Anyone who watched The Daily Show several years back might remember that Jon Stewart held a half-hour pay-per-view debate with longtime adversary Bill O’Reilly. It was the debate where Jon Stewart coined the term “bullshit mountain” as a takedown of the way O’Reilly constructs narratives to justify his points of view.
I watched the debate between Stewart and O’Reilly and by the time I got to the end, I couldn’t help but wonder what the point of it was. I didn’t feel like anything of substance came from the debate besides a couple of funny lines from Stewart (like “bullshit mountain”). It was just a longer form of the same old debates Stewart and O’Reilly have on each other shows all the time, except now they were asking for money to watch it (I thankfully found an upload on YouTube to watch for free). The debate wasn’t about enlightening the audience in understanding differing perspectives of points of view. All the audience was there for was to rally behind whatever side they already supported. The whole spectacle was more comparable to watching a Dallas Cowboys/Philadelphia Eagles game than a robust, intellectually stimulating debate.
Continue reading “OFF-TOPIC: The Great Debate That Will Never Take Place”
I know I haven’t written any essays in some time, but everything that has been on my mind, be it about our current political climate, corporate marketing, white supremacy, oligarchy, my frustration with liberals, my frustration with conservatives, my frustration with centrists, or how dumbed down our whole political discourse is with analysis of a cartoon like South Park, The Boondocks, The Simpsons, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Rugrats, Johnny Bravo, or Pole Position is used as jump-off point to that bigger discussion, are all things I feel like I’ve already written about before. And I don’t have anything more to add about any of that right now.
So I’ll leave you with this today. Enjoy!
If the Rock is serious about running for president in 2020, I hope his past ties with Farooq and the Nation of Domination sink his campaign.
Who is Smurfette? As most people know, Smurfette is the lone female Smurf in Smurfville originally created by the evil Gargamel in order to sow discord and jealousy among the other Smurfs.
In 1991, writer and cultural critic Katha Pollitt coined the term “Smurfette principle” to describe the trend of narratives in media overwhelmingly male focused but with one female character. As she describes it,
“Contemporary shows are either essentially all-male, like “Garfield,” or are organized on what I call the Smurfette principle: a group of male buddies will be accented by a lone female, stereotypically defined… The message is clear. Boys are the norm, girls the variation; boys are central, girls peripheral; boys are individuals, girls types. Boys define the group, its story and its code of values. Girls exist only in relation to boys.”
The Smurfette principle is based on the main theory of Simone de Beauvoir’s analysis of women’s subservient role in society in her seminal work The Second Sex, but applied to our media. The two videos below provide an even more comprehensive analysis of how this has played out.
In the two and a half decades since Pollitt coined this term, I’m pretty sure most people with a least a minor understanding of media theory are aware of this trope and why it’s an issue. But I bring up the Smurfette principle in order to bring up a similar issue that I think a large chunk of our current-day #staywoke political landscape still has a blind spot to.
Continue reading “The Smurfette”
I’m a year late, but I finally watched the notorious adult animated feature Sausage Party. It’s the first American animated feature aimed at adults to achieve financial and critical success since South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut. And here’s my take on it:
*more gratuitous profanity*
*a teenage boy discovers a Richard Dawkins lecture on YouTube and realizes he may not believe in religion*
Y’know… CUZ ADULTHOOD!!1!!!1!
One of the big issues in our political discourse is around what are called “identity politics”. To be short and blunt, the way we collectively discuss it is a total fucking trainwreck.
Continue reading “Identity Politics”
The star of the upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast film Emma Watson has caught a bit of flack for a recent photo shoot she did with the magazine Vanity Fair. Watson has been known for the past few years as an outspoken feminist and her recent photos have been met with cries of hypocrisy from some circles. How could she take photos like these when she once criticized Beyonce for doing the same thing? Doesn’t taking sexualized photos like these undermine her feminist message?
The short answer is no.
Continue reading “Standards of Beauty… and the Beast”