wednesday and her popularity. You might also consider comparing/contrasting Wednesday with similar unconventional female characters, to see whether they have or haven’t achieved Wednesday’s popularity.

    • Firstly, I have loved the Addams Family since I was a child. However, as I view Wednesday Addams as an adult, I find that she is most realistic and, remarkably, the most real to herself. Similar characters comparable to Wednesday could be Janice Ian from the movie, Mean Girls. Although she is an outcast to the rest of society, she expresses herself in the most authentic way possible. Characters like Wednesday create an appeal for viewers who aspire to be as shamelessly authentic in the real world. – KatJSevillaa 1 month ago
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    Film, Law, and False Depictions

    The 2008 film, American Violet highlights some wicked practices of the criminal justice system when it comes to plea bargaining. Using this film as well as the real story that took place in Hearne, TX (as opposed to Melody, TX as portrayed in the film), what racial and social realities do we find in such movies? Why do films portray false evidence in instances where they do not necessarily have to? (For example, the film depicts only 2 ACLU lawyers rather than even remotely mention that it was a team working on the case). Finally, does the film provide an accurate depiction of America’s plea bargaining system or is it an exaggeration?

    • Definitely a topic worth looking into with the various lenses of race, class, and gender. – SunnyAgo 1 month ago
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    Modern Superheroes as Our Myths and Legends for Future Scholars to Consider

    Scholars look back on the myths and mythological figures of ancient societies to understand the cultural, sociological, psychological, and anthropological aspects of those societies. Those myths and legends indicate the issues, concerns, and priorities of the day, as well as perhaps the character and values of the people who perpetuated them. Will the comic books and superhero films of our day serve the same purpose for scholars of the future? If so, what conclusions might they draw about us? To what extent will those conclusions accurately reflect who we really are?

    • Hey. Thank you for the topic suggestion. I want to make one thing clear. Before discussing anything else, it's crucial to address the question of whether or not we can properly grasp ancient societies without imposing our own values, viewpoints, and way of life on them. The same principle applies when we consider how others could view us in the future: Are we truly capable of thinking via their lenses? How specifically? Or is it simply pure speculation? When this question has been addressed and it appears feasible or at least practical to carry out such an exercise, it is recommended to make a more general statement about heroes and their relationship to the situation of people in cultures throughout history: do these heroes, putting aside all other factors, reflect the condition of individuals in such societies as we examine them? If not, should scholars reevaluate how much they rely on these characters to establish sociological, psychological, etc.-level claims? – Samer Darwich 2 months ago
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    • Comics and films are cultural products and expressions that will and should be read as such in a possible future, not as "myths." Myths are something different and they don't exactly work like it is suggested here. – T. Palomino 2 months ago
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    • Comics will definitely, even if inadvertently, be useful for future scholars to depict the times of our day. – Montayj79 2 months ago
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    • You might already be aware of the link, but some of these ideas remind me of Henry Jenkins's work about fandom. I just mention it in case you think it's worth looking into :) – Caylee 2 months ago
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    How Arcane Changed the Game

    Video game adaptations have been in a slow but steady trend. It’s produced under a variety of important factors such as storyline and fanbase that can make or break the adaptation. League of Legends’ Arcane, produced by Netflix, not only succeeds the expectations of longtime LoL and Runeterra fans but also captivates the interests of the non-gaming audience. Its release reignited both adaptations and animated media into what video game lore can achieve.

    Analyze the thematic aspects of Arcane that contributed to its engagement and how it relates to the lore of Runeterra, especially since LoL is not an action-adventure game. Take into consideration that Riot Games also has a history of well-made cinematics for promotion of game updates, events, etc.

    You can also explore the relevance (and perhaps, risk) of the fanbase in adapting Arcane. Riot Games is known for its heavy fanservice and focus on its community. Is Arcane a gift to the LoL fans? And of course, how has Arcane effectively introduced LoL to a new market? Has it affected the toxic reputation of the game, or has it enticed new players to join?

    • Castlevania is the other great video game adaption, but both Arcane and Castlevania debuted on Netflix. – Sean Gadus 7 months ago
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    Looking Back on the Crisis of Infinite Influence

    Reflecting on DC Comics’ Most Influential Event: Crisis on Infinite Earths! Let’s consider the impact it had on DCs’ multiverse of characters & how the comics industry changed going forward. Did it affect you profoundly?

    • It seems that you are trying to suspiciously rush the process of publishing in The Artifice by submitting comments, notes, a sloppy topic and even an article on the same day. – T. Palomino 3 months ago
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    • I actually had a few things ready to go from a project that was DOA. That's why there was so much that day. I don't ever write without contemplating first. – BVIS97 2 months ago
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    Othello (The Killer) versus Big Screen Killers

    How can a character, such as Shakespeare’s’ Othello, be compared to characters in film. For instance, what similarities (physical, psychological, etc) does Othello have to characters that kill on film, such as the characters from the 1995 film, The Usual Suspects.

    The focus here should be on what drives these people to kill. Explore economics, manipulation, and corruption. Obviously, these two works have easily identifiable differences, but the objective is to dig into the psychological to show how their different circumstances leads them down the same road. In other words, think of Othello as a character in The Usual Suspects (or vice versa, one of the characters from The Usual Suspects in Othello’s place).

    • I once listened to a podcast titled “New Evidence Calls into Question William Shakespeare’s Authorship of ‘The Usual Suspects’,” by The Onion. This topic reminds me a lot to that podcast, and how people can come up with crazy ideas disguised as serious matters. – T. Palomino 2 months ago
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    How does misogynoir affect casting choice?

    Leah Jeffries was recently cast as Annabeth in the upcoming Percy Jackson series on Disney . Rick Riordan, author of the book series it is based on, approves and endorses Jeffries as embodying the characteristics of Annabeth as he wrote her. Jeffries is a young Black actress and her casting was met with a lot of racist backlash.
    Similarly, a few years ago Halle Bailey (also a young Black woman) was cast as Ariel in the live action The Little Mermaid. Her casting was also met with racist backlash.
    Discuss the role misogynoir plays in casting choices and why it is important to cast Black women for characters that are not racially or ethnically specific.

    • Something also worth noting is some of the more levelheaded critics did not care about the race of the actors/actress. They questioned if these individuals being chosen for these roles was only because of their race. As many of these studios made a big deal about the race of the actor's, when many felt their ability to act should be the primary factor in them getting the role. Many accused Disney of Tokenism. I think that is a worthwhile angle to explore as well. We can also see something similar with the fans suggesting Micheal B Jordan play superman. While you naturally have those who hate the idea and make racist remarks online. You can also see some fans question why no one is suggesting Micheal B Jordan doesn't get cast as Icon, a black super hero who has yet to get a feature film or solo T.V series. – Blackcat130 5 months ago
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    • The thing that occurs to me about this is that there is a need to draw a distinction between people complaining about having Black actresses in particular roles, and people complaining about those who complain about having Black actresses in those roles. This is particularly important in the internet age because anything can receive attention it doesn't deserve as long as it can be packaged as "clickbait." If a tiny minority of less than 100 people is complaining about a Black actress in a given role, but then millions of people broadcast the views of this tiny minority in order to tear them down or make fun of them, then it will look like Black actresses get a lot more hatred than they actually do. – Debs 5 months ago
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    • Refer to examples throughout Hollywood’s history to bolster your argument. (Sorry I tried to update the topic but it posted before I could) – Anna Samson 5 months ago
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    Modernizing Old Stories

    In the new Death on the Nile (adapted from Agatha Christie’s book), they made a number of changes to ensure the work was better appreciated by a modern audience. This included changing certain motives and secrets for characters (having a former kleptomaniac instead have a secret lover, for example) and adding a romantic subplot for the main character.
    Regardless of whether one thinks these changes work or not, I wanted to open up a discussion on why we feel the need to modernize old stories (even bringing some into the modern day rather than keeping them set in the past), and if these efforts help our understanding of these stories.
    After all, movies tend to be made for a wide audience. There is a risk that many viewers won’t understand what certain decisions or plot elements imply, because they don’t have a knowledge of the time period it was originally created in. Changes are made to ‘translate’ the work for modern audiences. But on the other hand, it can easily go too far and attempts to modernize can remove beloved parts of the original work.

    • This could be an interesting larger discussion, for instance the modernisation of Shakespeare's works. – Sarai Mannolini-Winwood 5 months ago
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    • I think that one reason why certain stories lend themselves to modernization is that at the time they were written they would have seemed "modern" to begin with. A lot of the technologies and cultural references used by Agatha Christie would have been considered modern, even cutting-edge, at the time her books were written, and it's only nowadays that they seem old-fashioned or "period." This was also the reason why the BBC decided to set its "Sherlock" series in modern times. Sherlock Holmes would have been considered a "modern" detective at the time the novels were originally written, and so, paradoxically, the best way to honor its original vision is to tell a version of the story set in modern times. – Debs 5 months ago
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    • Updating language is always a good reason to 'modernize' a story. Without the ability to actually understand Shakespeare, for example, people might be mislead into thinking it's high-brow classical storytelling instead of a collection of dick jokes stuffed into a thriller jacket. – kgy121 5 months ago
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    • Nice topic, but it feels a little broad. Try narrowing it down. For instance, you could do a whole article on the language issue alone. – Stephanie M. 4 months ago
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    • It may be of great importance to end the article by drawing a line between the elements that are essential to protect an art piece's identity and the elements that can be changed in response to time, place, and culture without altering its identity. – Samer Darwich 4 months ago
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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 months ago
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    Khonshu and Ammit: From Egyptian Mythology to the MCU

    With the success of the Disney limited series Moon Knight, it has no doubt thrown Egyptian mythology into the spotlight. But despite all the amazing visual effects, and the dazzling scenery and action scenes, how accurate is the portrayal of Khonshu and Ammit? Does marvel stick close to Egyptian mythology, and portray the gods as accurately as possible, or have they adapted the mythologies to suit a certain audience? Just like the other myths and legends of the Ancient World, Egyptian mythology can be quite complicated, and even through the passage of time, the gods themselves can be adapted through mythology to suit new purposes. The MCU is no stranger to portraying gods, as we have seen Thor, Loki, and various other gods from the Norse mythologies. So how close is Marvel’s portrayal of the Egyptian gods, and how have they managed to stick to the ancient script?

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      The dog dies: use of animal death as an emotional pull in film

      A number of movies, tv shows, and other pieces of fiction use animal death for one main reason. Generally, it’s to show a particular character is evil, and to pull on the viewer’s heartstrings by showing the death of an innocent creature (most often, a dog).

      This technique is often very effective, and many viewers feel very emotional at the death of animals on screen, to the point that sites such as ‘Does the Dog Die’ exist simply to warn viewers who find animal death (among other things) to be too much. But due to being effective, some find it over-used, a bit of a cliche.

      So, why is it used so often? Is it just so effective that it’s worth the cries of unoriginality? Is it just such a simple way to portray a character’s cruelty? And why is it so effective, anyway? Why is the death of an animal more effective than that of say, a child?

      • This topic is so refreshing and alluring. It reminds me of "Bad Moon" (1996), a movie about a werewolf who attacks a family, but the family dog, a German shepherd--the hero of the story--confronts the beast and saves the day (sorry if this qualifies as a spoiler). I wonder how many movies there are out there where the death of a dog is the main part of the plot and not just an excuse to sympathize with the main character or to trigger the journey, as in "I Am Legend" or "John Wick." – T. Palomino 2 months ago
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      • Building off of T. Palomino's comment, I feel like this topic could be fruitfully contextualized by unpacking the duelling tropes of "kick the dog" and "save the cat" as screenwriting techniques that are specifically poised as shorthands for modulating the audience's which characters are innately evil vs. inherently good. – ProtoCanon 2 months ago
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      • What I've always found funny about white America is that a dog dying on film was always viewed as more heartbreaking than seeing a black man attacked and maimed by dogs on film. On a different note, Cujo provides an interesting look into the death of an animal. Because we are introduced to Cujo before he is fully rabid, we see that he is a gentle animal. His eventual 'going insane' is not his fault. Thus, although we do not root for Cujo to be victorious in his pursuit of humans, it is somewhat tear-jerking when the animal dies. This also begs the question, are these innocent animals really innocent just because they don't act based on evil intentions in the same way as humans? – Montayj79 2 months ago
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      • I've often wondered why I'm so affected by the death of a dog in TV and movies. I love dogs, but I'm also a mom. When a child dies on a movie, I'm horrified and feel deep sympathy for the parent characters, but it doesn't affect me the same way as the death of a dog (ONLY speaking about media, of course!) I'm also widowed, so when a spouse or partner dies, I find it sad. Still...that deep, hurt, sad feeling after the death of a dog on TV is more affective. My thought is that it's because dogs are: 1. Totally innocent. 2. Completely loyal. 3. Totally trusting 4. Helpless 5. Unaware of mortality So, when you have a character who can do no wrong, who's entire personality is based on being loyal, trusts almost anyone, is mostly defenseless (they can bite, yes, but their loyalty toward people usually tells them to hold back) and especially is unaware that it is can die (or is dying, or about die) it completely tugs the heart strings. – brandy 2 months ago
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      • A couple things I'd like to point out. In this article please clarify that this hook is mainly used with dogs (even the article title can be reworked). You don't see turtle, rabbit, or cat deaths. The "dog" is a symbol not just a pet. It's a symbol of friendship and companionship, so is it just a way to restate "death of a companion" much like death of a wife - a construct overused already? Second, does it REALLY allow filmmakers to put less work into having to build that "I lost someone dear" empathy for the character? Losing a father, wife, or girlfriend is extensively overused and might have lost its touch. You see a movie with the lead having lost his wife and going on a revenge-killing spree is redundant, but doing the same for a dog is fresh (until it becomes mundane). Is that the sole purpose? I'd wager it is, but the piece needs to have at least 3-4 examples and the importance of the animal clearly marked out for reference and comparison. For example, how much screen time did they get? Did we see any bonding moment or did the movie start from "dog dead now, dust off your shotgun"? If there was no bonding moment (basically if the dog was not a character in the movie but a hook symbol), have we truly become that shallow or is this device such an ingenious shortcut to gaining sympathy and must be celebrated or at least respected? A lot to unpack here, but we really need at least 3-4 good examples. – Abhimanyu Shekhar 2 months ago
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      Succession as a Greek and Shakespearian Tragedy

      Analyze the ways in HBO series succession follows a traditional tragedy structure in both the Ancient Greek sense and Shakespearean sense. A tragedy is a play based on human suffering, primarily concerning tragic events that befall the main character. The intention of tragedy, as understood by Aristotle, is to provoke catharsis in its audience. Catharsis is a release of emotions that comes with seeing others undergo painful or unfortunate circumstances. It is the pleasure of intense emotion with the relief of not undergoing the suffering oneself. Both Greek and Shakespearean tragedies tend to focus on the downfall of a protagonist who holds a high position in society. In the case of Succession, the main character, Kendall Roy, is the son of the CEO and founder of the largest multi-media conglomerate in the world. The plot itself is reminiscent of King Lear, as Logan Roy ages and must consider which of his three children is fit to take over his immensely successful business as he ages (though whether or not he is actually willing to give up his position of power is uncertain). Kendall’s dreams of taking over the company are continuously derailed, no matter how hard he tries he is denied this one desire that he believes to be his birthright. Are there other aspects of Shakespearean tragedy that present themselves in the show? For example, there is considerable comic relief throughout the whole show, a feature not present in Greek tragedies. Is it more like one than the other? In what ways does it differ from these archetypes, and what significance do these divergences carry? Many consider it to be a comedy, how does the entwining of genres contribute to the complexity of the show, and the message it sends to its viewers? How does it merge traditional media with the problems and techniques of modernity?

      • Tragedy had elements of comedy from the time of the 16th to the 19th (maybe very early 20th) centuries. Vice verse as it pertains to comedies. – J.D. Jankowski 2 months ago
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      Is Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Losing Focus or Just Getting Started?

      With Phase 4 of the MCU introducing so many broad concepts, is it getting too messy & losing track of what makes it great? Or, are these the first steps of another genius plan to intertwine everything into another sprawling, mind-blowing epic? Consider the rapid influx of new characters and ideas. When we started in 2008, the MCU introduced a handful of characters over 4 years. The last 2 years have brought us at least a dozen throughout the movies and shows. This could be considered a benefit of the streaming era. Though one could argue this influx has led to a decrease in quality because there’s too much to keep track of. Quantity doesn’t always equal quality. For example, it’s a common criticism that the shows are coming out too fast and they don’t stick the landing because they’re only 6 episodes. Or many ideas seemingly contradict those that are firmly established.

      • There's no doubt that Moon Knight was an amazing show, despite it's six episode trend. However I think the only good movie that has been made this year is Spider-Man No Way Home. It was something that the fans wanted, and overall it was a good movie. For me personally, I think Multiverse of Madness was thrown way out of proportion by some fans, with people saying online that certain characters were going to make appearances, which then hyped up the movie a little too much for some of the characters we got. Don't get me wrong, Multiverse of Madness is still a great movie, but I do agree with the fact that Marvel are trying to pump out as many shows and movies they can with unrealistic deadlines, and not really considering the impact this may have on their fans. – Interstellarflare 2 months ago
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      • This is a really interesting topic, one I've been wondering about. With the first phase, there was something tying all the characters together, Nick Fury and SHIELD, and it was clear there was an overall story being told, of these various superheroes and how they would join together in the first Avengers film. Now after Endgame it feels as if we're at a new beginning, and despite (as mentioned) the incredible number of stories that have already been told, it's much less clear if there's any larger story in mind. On the one hand, the focus and vision of Phase 1 was essential in making it the juggernaut success it was, particularly when compared with the DC films of the same time, where there was clearly no overarching story but just a desire for tentpole films. On the other hand, the Multiverse of Madness in particular made it clear that there are a tremendous number of potential directions the MCU can go in, many of which are quite exciting, and it's understandable if they're still exploring which stories they want to tell. It's also unclear when the downfalls of such ambition really matter. The MCU wanted to do Civil War as the third Captain America movie despite the extent to which it didn't really make sense, the number of issues with the lines drawn, and the way the fallout was almost overwhelmingly discarded in time for Infinity War. But thanks to other successful elements, these issues seem not to have mattered for the MCU in the long run. Are there any clear indicators for what the future holds? – ronannar 2 months ago
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      The presence of racism in H.P Lovecraft's work

      Many of famous horror author H.P Lovecraft’s work contains themes and language indicative of racism towards indigenous and black communities. Even the famed "Call of Cthulu" retains aspects of racism when referring to the activities of indigenous and black communities. They are labeled as practicing "Voodoo", and often referred to as savages. How has the work of H.P Lovecraft aged? Is something like this acceptable for fans of the genre to hold as an example?

      • I believe someone suggested a similar topic before. (As I remember commenting on it.) While yes, H.P Love Craft held views that many, my self included find distasteful, those elements are often what people sight for creating the sense of otherness/horror in his books. He does not understand other races, cultures, or sexual identities, and that was part of the reason he feared them. I don't believe you have to like an artist on a personal level or agree with their views to appreciate their work. Some personal examples for me are Raymond Chandler, R.Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Sean Connery and Danny Masterson are all people who have done/said things that I personally disagree with. But I enjoy the book the Big Sleep, I can listen to ignition or fly me to the moon. I enjoy watching James Bond and That 70's show. Many people feel separating the artist from the art is people ignoring/giving a pass to the actions of the individual. I don't believe that is the case. As R. Kelly are and Danny Masterson are both in jail for their actions. I would also mention people can change, as Lovecraft eventually changed some of his views, as over the years he became friends with a gay man, and over time began to change some of his views on homosexuality. Whether people forgive someone or engage with their work is always a personal decision. – Blackcat130 3 months ago
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